Even as the Federal government continues to stay shut down, the Democrats have been in the process of coming up with their own new immigration bill in the hopes of being able to keep the reform process alive. The brand new bill still has a number of the same features as did the old one, which remains at a standstill in the House of Representatives.
Eleven million undocumented immigrants that are currently living in the United States would again be eligible to be granted temporary legal status within just six months, and be able to put in an application for citizenship in 13 years, providing they meet the requirements. Applicants would have to undergo background checks as well as have learned English and paid a fine.
The brand new bill would also keep the provisions that allow an additional amount of highly skilled immigrants to be able to come to the United States per year. USA Today says that the “House Plan” is a replacement for a $46 billion initiative on border security with a different proposal and would need 100% of US borders to be monitored by the Department of Homeland Security, an idea that Democrats hope will enable the bill to get through Congress and was originally proposed by Michael McCaul.
However, the Washington Post says that the Republicans do not believe that the bill will pass, with some saying the Democrats are merely showing that they are still trying. Others fear the Republicans are putting bipartisan immigration reform attempts on hold and using the government shutdown as the excuse.