The Washington Examiner's Byron York explains:
A little-noticed exception in the Gang of Eight bill provides a fast track for many -- possibly very many -- currently illegal immigrants. Under a special provision for immigrants who have labored at least part-time in agriculture, that fast track could mean permanent residency in the U.S., and then citizenship, in half the time Rubio said. And not just for the immigrants themselves -- their spouses and children, too.
A second provision in the legislation creates another fast track for illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 -- the so-called Dreamers. The concept suggests youth, but the bill has no age limit for such immigrants -- or their spouses and children -- and despite claims that they must go to college or serve in the military to be eligible, there is an exception to that requirement as well.
The Gang of Eight bill creates a new immigration classification -- the blue card. Blue cards are granted to illegal immigrant agricultural workers who step forward and pass background checks. But instead of the promised 10-year waiting period, blue card holders could receive permanent legal status in just five years. Additionally, York notes that the farm worker's spouse and children can also be granted blue cards on the same application.
There's more. If an illegal immigrant is apprehended by authorities after the passage of the bill, and appears to qualify for blue card status, the law requires the Department of Homeland Security to give him a "reasonable opportunity" to apply for blue card status. He cannot be deported while his application is under review. Even if he is in removal proceedings, the bill says, the Secretary of Homeland Security is required to allow him to apply for blue card status, and immigration authorities are required to "terminate [removal] proceedings without prejudice."
- Politics & Government
- Immigration Issues
- illegal immigrants