Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP and Win McNamee/Getty Images via ABC News
Pres. Obama wants members of Congress to know that he has an immigration plan of his own if they can’t agree on one:
A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years.
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.
If approved, they could then apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse or children living outside the country, according to the draft.
The draft states that applicants would have to “pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees.” Once approved, they’d be able to legally live and work in the United States for four years, and even take short trips outside the country. They’d then have to apply for extensions after their four years were up.
People imprisoned for more than a year, or jailed three or more times that led to a total of 90 days in jail, would be ineligible.
Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican known as the “savior” of his party but perhaps better known as “Señor Cottonmouth,” has already criticized the president’s plan for failing to properly address border security and creating a special pathway to citizenship for people who break the law by coming or staying here illegally.
“It would actually make our immigration problems worse,” Rubio said on Sunday.
“Worse”? Really, Rubes?
The president has deported more people than Pharaoh and presided over a period of zero net flow at the border, and yet Sen. Rubio, who’s supposed to represent the new pro-Latino face of the GOP, thinks Obama’s plan to provide an ounce of fairness and decency for a portion of the 11.1 million undocumented immigrants already living here would make things “worse.”
Rubio also labeled the president’s plan as “dead on arrival.” I can’t think anything “worse” than such a pig-headed statement. (My grandmother would call Rubio “bien mulo,” to draw another animal comparison.)
Rubio’s part of group of eight senators tackling comprehensive immigration reform, which is scary when you consider that he seems to want to create so many obstacles in front of those who simply want the opportunity to live and work in this country without fear of deportation and separation from their families. That’s like appointing a creationist to the House science committee.
Most Republicans and even some Democrats (unfortunately) want applicants to learn English, American history and civics, have a degree in one of the STEM disciplines, have only a minor criminal record, and earn more than 125 percent above the poverty level.
In effect, to become an American, you have to be three times the American that the average American is.
How secure does the border have to be before the Republicans will be able to start discussing fair reform? Do they want a no-man’s-land like the one between North and South Korea?
I get the distinct impression that some Republicans don’t want any immigration at all — at least not from the darker places on the map. “America for Americans” seems to be the mantra, which incidentally is neither historically true or very American.