Despite his previous concerns with the immigration bill when it was first being drafted, Florida Rep. Marco Rubio has recently offered his full endorsement for the new legislation that could soon offer the undocumented immigrants in the U.S. a pathway to citizenship.
He gave his support this month after going on five major network talk shows and on the Spanish-language channels Telemundo and Univision. His endorsement, some are saying, is a clear signal that the plan is ready for scrutiny by the public and Congress as well.
Readers of our blog may remember last week’s post where we postulated that new immigration laws could be just around the corner. And with Rubio’s backing-he is one of the Gang of Eight working on the legislative bill-this seems very close to the truth. But with his endorsement Rubio also offers a warning that the new bill will offer a pathway to citizenship, not amnesty.
In his appearances on television networks, our Florida representative stressed that the process for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. may be a long and could carry a high price tag. In the proposed bill, registering immigrants may have to adhere to the same requirements as incoming immigrants and will still have to wait the same amount of time for their application to be processed.
There will also be a cost too, Rubio explains. As part of the plan, these immigrants will have to pay a $500 application fee for a temporary work permit. In addition, they will be required to pay $1,500 if they want to gain full citizenship. Rubio says that the plan also intends on putting better systems in place to verify employment and legal standings for people already in the country.
Despite what some may see as impassable hurdles, some would disagree saying that they’re not unreasonable, especially for those people who truly want a better life for themselves and their families in America.
Source: The New York Times, “Rubio Offers Full-Throated Support for Immigration Bill,” Ashley Parker and Brian Knowlton, April 14, 2013