Member of Senate “Gang of Eight” Michael Bennet (D-CO)

After months of bipartisan negotiations the Senate Gang of Eight has finally released their immigration reform bill. You can read the entire 844 pages of the bill here. The all encompassing bill covers a range of immigration, employment and border security issues.

Some key components of the bill include 1) increased funding for border security, 2) a temporary legal status for the roughly 11 million current undocumented immigrations that after more than a decade would lead to a potential path to citizenship, 3) a shorter pathway to citizenship for young people brought to the country as children, 4) substantial changes to future immigration and visa systems and 5) several new provisions to help prevent people in the future from working in the country illegally.

The bill will first face a full mark up in committee followed by a long Senate floor debate. If it is approved it will head to the House where it will face its strongest opposition.

As a result, this bill will likely represent the left most post of possible reform measures. Any final compromise will probably move primarily to the right to gain support in the Republican controlled House. Given how many interest groups were forced to make compromises to put together this bill, though, it is unlikely it will be dramatically changed and still become law. Any really big changes would probably destroy the delicate interlocking series of compromises.

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