The President's Immigration Plan

The Obama administration offers a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and calls for increased border security.

Over Presidents’ Day weekend U.S.A. Today obtained a copy of the White House's immigration plan. The plan seems to be very similar to the Senate’s Bipartisan immigration plan. I am a little puzzled over why Senator Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida) who is part of the Senate’s Bipartisan Commission on Immigration called the President’s plan “half-baked and seriously flawed.” He said its approval “would actually make our immigration problems worse.”  

It’s possible that he fears that the President is trying to wrest credit from Congress and from the Republicans to cement the immigrant vote. It is possible that the President is trying to provide the Republicans with cover so that they can vote against the President’s plan but still vote for immigration reform. It is also possible that the plan was accidentally leaked to the paper.

The President’s plan provides for the following:

Pathway to Citizenship

  •  Undocumented immigrants living in the United States could apply for a newly created “Lawful Prospective Immigrant Visa,” which would not be the same as a green-card but would provide them with temporary legal status in the United States;
  •  People would need to pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to qualify for the new visa. If the visa is approved, they would be allowed to legally reside in the U.S. for four years, legally work in the United States and legally travel outside of the United States for short periods of time.  After the four years, they could then apply for an extension of this visa for another four years; 
  • To qualify for this visa, immigrants would have to pay any back taxes, learn English and pay a penalty of probably a few hundred dollars;
  •  If the Lawful Prospective Immigrant Visa is approved, then the applicant can apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse and children living outside of the United States;
  • Undocumented immigrants would be ineligible for the program if they were convicted of a crime that led to a prison term of at least one year or three or more different crimes that resulted in a total of 90 days in jail, or if they committed a crime abroad that would make the person inadmissible to or deportable from the United States;
  • People currently in removal proceedings would be allowed to apply for this visa, provided they otherwise qualify;
  • These immigrants would receive a special identification card to show as proof of their legal status in the United States;
  • After eight years or as soon as the immigration back-log is cleared (whichever comes sooner) the immigrants could apply for their green-cards.  They would have to prove that they know English as well as the history and government of the United States and they would have to show proof of payment of back taxes; and,
  • The plan calls for a reduction of the immigration backlog by getting rid of caps to immigration in certain categories and by temporarily increasing the number of immigrant visas available.


Security and Employment Provisions

  • The plan provides for more security funding;
  • The plan expands the E-Verify program that checks the immigration status of people seeking new jobs.  Businesses with more than 1,000 employees must begin using the system within two years, businesses with more than 250 employees within three years and all businesses within four years.  The ACLU has noted that this program will effectively create a federal list of all those in the United States who are eligible to work.  If a person is not on the federal list s/he would not be able to work in the United States.  This part of the plan could create serious privacy concerns;
  • To combat fraud, the President’s plan proposes a new fraud-resistant, tamper resistant, and wear-resistant social security cards;
  • Increase in Border Patrol officers;
  • Technological improvements along the border; and,
  • 140 new immigration judges to reduce the backlogs in immigration cases.  The backlog in immigration cases is substantial; for example, right now in San Francisco, the immigration judges are scheduling deportation hearings for 2015.


Paying For The Program

  • The plan calls for Customs and Border Protection to study whether a land-border crossing fee should be implemented to help offset border security costs;
  • It calls for an increase in inspection fees that border-crossers already pay;
  • It allows for the Department of Homeland Security to accept donations from citizens, businesses, local governments, and state governments to improve the ports of entry and security features along the border. Just imagine, The Costco Border Crossing

The President’s plan differs from the Senate’s bi-partisan plan in that legal status for undocumented immigrants does not hinge upon securing the border, while it does call for increased border security. It is also different in that there is no mention of a guest-worker program to handle future flows of immigrants for agriculture and low-tech jobs. 

AFL-CIO/U.S. Chamber of Commerce Plan

While the President and Congress have been working on their immigration plans, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have been negotiating plans for changing the immigration system in the United States.  Earlier this week, the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement setting forth three principles to guide legislation in bringing lesser skilled workers to the United States:

  • First, American workers should have the “first crack” at available jobs.  Business and labor must improve the way that job listings in lesser-skilled occupations reaches the maximum number of workers, particularly those in disadvantaged communities;
  • Second, the plan calls for a worker visa program that responds to the needs of business while fully protecting the wages and working conditions of American workers.  The plan calls for a market-driven mechanism that permits businesses to hire foreign workers without having to go through a cumbersome and inefficient process; and,

The AFL-CIO and U.S. Chamber of Commerce joint statement seems to recognize that there is a need in the United States for both high-skilled and low-skilled workers and addresses the need of business for additional workers while protecting the rights and wages, and working conditions of American workers.

Next topic: Immigrants and Welfare


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

TGD March 01, 2013 at 06:27 AM
It appears the Captain has spent too much time in his dingy throttling his johnson and drinking sea water.
TGD March 01, 2013 at 06:55 AM
The Captain Haha ---------------------------------- Shouldn't that be HarHar
vocal-de-local March 01, 2013 at 08:00 AM
How can we, as a country, both advocate for green technology and regulation to deal with climate change while concurrently allowing more people to cross our borders and cause over population? If our government truly believes we are headed for catastrophic climate change, shouldn't they evaluate what will happen to our resources if there are too many people competing for them all at the same time? Tolerating any immigration, legal or not, is counter intuitive to to global climate change beliefs.
RHHS 1966 March 01, 2013 at 11:05 PM
This is a black and white issue to me: illegals should not be able to work in this country (technology exists) and would then "self-deport" as the guy who should be president said. This is the simplest and cleanest solution. All this Pathway to Citizenship stuff just creates another expensive bureaucracy, as if our inattention to this issue hasn't cost us enough already. Not only that, but there should be no reward for having broken the law. The Pathway to Citizenship leads back to Mexico (or wherever) and the back of the line. And please don't cite the 14th Amendment as justification for "anchor babies". The intent of that Amendment has been twisted beyond recognition.
yoyo March 01, 2013 at 11:39 PM
Very true. Like I said, I wonder if the CHP pulls me over for driving 130mph on the freeway, will he give me a $100 gift card to Target for breaking the law? Here, the illegals are rewarded for breaking the law with citizenship, which is an insult to those who applied to come here legally.
JustUs March 02, 2013 at 12:00 AM
yoyo, it's selective anarchy by those who make the laws and who are sworn under oath to uphold the laws. Which make you wonder why ordinary people would have respect for them or any of their laws?
The Captain March 02, 2013 at 12:05 AM
Harhar, there is a problem with immigration that does lead to climate change. The president in Mexico needs to start caring and changing his dream- Harhar. (But I like being The Captain Captain, you know?)
None March 02, 2013 at 03:29 AM
This blog has wandered quite a bit but we should still think about the security of “Our Borders.” There is a way to get into this country and it works “If” the law is enforced. People in line should be given first opportunity to migrate into this country, but they have to do it on our terms, and those who “Buck the Line,” should be deported. I find this both “Simple and enforceable.” Why do we even need to discuss “Comprehensive Immigration Reform?” Follow and enforce or existing laws and the problem should go away. It doesn’t matter where the individual came from, if he/she got here illegally; send them back to where ever they came from. Works for me!
Richard Foster March 02, 2013 at 05:25 AM
I think if we all had the chance to impact this country by doing a rightful citizen's report and report each individual immigrant that we knowingly feel is illegal and have the authorities come and arrest and deport them, we could make a difference as individuals. The gap between saving our culture and loosing it, in terms of school and learning, is the primary responsibility of pushing us forward. But I don't hear a lot of that, I don't see a lot of action. I'v never gone to a bank, sat down and realized after reading these posts, these blogs and comments, that this is a serious problem. We have gone from an environment of natural living to seeing signs of greed and envy, a race to be American, where they're in the lead if they have toddlers. It's not the essence of love and family. There's no future to just having kids. And they are having an impact on this country. But at the same time we need to create ways of inherent reality because the president has just announced deep federal cuts- to our border patrols. This is too difficult, there is an insane fight, look to how your being impacted, wow you will find people out of the norm
Tyrone Shoelaces March 02, 2013 at 08:31 AM
Illegals ruined the Redwood City school district. That is why we all go to Menlo, Atherton, Las Lomitas schools.
Poncho Villa March 02, 2013 at 06:02 PM
It's a good thing all you idiots complaining, weren't around when people first migrated to the U.S. back in the late 1800's through the early 1900's, our country would not have been able to inherit a lot of the great multicultural characteristics that so many of our world neighbors come to enjoy on vacation, and also other countries that are less fortunate so much desire just to be a part of . My guess is that when people get comfortable and lazy they have no other ways of communicating theses concerns other than just being rude and ignorant. People please keep in mind that these HARDWOrKING people are the people who pick our fruits and veggies and fruits because that a job that you or I are to proud to do also may I add that there is a shortage of these hardworking individuals right now because people like you complain thY they are taking your jobs . The jobs are there hurry, hurry get them now before you find someone else to complain about. Oh wait people that are lazy don't eat vegetables and fruit , they're to busy stuffing their face with burgers and shit like that not to mention drinking beer and hateraid . FOOLS !!!!! Crumbs !!!!!
MICHAEL P WILSON "Independent Kid" March 02, 2013 at 06:04 PM
I think BHO has bigger problems to deal with. How is having a half corngress working out for him?
JustUs March 02, 2013 at 06:22 PM
"People please keep in mind that these HARDWOrKING people are the people who pick our fruits and veggies and fruits because that a job that you or I are to proud to do also may I add that there is a shortage of these hardworking individuals right now because people like you complain thY they are taking your jobs ." America has guest-worker visas for fruit and veggie pickers. But the illegals are invading out nation unlawfully and stealing construction jobs, maintenance jobs, manufacturing jobs, roofing jobs, etc... while committing identity theft and using our resource while contributing little to our tax base. We spend upwards of $20B a year just in California to subsidize free education, free healthcare, free welfare and to operate the justice system to hold them accountable for the crimes they commit. About 30% of the prison beds in California are occupied by illegal migrants. Chinese are hardworking too. Should we saturate our nation with 50M indigent unskilled chinese nationals because they are 'hardworking'??? Naturally you would be 100% opposed to that, wouldn't ya?
yoyo March 02, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Huh? These are hard working people? Who says they weren't? It's not about hard working, not hard working, Latino gangster or non gangsters. It's about coming to America legally. How come u don't bring up the fact that these people are law breakers who have broken our laws? Instead, u talk about hard working, which isn't really the conversation here. I know a lot of hard working people who came here LEGALLY. They applied and waited many years before their name was called. Now I say this is the kind of people I want immigrating to America. People who follow our laws. If the folks who come here illegally have no problem breaking our laws, what other laws are they happy to break? Steal someone's ID so they can work? btw- A lot of our fruits and vegetable are now imported from South America so there is less need for produce pickers, but now they stand around Home Depot. Hate? Are u nuts? U will find Americans welcome immigrants if they come here legally. And yes, I much rather pay more for produce than pay for someone who is here illegally using taxpayer funded services.
Christine March 02, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Dear Editor: So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
Christine March 02, 2013 at 08:24 PM
CONT: They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany , Italy , France and Japan . None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from. They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan . They were defending the United States of America as one people.
Christine March 02, 2013 at 08:25 PM
CONT: When we liberated France , no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.
Christine March 02, 2013 at 08:25 PM
CONT: And here we are with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags. And for that suggestion about taking down the Statue of Liberty , it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet. (signed) Rosemary LaBonte In a letter written to an Orange County, CA newspaper
None March 02, 2013 at 08:39 PM
I am amazed at some of these comments re: how people are not welcomed into this country today and that we don’t welcome or appreciate “Hard Working People.” That is totally nonsensical and truly without logic. People knocking at the front door are usually greeted and in most cases, welcomed, however, those who elect to go in through the back door without knocking get a little different treatment, and I believe they should get a different greeting. Again, when is it “OK” for any country to stop immigration from any other country and allow only those who decide to play by the rules, to apply for a visa or a permit and enter legally? We welcome foreign workers, foreign students and foreign visitors and guests, but why should we even allow an individual to come here and stay here illegally. When I travel, I have a passport and enter through customs and have my passport stamped. Is this old fashioned and no longer an accepted practice? It works for me.
yoyo March 02, 2013 at 08:56 PM
TGD also said to me that I was fortunate that I got to immigrated here that others are not so lucky, therefore the process needs to be more fair. Friend, I'm telling u, life isn't fair. It's not fair that I can't afford a Ferrari, so is it OK for me to steal someone's $ so I can buy one? The proper answer is to work 3 jobs and save for 15 years, so I can buy one. The proper answer when applied to immigration is, apply to come here legally, and wait those years for your name to be called. If u break our laws and sneak over, it's no different than breaking laws to steal $ so u can have that Ferrari now, instead of working for it and buying it 15 years from now.
yoyo March 02, 2013 at 09:02 PM
The idea for illegal aliens is to use critical mass to push for their agenda. In other words, if there are enough illegals pushing the back door getting in, or if already in, then it's harder for the authorities to stop. U can see this play out in real life all the time whether it's a Black Friday sale or whatever, once a large body has momentum, then it's hard to slow it or stop it. Illegals know that, and use it to their advantage, and the politicians are more than happy to comply with them, viewing them as potential voters to their party, because the citizens here are already too disgusted with them. They need fresh blood to sustain their political ambitions.
The Captain March 02, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Johnson & Johnson Har Har, so who has come up with that best plan? I don't see any of that ...
Ralph Hutchinson March 04, 2013 at 05:13 PM
Do you guys even have real names? Are you afraid to comment and express your opinions? Weak. Stand up and be counted. Stop hiding behind an alias.
RHHS 1966 March 04, 2013 at 05:25 PM
For me the discussion ends at illegal entry. And it's Pancho Villa, for Pete's sake. If you'e going to advocate for them, you at least need to spell correctly the names of their heroes. "Poncho" is something we in the Marines used to wear in the rain.
TGD March 04, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Post your bank and PIN info and if it works then it will verify you are who you say you are. Otherwise, you can pick any name you want.
yoyo March 04, 2013 at 06:55 PM
And pls include your social security number so we know it is really u, and not a made up name, like Steve Wilson, Larry Brown, Jim Smith, Jane Patterson or whatever fake name u can come up with.
The Captain March 04, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Don't forget to include your status quo, sounds little up tight, wonder what side of the bed you woke up on.
RHHS 1966 March 04, 2013 at 10:13 PM
For the record, the Romans only did this once, and roughly 100 years after Hannibal's 204 BC defeat at Zama. More commonly, Rome bought off their potential enemies with land and promises of citizenship. As recruitment of Romans became progressively more difficult, they offered citizenship as an inducement to "barbarians" to enlist, which is how, by 400 AD or so, the army became overwhelmingly comprised of barbarians.
RHHS 1966 March 04, 2013 at 10:24 PM
Hey yoyo, once again for the record, Polk offered Santa Anna $52 million for the land eventually won via the Mexican War, but SA declined. Santa Anna was another in a long line of corrupt Mexican leaders, who was offered $1 to let Texas go, took the money and then re-negged. It was only then, when the Texians (as they were then called, and who were mostly former US citizens having gotten swindled by the Mexican version of homestead), that Polk sent Taylor and Scott to put the arm on him. It was only have the War that Polk then paid Mexico $21 million (I believe that was the number), having deducted the cost of the War from the previously offered number. I can't think of another country in human history who, having beaten an enemy fair and square, then paid them a dime for the land fairly won. US did it again in 1898.
Average Joe March 17, 2013 at 08:22 AM
Send 'em back PLEASE!


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