Details are starting to emerge surrounding a new bipartisan immigration bill which, if passed into law, would provide a legal path to immigration for millions of undocumented immigrants formerly denied such an opportunity.
Undocumented immigrants would have to pay $2,000 in fines as well as some fees to embark on a thirteen-year path to legal citizenship, which would only come into play once the U.S. has secured its border with Mexico.
If undocumented citizens arrived in the U.S. prior to December 31, 2011, and stayed continuously since, the bill would allow them to apply for provisional legal status as soon as six months after the measure would be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The new legislation would also create new immigration opportunities for both low- and high-skill workers, while employers would be under more pressure to verify the immigration status of their employees.
The bill would also pour billions of dollars into new international border controls, including 3,500 new federal agents on the Mexican border and surveillance drones.
A bipartisan effort, shepherded by the so-called "Gang of Eight," is responsible for the compromise legislation: Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado, along with Republican Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida.