A group of eight Democratic and Republicans senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio, will officially release a bipartisan immigration plan, just a day before the president addresses the highly charged topic in a Las Vegas speech.
The five-page plan from the Gang of Eight contains most of the key concepts Rubio has presented to conservative media figures over the past month. The senators want to draft legislation by March. Download Gang of 8 plan
Most controversially, the proposal would give a pathway to residency – and even citizenship – to many of the estimated 11 million immigrants unlawfully in the United States.
While some conservatives call it amnesty, Rubio says it’s not because the immigrants would have to pay fines, back taxes and undergo a criminal background check – a similar proposal made by President Obama in May 2011.
“We can't round up millions of people and deport them,” Rubio wrote Sunday in the Las Vegas Review Journal, the home paper of Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid.
“But we also can't fix our broken immigration system if we provide incentives for people to come here illegally - precisely the signal a blanket amnesty would send,” Rubio wrote.