President Obama’s administration drafted legislation this month that could give undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship in eight years, require employers to check workers’ immigration status and increase penalties for those who break immigration law.
The ideas appear in three separate draft bills, obtained Monday by The Miami Herald, that closely resemble many of the reforms advanced in 2011 by Obama and, more recently, by Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Both Rubio and Obama, for instance, support special pathways to residency for those students and soldiers who were brought illegally to this country as children. In the White House draft legislation, the proposal closely resembles what’s known as the DREAM Act.
But in a sign of the politically fragile talks over immigration reform, Rubio reacted with a measure of fury Saturday when the proposals were first reported by USA Today.
“The President’s bill repeats the failures of past legislation,” the statement continued. “It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally.”