A Bipartisan Agreement on Immigration and Border Security
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are currently engaged in a heated and largely partisan debate over immigration. In light of this gridlock, the Problem Solvers’ Caucus, the bipartisan group of representatives co-chaired by Tom Reed (R-NY) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), put forth a solution that secures the country’s borders and protects “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. The solution calls for the proposal to be passed as part of a long-term budget deal, which Congress has been unable to reach to date.
Here are five facts you need to know about the plan put forth by the Problem Solvers Caucus:
1. Current DACA recipients are eligible for a 12-year path to citizenship.
In order to qualify for citizenship, DACA recipients must have entered the country by June 15, 2012, have a clean criminal record, and have paid all their taxes. This is essentially a modified version of the DREAM Act.
2. But DACA recipients who receive legal status would not be able to sponsor any parent that brought them to the U.S. illegally.
Instead, a parent of a DACA recipient could be granted a three-year renewable status, which would come with work authorization. This would not include a pathway to citizenship.
3. Close to $1.6 billion would be appropriated for physical border security; these funds would support barrier infrastructure planning, design, and construction.
However, this structure would be subject to an environmental assessment and eminent domain report, among other review processes.
4. And another $1.1 billion would be allocated for non-barrier security.
This funding would support southwest border surveillance technology, assets, and equipment. It would also fund border patrol agent retention and relocation as well as improvements to the border-patrol hiring process.
5. The proposal would end the diversity visa lottery.
Half of the visas would be reallocated to immigrants from underrepresented priority countries through merit-based preference. (This would factor in education level, civic involvement, and meeting the country’s workforce needs, among other criteria.) The other half of the visas would be allocated to those with Temporary Protected Status, which allows people unable to return to their home countries temporary refuge in the U.S.
No Labels is an organization of Democrats, Republicans, and independents working to bring American leaders together to solve problems.