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New Proposal Could Give U.S. Citzenship to 11 Million Illegal Immigrants

A group of eight Republican and Democratic senators have come together to agree upon an immigration reform that would allow 11 million illegal immigrants to eventually become American citizens. 

The agreement is made of strict enforcement measures, like better border security and visa exit tracking, which must go into effect before illegal residents are able to obtain legal residency.

Conservatives Marco Rubio of Florida, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Charles Schumer of New York, and Dick Durbins of Illinois support the plan, and hope that the broad range of political ideology will help put the plan into motion. 

Another group in the Senate introduced a plan to double the amount of US visas for immigrants who are highly-skilled. The hope is that this will lure them into leading fields in math, science, engineering and technology. 

The plan is hoped to be agreed upon by citizens of all political backgrounds. 

"First of all, Americans support it, in poll after poll," Sen. Robert Menendez said. "Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it."

It is to be formally announced on Monday, but details have already been leaked. The plan includes:

-'Probationary' legal status for illegal immigrants who register with the government, pass a criminal background check and pay back taxes and a fine

-Those immigrants will be allowed to legally work in the U.S. and will have a pathway to citizenship, but are not eligible for most government benefits

-Citizenship provisions will not take effect until border security is tightened and the U.S. installs effective tracking to ensure foreign visitors do not overstay their visas

-Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university

-Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that businesses do not hire illegal immigrants.

-Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn't recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program. 

-Loosening residency and citizenship restrictions for illegal immigrants who entered the country when they were children.

This year, Obama planned to make immigration reform one of his top priorities. On Tuesday, he is to give an immigration policy speech in Las Vegas, Nevada where he will discuss his own reformation plans. 

The president is favored by Hispanic voters, as he won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, compared to Romney's 29 percent. 

Though the proposal offers a "pathway to citizenship" to illegal immigrants, something many Republicans oppose, the strict requirements needed to obtain access to that pathway are hoped to win over the Republican-controlled House. 


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