Current Weather
The Spy FM

Bipartisan Senate Gang Begins To Sell Immigration Plan

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
April 18, 2013

In the wake of the defeat of comprehensive gun control legislation, a bipartisan group of eight U.S. Senators on Thursday outlined a wide-reaching immigration overhaul introduced this week.

The 844-page bill, crafted to address the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, as well as intensifying pressure from the business community to expand visa programs for highly skilled foreign workers, is expected to be debated over the coming months.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., earlier Thursday pledged to set aside “ample time for discussion and consideration of this legislation.”

Reid, who characterized the gun legislation defeat Wednesday in the Senate as a “notable and stunning defeat of bipartisanship,” said the immigration bill is a document of compromise that he will work to get “across the finish line.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the Republican key to the bill’s success, has already begun beating back harsh criticism from conservatives, who object to pathways to citizenship the bill would create. Some critics characterize it as tantamount to amnesty.

Immigrant advocates have also taken issue with parts of the bill, including proposals that would expand the number of high-skilled worker visas at the expense of “family unification” visas issued to foreign family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The eight senators who crafted the legislation were Republicans Rubio of Florida, John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; and Democrats Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez of New York, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Some highlights:

Path To Citizenship And Border Security

Temporary status available to qualified undocumented immigrants when border security and fencing benchmarks are reached;

Require background checks, fingerprints, $2,000 in fines, pay taxes, prove employment and physical presence in U.S. before 2012, and a start at the “back of the line” to qualify for temporary status;

Permanent resident status available after 10 years, provided border security and employment verification “triggers” met; no federal benefits during temporary status; and applicant proves he or she is earning 25 percent above poverty line;

Status revoked if applicant commits serious crime, fails to comply with work, tax, and physical presence requirements.

Dream Act Young Undocumented Immigrants

Create five-year path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants brought by parents to U.S. illegally or in the country on expired visas.

Revamp Visa Programs, From Farm Workers To Entrepreneurs

Up to 10,000 new so-called “start up” visas for foreign entrepreneurs who create a minimum of five jobs and raise a half million dollars from investors;

More visas for highly skilled foreigners with advanced degrees;

Increase the number of H-1B visas awarded annually from 65,000 to 110,000 in part to bump up to 25,000 visas available for those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics;

Eliminate “certain categories” of family immigration preferences, and eliminate diversity visa lottery;

Require business owners to use a Labor Department posting website to seek out American workers before taking foreign workers;

Establish low-skilled guest worker program and new agricultural guest worker visa program that allows undocumented farm workers to obtain legal status.

[Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5PM to 7PM American Routes

American Routes

Hosted by Nick Spitzer, American Routes is a two-hour weekly excursion into American music, spanning eras and genres—roots rock and soul, blues and country, jazz, gospel and beyond.

Listen Live Now!

7PM to 9PM The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show filters through dozens of submissions a week to find the best in new local music. Ryan LaCroix is the host and mastermind behind the show and teaches at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

View the program guide!

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center