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Republican Principles on Immigration Reform

A recent report from the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), shows that between 4.4 and 6.5 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. would be able to obtain U.S. citizenship under the immigration principles of the Republicans. This will happen if the U.S. Congress takes the step-by-step approach to immigration reform that the House Republicans prefer. House Speaker John Boehner and the other GOP leaders are likely to release the immigration principles before President Obama delivers the State of Union speech on 28th January.

Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., is not in favor of the path to citizenship that the Senate immigration reform bill includes. He is developing an alternative to the Senate bill. Goodlatte’s proposal would grant provisional legal status to the country’s undocumented immigrants. Such immigrants who receive provisional status would be permitted to apply for green cards through current system, if they are eligible for legal status in the U.S. They would be permitted to apply for legal status based on family or employer sponsorship.

NFAP came with its estimates based on the immigration principles of the House. It says that between 4.4 and 6.5 million immigrants who are living illegally in the U.S. would become eligible for citizenship under the immigration principles of the House. This also includes the young undocumented immigrants who would become eligible for citizenship under some legislation similar to that of the DREAM Act.

Members of the House rejected the comprehensive reform bill that the Senate passed in June 2013. Conservative Republicans are not in favor of the citizenship path included in the Senate bill and their new principles will not be based on the Senate bill. Their principles would include a legal process through which the undocumented immigrants would be permitted to obtain legal status after they pay their taxes and fines.

Undocumented immigrants will not automatically qualify for U.S. citizenship under this new proposal. They would initially be permitted to apply for provisional status and later for green cards based on employer or family sponsorship. They would then be permitted to apply for U.S. citizenship under the common path to citizenship.

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