"Gang of Eight" Immigration Deal Outline Released

An outline of the immigration bill formed by the "Gang of Eight" -- which includes Arizona's Republican Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake -- has been released.

There's a whole lot of stuff in this outline, including some of the more specific details on immigration law, but it includes sections on border-security spending, the process by which undocumented people can become documented, changes to the legal immigration system, mandatory use of E-Verify by employers, and a visa system for new laborers.

See also:
-John McCain, Fellow Republicans, Scurry Like Rats To Embrace Immigration Reform
-John McCain on Why GOP Will Support Immigration Reform: Hispanic Votes

For the most part, this outline seems to just show more of the nuts and bolts to the plan explained in the "framework" released by the senators in January.

The main points remain, including providing 11 million or so undocumented immigrants with a pathway to citizenship.

The senators haven't publicly explained this stuff yet, as the Boston Marathon explosions reportedly threw off the plans, but the actual bill undoubtedly will be more complicated than the outline, which provides this explanation for "legalization" of the undocumented:

I. Adjustment of Status to Registered Provisional Immigrant Status

  • Individuals in unlawful status may apply to adjust their status to the legal status of Registered Provisional Immigrant Status.
  • Eligibility Criteria:
  • Residence in the United States prior to December 31, 2011 and maintenance of continuous physical presence since then.
  • Paid a $500 penalty fee (except for DREAM Act eligible students), and assessed taxes, per adult applicant in addition to all applicable fees required to pay for the cost of processing the application.
  • Ineligible if:
  • Convicted of an aggravated felony;
  • Convicted of a felony;
  • Convicted of 3 or more misdemeanors;
  • Convicted of an offense under foreign law;
  • Unlawfully Voted; and
  • Inadmissible for Criminal, National Security, Public Health, or other morality grounds.
  • Spouses and children of people in RPI status can be petitioned for as derivatives of the principal applicant (but must be in the United States at the time).
  • Immigrants in RPI status can work for any employer and travel outside of the United States
  • Individuals outside of the United States who were previously here before December 31, 2011 and were deported for non-criminal reasons can apply to re-enter the United States in RPI status if they are the spouse, of or parent of a child who is, United States citizen or lawful permanent resident; or are a childhood arrival who is eligible for the DREAM Act.
  • The Application period will be for 1 year with the possibility of extension by the Secretary for an additional 1 year.
  • Individuals with removal orders will be permitted to apply as will aliens currently in removal proceedings.
  • RPI status shall last for a 6-year term that is renewable if the immigrant does not commit any acts that would render the alien deportable. Another $500 penalty fee is applicable at this time.
  • The Secretary may collect a processing fee from individuals who register for RPI status in an amount that is sufficient to recover all of the costs of implementing the registration program.
  • An individual who has been granted RPI status is not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit (as such term is defined in section 403 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1613)).
  • A noncitizen granted registered provisional immigrant status under this section shall be considered lawfully present in the United States for all purposes, while such noncitizen remains in such status, except that the noncitizen
  • is not entitled to the premium assistance tax credit authorized under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; and
  • shall be subject to the rules applicable to individuals not lawfully present that are set forth in section 1402(e) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18071).
  • After 10 years, aliens in RPI status may adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident Status through the same Merit Based System everyone else must use to earn a green card (described below) if the following things have occurred:
  • The alien maintained continuous physical presence
  • They paid all taxes owed during the period that they are in status as an RPI
  • They worked in the United States regularly;
  • And demonstrated knowledge of Civics and English
  • All people currently waiting for family and employment green cards as of the date of enactment have had their priority date become current.
  • A $1,000 penalty fee is rendered
  • People in DREAM Act Status and the Agricultural Program can get their green cards in 5 years and DREAM Act kids will be eligible for citizenship immediately after they get their green cards.

That's all. The other sections are equally bland, but if you're looking for the details, you can find the entire outline below:

Gang of Eight Outline

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley