Yesterday a gang of eight senators -- four Democrats and four Republicans -- announced plans to try yet again to push comprehensive immigration reform through the Senate. The plan is based largely on a 2007 bill that failed after a bi-partisan filibuster.
We don't know much at this point. All the senators offered yesterday was a brief outline of principles. The details will follow later. But as the saying goes, "The devil is in the details."
We do know that this plan includes a "pathway to citizenship" for illegal immigrants in the country. However, the senators claim they are making border security a priority because illegal immigrants would not be allowed to apply for citizenship until the borders are secured and verifiable systems are in place to make sure that foreign visitors are not overstaying their visas. The plan would also require the use of an employer verification system.
Critics are blasting the plan because it essentially grants illegal immigrants an immediate "probationary legal status," allowing them to stay and work in the country as long as they can pass a background check. This is a quasi-amnesty that effectively codifies the controversial executive orders halting deportations that President Obama issued last summer.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been involved in this effort. He called into Rush Limbaugh's show today to stress that he would not back any final bill that did not include strict border security triggers.
Meanwhile, President Obama is unveiling his plans for immigration reform at a rally in Las Vegas today. According to various reports, the president's proposal would have a faster pathway to citizenship because it would not include border security mandates.
Obama's plan is also expected to pander to the homosexual rights crowd by granting green cards to the foreign same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens regardless of the marriage laws of their states.