By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Apr 16, 2013

President Barack Obama on Tuesday lauded the sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration system put forward by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, saying it was “largely consistent” with his own principles for immigration reform.

“This bill is clearly a compromise, and no one will get everything they wanted, including me. But it is largely consistent with the principles that I have repeatedly laid out for comprehensive reform,” said Obama.

The major unveiling of the draft bill was delayed because of the deadly bombings in Boston. But a detailed outline of the draft bill was released.

The outline stated that undocumented immigrants, who came to the U.S. before December 31, 2011 and have stayed in the country continuously, could apply for provisional legal status, as soon as six months after the bill is signed by the president.

They would also be allowed to work legally in the country, after paying a $500 penalty and any back taxes. The draft also proposed to expand work visas for low and high-skilled foreign workers.

After ten years, undocumented immigrants may adjust to lawful permanent resident status, if they meet certain requirements such as continuous work in the U.S. and a demonstrated knowledge of civics and English.

The Senate proposals also maintained that the U.S. borders will be even more tightened to prevent further illegal entry.

There outline also contained an entry which stated efforts to reduce the long backlog for family-based immigration petitions.

David Leopold, past president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said the Senate’s draft is a “major step forward to fixing our very badly broken immigration system.”

Leopold said he expects partisan opposition to the bill during its deliberation, but said he believes the senators will be able to hash it out.

You may contact Henni Espinosa at henni_espinosa@abs-cbn.com for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • concernedfilam
    17 April 2013 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    This will cost trillions in welfare and health care

  • noz
    20 April 2013 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    that’s why obama, the big time spender and borrower likes the ideas. both sides of the political aisles are clearly agreeing simply for political posturing. i bet you if put through referendum, majority of people tired of being overtaxed will vote for all these illegal aliens deported.