April 13th, 2013
01:09 PM ET
2 years ago

'Gang of Eight' sets cutoff date for citizenship under immigration deal

Washington (CNN) - Any undocumented immigrant who entered the country after December 31, 2011, will not be eligible for citizenship under terms of the immigration deal set to be unveiled Tuesday by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" senators, a Senate aide told CNN on Saturday.

Specifics of the program included in the legislation were among the details the eight senators - four Republicans and four Democrats - needed to iron out. Sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN this week the sweeping measure was on track to be unveiled Tuesday.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold their first public hearing on the legislation on Wednesday, followed most likely by committee markups in May and consideration by the full Senate in June, according to the sources.

The measure includes a 13-year path to citizenship that could affect up to roughly 11 million undocumented residents, as well as the creation of a system to assess border security.

Related: Partisan and generational divides over pathway to citizenship, polls show

The path to citizenship would take 10 years for undocumented workers to get a green card, and then another three years to gain citizenship.

Along the way, undocumented workers would have to pay a fine and back taxes and pass a background check. The size of the fine remains unclear.

No undocumented worker would be eligible for citizenship until the border is considered secure - a key sticking point for conservatives.

To measure border security, a commission would be created with the task of establishing and assessing a set of quantifiable criteria. The commission would be made up of officials named by state and federal leaders.

Several key Senate conservatives, including Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, remained convinced Friday the group's proposal would be tantamount to amnesty for people who initially entered or have illegally remained in the United States.

"It is likely millions of current and future illegal immigrants ... will benefit from this amnesty," he said in a statement.

The "Gang of Eight" includes Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

Viewed as a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, Rubio will make a full-court press on the issue on Sunday network talk shows, including CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley.

His aides said the round of appearances will not include any announcements, but it should be viewed as his "opening argument" on immigration reform.

Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives, meanwhile, have been working on their own immigration overhaul plan.

Details of the House blueprint are not yet available. But Florida Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a key Republican in the House group, told CNN on Thursday that House negotiators have reached an agreement on the major issues, including border security and a pathway to citizenship.

The congressman declined to give any timeline regarding when a House bill would likely be introduced.

– CNN's Candy Crowley and Jim Acosta contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. zzfly

    What does this mean to a guy who came here legally as a teenager, graduated from a university, got a job in a Fortune 100 Company, did everything legal and applied for H1B this year?

    April 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Eric H

    Citizenship for sell... I am just so disappointed right now. If this is not amnesty, then what is it? We are a country of laws. If you do not respect our laws, then you'll face the consequences. I hate when illegal immigrants demand immigration reform, even though they broke the laws. Every Latina women I see is pregnant. Wow... This is just a game for Democrats and Republicans to get more votes in the future. However, Republicans are so stupid if they think that they can get at least 10% more of the Latino votes in future elections. Even if this whole immigration reform was a Republican idea, Latinos will not vote for republicans in the future... Anyway, this is not the country our fathers dreamed in the past. Our fathers fought so hard for this country. this has become a country where everybody takes advantage of the government and where getting a US citizenship is easier than selling drugs...

    write your congressman and tell than we are a country of laws, and NOBODY is above the law...

    April 13, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. John Thomas

    The only thing 98% of them deserve is a Work Permit for 1 year. Then they go back home and a person who has waited their turn comes in on a work permit then they can stay for a year. DONE

    April 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. I hate criminals.

    Good, and if it annoys illegals and their anti American supporters even better

    April 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. Paul

    How are the Senators proposing to find these illegals that arrived after 2011 and how are they going to deport them? And, next question, why not just use that to deport all of the illegals?

    If eVerify is not part of the bill, then we are just going to end up with another group of illegals in a few years. This is just like the 1986 Amnesty all over again.

    April 13, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. jerry

    A cutoff date makes sense because it is humane to those who have already come but doesn't encourage people to come illegally in the future.

    April 13, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  7. CNN Clown Tom Foreman

    NO!!! This AMNESTY for Illegal Immigrants! There MUST be a provision to prevent any of these illegals from EVER getting Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, Food Stamps. No free handouts for the Illegals!

    April 13, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Tenie

    The sign should read "freebies, yes", because that is what this is really all about.

    April 13, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  9. sethmo

    Yeup. Worthless bill....

    April 13, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  10. Hogarth

    So this re-sets the clock for the next round of amnesty, 10 or 15 years in the future. Nothing changes. Everyone gets to go home thinking they won something. Awesome.

    April 13, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. barbarianofgor

    I say no amnesty, period...

    This is class warfare. The 1% want to flood the labor pool, just as they bleed jobs outside the USA. It's to lower the demand for skilled labor and increase the supply of basic labor.

    We still have more votes than 1%ers, tell your local official if they don't crack down on illegals and those that hire them you'll remember and donate lots of effort to getting them kicked out. Including running yourself, just to ensure they lose all their 'salary' (the real $ they get for running) paying for more ads.

    And look up "Jury Nullification". Make sure you are on the rosters to be called, if asked pretend you know nothin' bout no nullification, then nullify any crime against an illegal save that committed by employers and traffickers. They get hit by a car, well they probably threw themselves in front of the car to sue the driver and get welfare. Some crazy kidnaps a woman from say Canada and keeps her in a basement dungeon for all sorts of extreme 'fun' say "Not Guilty. Sorry, but if you were not in the country illegally, no crime in the country could have been committed against you." then when the judge is done dry heaving say "Your Honor, Mister Fred Kruger is a man of modest means and this trial has cost him dearly, please have the sheriff return the videos he legally made so he can sell them online." – Actually, just say "Not guilty" using the arguments for the Jury room, all you need to do!

    April 13, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. eviltaxpayer

    Put this to a vote to the LEGAL citizens of this country, I GUARANTEE its soundly rejected. But for liberals its simply another voting block, the taxpayers be damned.

    April 13, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. Grinning Libber

    The regressives lose again

    April 13, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Melvin Painter

    Why would any American want to have communities full of gangs, drugs, pregnant teens, overcrowded failing schools and prisons, drunks, DUIs, trashed neighborhoods, budgets in the red, rampant social program use, single mothers with at least 6 kids all with different last names, and drive-by shootings. Oh yeah, only those who want to get re-elected. If you don't believe me, check out "API Score parlier" or "city data parlier". Hell, you can do this with any city in the Central Valley of California, and you will get the same results.

    April 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Paul

    I'm fairly certain that Senator Michael Bennet is a democrat.

    April 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. J.R.

    Well there it is, a reward for been her illeglly.What have they done for us. Our goverment has no clue to what their doning, not to say they wont hold up to any of this. Send them all back and start over.

    April 13, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. gdouglaso

    So...they have to have entered before December 31, 2011...how do they prove this if they entered illegally in the first place? Would they honestly report their income and pay back taxes...seriously? I understand the need for reform and a solution - this seems to be a rather pathetic effort that tries to cover the key bases (e.g., back taxes and no ongoing amnesty) and therefore appease the voting public - but forgets that these people have violated the law in the first place (other than the fine). Others who have gone through the process legally have had to wait...and in many cases, never be admitted.

    April 13, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. socalpimp

    Hey, thats not fair!! What about the immigrants that come over tommorrow?

    April 13, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. morpheus1459

    And how are they going to determine when a person entered the US ? It's not like they punched a time clock when they crossed into the US. Then there's the children to account for also..... :>(

    Better think long and hard before you shake this hornets nest !

    April 13, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. John Campbell

    You want to bet that E-Verify will NOT be in either bill offered? This will be a total travesty if it happens. E-Verify, with verifiable, strict employer sanctions, if skirted, would do more towards stemming illegal immigration than 100,000 new border patrol officers.

    April 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Igor

    "...the eight senators – four Republicans and four Democrats. ... The "Gang of Eight" includes Sen. Michael Bennet, R-Colorado; Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina; Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona; Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey; Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois; and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York."
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have counted 5 Republicans and 3 Democrats, not 4 and 4.

    April 13, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. On Target

    My fore fathers have been let down....

    April 13, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. angeson

    Captain Spaulding

    April 13, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. Mary

    I don’t understand why they are going harder on them. If slaves can free and allow to work than what these poor immigrants did wrong in our country.

    April 13, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. JakeF

    Why not make it January 20, 2009? This was those who are completely out of touch can still blame Obama.

    April 13, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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