Bipartisan path to citizenship announcedPosted: Updated:
On Monday, lawmakers in Washington laid out the blueprint for a bipartisan plan focusing on comprehensive immigration reform.
President Barack Obama will make an official announcement Tuesday in Las Vegas.
Here are the four basic principals:
• Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for illegal immigrants that is contingent on border security.
• Reform the system in a way that boosts the economy.
• Establish an effective employment verification program.
• Reform the system of admitting future workers.
Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain are two of the lawmakers leading the charge.
"We have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawn, serve our food, clean our homes and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great," said McCain.
Members of the immigrants rights group, Promise Arizona, gathered on the lawn of the state capitol late Monday morning. Group Director Petra Falcon called the plan a mixed bag.
"I like the part that talks about the pathway to citizenship. That's what we wanted. We didn't just want a jobs program. What we don't like is continuing to add to an enforcement budget that keeps talking about walls and technology that quite frankly I don't think we need," said Falcon.
The proposal also has a pathway to citizenship specifically for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children. Valley resident Daniel Rodriguez was brought into this country by his mother when he was 7 years old.
"I grew up here. I went to church here. I went to school here. It just makes sense to let me move on with my life, let me get my driver's license and let me get to work," said Rodriguez.
The federal government isn't the only one working on immigration reform. Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin is working on a proposal of his own. [Click here to read Tobin's full proposal (PDF)]
A representative said Tobin believes a pathway to citizenship doesn't need to be part of the discussion because the majority of people coming into the country are here for work and not to seek citizenship.
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