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'Gang of 8' Senators unveil immigration reform proposal

by Take Two®

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Mexicans members of migrants organizations hold signs during a protest in front of the US embassy against the trafficking of weapons to Mexico and the failure of the US immigration reform, on January 21, 2013, in Mexico City. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

Immigration reform is getting its moment in the sun. In just a couple of hours, a bi-partisan group of Senators nicknamed "the gang of eight" will unveil their proposal for overhauling the nation's immigration policies.

The plan includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants already here. For perspective, the last major immigration reform effort in 1986 legalized three million people.

UPDATE 10:18 a.m.: According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the senators will call for accomplishing four goals:

  • Creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on 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 employers do not hire undocumented immigrants in the future, including requiring prospective workers to verify legal status and identity through a non-forgeable electronic system.
  • 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.

For more details on how the Senators' plan would work we turn to National Journal reporter Fawn Johnson. For analysis of the Senate proposal, we're joined by Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who has worked with several state legislators to draft strict immigration bills, including SB1070 in Arizona, and Angela Maria Kelley is the Vice President of immigration policy for the Center for American Progress in Washington.

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