February 17, 2013
USA Today reported:
The plan also would provide for more security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. In addition, the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa, under the draft bill being written by the White House.Both Senate and House Committees are also drafting comprehensive immigration reform legislation. In an immigration speech delivered in Las Vegas, Nevada two weeks ago, President Obama promised if the House and Senate could not deliver comprehensive immigration reform then he would put forth his own bill and ask for an immediate vote.
According to the White House draft, people would need to pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to qualify for the new visa. If approved, they would be allowed to legally reside in the U.S. for four years, work and leave the country for short periods of time. After the four years, they could then reapply for an extension.
Illegal immigrants would be disqualified from the program if they were convicted of a crime that led to a prison term of at least one year, three or more different crimes that resulted in a total of 90 days in jail, or if they committed any offense abroad that "if committed in the United States would render the alien inadmissible or removable from the United States."
People currently in federal custody or facing deportation proceedings also could be allowed to apply for the Lawful Prospective Immigrant visa. Application forms and instructions would be provided in "the most common languages spoken by persons in the United States," but the application and all supporting evidence submitted to the federal government would have to be in English.
They would also be given a new identification card to show as proof of their legal status in the country. The immigrants could then apply for legal permanent residence, commonly known as a green card, within eight years if they learn English and "the history and government of the United States" and pay back taxes. That would then clear the path for them to apply for U.S. citizenship.Today on Sunday talk shows, Denis McDonough, the President's Chief of Staff defended the President's action in creating his own immigration bill. He said that the President still wants Congress to lead the effort. The draft is being made in case Congress moves too slowly.
It is clear that President Obama wants comprehensive immigration reform passed this year.