April 13th, 2013
01:09 PM ET
12 months 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. bankrupt1

    Punish the corporations that used illegal people to bust unions. Basically making slaves out of them. Some lived in barracks near the sites. They wanted people that were unlikely to complain. It was illegal and they got away with it.

    April 13, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. Noah

    The Colorado senator is a democrat.

    April 13, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. NorCalMojo

    Border security is a distraction. Without everify and fines for illegal employers, there will still be a market for illegal labor.

    As long as there's a demand for them, they'll keep coming, fences or no fences.

    April 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Eric

    So, if I legally immigrated my wife and step child in 2004 and cost nearly $2,000 to become permanent residence does that mean I get a refund as well as we can file their naturalization paperwork for free?

    April 13, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Dean T

    As a true free market supporter and capitalist, I support this reform. People who say that this will reduce the wages for Americans, don't realize that they are in fact supporting labor restriction which is a socialist idea, a complete opposite of what this great country stands for. Free Market means free movement for labor and supply and demand sets the prices. By restricting supply, we can artificially improve the price but that's against the basic laws of economics and would be detrimental in the long run. For people who think their wages have gone down, y'all néed to realize that your wages are actually being corrected according to supply and demand. They haven't gone down, but you were being paid MORE in the first place. If you want to earn more, the economic principle is simple. Upgrade your skills. I know it sounds harsh, but that's the truth. If you want to go the socialist route, you may want to move to China or Russia. I am a business owner and I hire workers based on the value I get for the price I pay regardless of if they are American, British, Somali, men, women or gay/lesbian.

    April 13, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  6. lisa normand, neal HARVILLE

    8. Committee determines pathway rules to u s citizenship.

    April 13, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. NotYoDaddy

    Ban Assault Immigrants Now!!!

    (two birds, one stone)

    April 13, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Chris

    Well now, who says that CRIME doesn't pay? First, we've been feeding, housing, schooling, and taking care of health issues for all of these ILLEGAL ALIENS for years and now our government wants to HAND them a pass to citizenship! Are they going to pay back all of those freebies they took? Nooooooooooooooo, they are not! Are they going to make amends to all of those legal citizens who did not receive any of that aid because it was used up? Noooooooooooo, they are not! In other words, now they get citizenship and will officially take benefits from US CITIZENS. Shame on our government once again.

    April 13, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  9. chris

    It is disgusting to see how fast politicians are racing over themselves to sell out our country for a future voting bloc. We have immigration laws...so because people chose to violate them, they make up new laws because its "too hard" to enforce the ones on the book. At a time when we are still having record unemployment, stagnant wages and cultural issues because they refuse to assimilate, is this the right thing to do?

    Lets be honest here, I know many mexicans, grew up around them, went to school with them, I am 50% hispanic. I am from Los Angeles, Most do not give a rats *** about the United States. They care about a better life for themselves and their kids, which is understandable. So lets stop saying that they "want to be Americans" because they don't. WHen I was in high school, I went with a friend and his family to Mexico. When I came back I was talking to some friends at school about the trip. I was overheard saying something like "mexico sucks" (it did). After class I was jumped by four Mexicans "Gangtas" because I was talking bad about their country. Funny huh? You would think that Since they were in America, that they would consider USA their country. But this is not how these people think. Which is why whe therre is some "immigrant rights (anti deportation)" rally, you see all the mexican flags and spanish language signs....because they don't care about our country.

    Which brings us back to the entire reason for this bill. The reason for this bill is votes. Legal us Citizen Hispanics are racist. They want more people who look and act like themselves in this country and will vote for whomever will give that to them. Which is why they vote en masse for the Dems, The reason for this bill is so that the pathetic republicans can hopefully get some of those votes.

    I guess we better all learn spanish.

    April 13, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. rla

    Oh yea another unenforcable part of stupid legislation! Oh by the way what is the cost of this piece of horse droppings??? Don't hear much about that do you???

    April 13, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Carlos

    The Daily Mail, UK shows videos of hundreds of illegals crossing into the US like flies to honey to be included in the amnesty that Democrats and President Obama promised.
    A Childrens hospital has 90% anchor children with CHIP/Medicaid and WICK, we pay all medical care, medicines, transportation or reimbursement for gas, nurses at home as PT.
    While the working poor do not qualify, and I am talking about Americans and Legal Residents that have not stepped on any USA Law.
    No country in the world grants instant citizenship to children of illegals plus instant benefits from the moment they get pregnant, free groceries, milk, cheese, vitamins, etc that the working stiff many times can not affort.
    Call your Congressman and demand to stop the abuse of anchor children and illegals, that now come with tourists agencies from China to give free birth here and that at 18 they can bring a chain of relatives.

    April 13, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. america the puss country!!!!!!

    I for one will never obey or follow any law ever again.I am almost embarrassed to be an American anymore.

    April 13, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Mike

    I think we may have something

    April 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. Texas

    Sadly, with the amount of drugs and criminals coming acreoss the boarder daily, Amnsety of any kind will only incite more to come across in hopes of the next round of amnesty. The only thing that will really work would be a huge wall with the national guard on top.

    April 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. mary vance

    Seems interesting that Congress is working on a way to help folks who have already broken the law. Wonder what help I would get in another country? Additionally, do we not have worse issues that Congress could be working on? The Economy? The National Debt? The large numbers of unemployed?

    April 13, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. San

    Unless the border is secured and no more illegal sneak through, this legalization is illegal and irresponsible. Legalizing these illegal folks is no different from freeing convicted felons and even going further by giving them right and incentivising illegal entry.

    April 13, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Jerry Moses

    Is there anyone out there who seriously thinks that the' ILLEGAL MEXICANS' out there will pay any attrention to the passing of the new bills. Why should they, nothing will be done to them if they don't. Has anyone thought about what it will take to enforce these so called PROVISIONS. It will be like every thing else our Government touches, someome will get something out of it in order to stay in office, and then it will be forgotten !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "NUFFSAID"

    April 13, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  18. bribarian

    Deport or impeach

    April 13, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  19. Lisa

    Twenty five years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed an amnesty meant for 1 million illegal aliens to gain citizenship. Instead, over 4.1 million illegal aliens applied for and received citizenship for crossing over US borders illegally. Later, Reagan said, “The amnesty was the worst mistake of my presidency.”

    Now they want to give citizenship to another 11 million people who broke our law and entered our country illegally. I don't think people here illegally have any rights, not even the right to demand "rights". When will this stop?

    April 13, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. Californian

    If they can falsify Social Security numbers and drivers licenses, they can falsify the times of arrivals.

    April 13, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. Common Sense

    How are you going to know when they arrived if they are "Undcoumented"? I'd hop the fence and say I"ve been here for years!

    April 13, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Roger

    They should set the date to when the bill is signed into law.

    April 13, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Joe in Kalispell

    How about changing the cut-off date to 2006?

    April 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. johnsmith

    Same deal was cut in the 80's, with border security guarantees and promises of never again. Selling a once great nation down the third world sewer, one generation at a time. When the rule of law is a joke, the rule of law is treated like a joke.

    April 13, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. JohnRJohnson

    Sessions would have been right at home in the Confederacy. He's a throwback to the days of Strom Thurmond. "Can't let those wetbacks steal our liberty". Republicans in Congress are the only people I know who turn "amnesty" into a dirty word. If you don't give illegal immigrants amnesty, what are you going to do with them? Round them all up and bus them back across the border to a country many of them have never set foot in? Are you going to make them a permanent underclass of people who continue to exist in an underground economy? Are you that intent on making sure that none of the children of these people has a chance to go to college and contribute to our society? I mean, what is the ideal Republican plan for illegals? All they can talk about is what they're against.

    April 13, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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