Today, the long awaited immigration principles were released. Here is the document. DRAFT Standards for Immigration Reform 1 29 14.
In essence, regarding a pathway to citizenship, citizenship will be considered for youth who entered as children but everyone else will have the opportunity to legalize. To become legal, people will have to do the following:
1. Admit culpability. 2. Pass background checks. 3. Pay signficant fines and back taxes 4. Speak English and learn American civics and 5. Be financially self-sufficient.
Those who have criminal concvictions, are gang members and are sex offenders and those who do not do 1-5 above, will not be able to legalize.
I think there is room for negotiation on these specific details and I trust this is the beginning of a fruitful debate.
The concern I have is that the very last sentence of the document says that the enforcement triggers will have to be implemented first before anyone can start the process of legalization. The debates and practicalities of border security will be complicated and time consuming.
I will write more later on the other issues raised in the above document. In the meantime, here is a NY Times article that helpfully sums up what the Senate bill says (already passed) and what the corresponding House action is.
In sum, I think this will be the start to ending the standstill on the immigration reform discussion.