In an attempt to make swift moves on immigration reform, President Obama will unveil his plan in Las Vegas, Nevada today. After winning a historical 71% of the Latino vote in November, Obama chose to lay down his proposal in a state where over a quarter of the population is Latino.
The president's plan will come a day after a group of influential senators unveiled their own proposal, which includes a path to legal status, new border security measures and tighter restrictions on employers. Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona are working to complete the immigration bill before President Obama’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12.
According to the Associated Press, administration officials said Obama would largely endorse the senators' efforts, but immigration advocates expect the president's proposals to be even more liberal and include a faster path to citizenship.
Obama's previous proposals for creating a pathway to citizenship required those already in the U.S. without documentation to register with the government and submit to security checks; pay registration fees, a series of fines and back taxes; and learn English. After eight years, individuals would be allowed to become legal permanent residents and could eventually become citizens five years later.
Most of the recommendations Obama will make today are expected to mimic his May 2011 immigration blueprint, which disappointed Latinos when it didn't get passed by Congress during his first term. Obama's original plan centered on four key areas: a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S., improved border security, an overhaul of the legal immigration system and an easier process for businesses to verify the legal status of workers.
While it's unclear whether Obama's immigration legislation will pass through the Democratic-controlled Senate, the biggest hurdle is getting it by the largely conservative Republican House that has shown little interest in immigration reform.
What do you want President Obama's immigration plan to include?