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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GOP Releases Principles

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The House Republican leadership released their long-awaited statement of principles on immigration reform. The complete text can be found here. No big surprises, but it basically came down to the following:

- a single massive comprehensive bill is bad and the subject should be taken up in individual pieces
- the border must be secured and laws for violators need to be toughened further
- an entry-exit tracking system needs to be fully implemented
- e-Verify must be made mandatory for all employers
- the US needs to make it easier to bring in both high skilled and low skilled workers based on the needs of the country
- people who entered as children should be able to legalize if they join the military or attain a college degree
- people here illegally should be able to get right with the law if they admit their culpability, pass background checks, pay fines and back taxes, pass an English/civics test and be able to support themselves and their family without access to public benefits. No special path to citizenship (though existing paths available)

Not a very detailed document, but a welcome one. A lot of blanks will need to be filled in and we'll know more when we get actual bills introduced. For example, if there is no special path to citizenship and people must get to the back of the line, how do you avoid causing 50 year backlogs with our inadequate green card quotas? But this is so much better than what we were hearing from the GOP in the not too distant past that it's hard not to be impressed.

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