Posted on February 18, 2013

Obama Proposes New Visa for Illegal Immigrants

Orlando Sentinel, February 17, 2013

The White House is circulating a draft immigration bill that would create a new visa for illegal immigrants living in the United States and allow them to become legal permanent residents within eight years, according to a report published online Saturday by USA Today.

President Obama’s bill would create a “lawful prospective immigrant” visa for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. The bill includes more security funding and requires business owners to adopt a system for verifying the immigration status of new hires within four years, the newspaper said.

The bill would require that immigrants pass a criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to qualify for the new visa. Immigrants who served more than a year in prison for a criminal conviction or were convicted of three or more crimes and were sentenced to a total of 90 days in jail would not be eligible. Crimes committed in other countries that would bar immigrants from legally entering the country would also be ineligible.

{snip} Immigrants would be eligible to apply for a green card within eight years if they learned English and U.S. history and government, and they would later be eligible to become U.S. citizens.