2013 Immigration Reform Bill

immigration reform


  • The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 was developed by a bipartisan Senate panel known as the “Gang of 8”
  • FL Sen. Marco Rubio (R) and NY Sen. Chuck Schumer have been the leading voices in support of the Act
  • There are approximately 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the country, and this bill seeks to provide solutions for those here now and future immigrants

What does it propose?

  • Border Security
    • DHS Secretary to propose a strategy for securing the border, if the strategy is not 90% effective then a commission will be established to implement stronger plan
    • Increased funding for customs agents, authorizes the National Guard to be deployed to SW border, increases surveillance systems and funding for border protection
  • Immigrants
    • Illegal immigrants may obtain Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status if they were in the US prior to 2012, are not felons, and pay a $500 penalty fee
    • Immigrants with RPI status can work for any employer and travel outside the US
    • RPI status lasts for 6 years and is renewable, provided no felonies or deportable acts
    • Immigrants with RPI status are not eligible for means-tested public benefit (e.g. food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, etc.)
    • After 10 years with RPI status, an immigrant can apply to be a “lawful permanent resident” and apply for full citizenship
  • Employment
    • All employers will be required to use E-Verify (government web program that verifies immigration status and eligibility to work in the US)
    • All non-citizens will be required to show a “biometric work authorization card” with a photo that must match exactly with photo from E-Verify
  • Skilled Immigrants
    • Increases temporary visa allowance through a “merit-based” visa system for those holding advanced degrees

What Supporters Say

  • Balanced, fair approach to reforming immigration.  Provides reasonable pathway to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants while penalizing them for entering illegally (thus not amnesty)
  • The plan provides for better, more efficient border security
  • Corrects bad current policy of limiting temporary visas to skilled professionals

What Opponents Say

  • It’s amnesty – instantly legalizes 11 million people who broke our laws by illegally entering the country
  • There is no guarantee on border security, bill only calls for a plan to be submitted by DHS and if the plan is unsuccessful then a committee is formed.  The bill will not adequately stop the flow of more illegal immigrants.
  • Long-term cost to taxpayers would be huge.  Allowing millions more people access to entitlement and welfare benefits would further stretch a system already headed toward bankruptcy



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