It looks like things are finally getting underway in regard to immigration reform as democrats in the House submitted the first immigration proposal yesterday since gaining the control of Congress this year.
This proposal from Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.) attempts to actually address U.S. immigration problems, unlike a measure passed by the Republican-controlled House in 2005. That bill focused on tough enforcement actions to reduce illegal immigration. In contrast, the Flake-Gutierrez proposal is much more similar to the Senate proposal of last year.
Flake-Gutierrez offers a bipartisan proposal for comprehensive immigration reform. It would allow millions of illegal immigrants to participate in a guest-worker program and possibly gain citizenship. Here are the specifics:
The bill seeks to clamp down on illegal border crossings from Mexico while allowing some illegal workers and their family members already in the United States to legally remain for up to six years if they pay a $1,000 fine for breaking the law and continuously hold a job.
Illegal immigrants who become guest workers could eventually become citizens if they have broken no additional laws, leave the country, return legally, pay a second $1,000 fine and become proficient English speakers.