USA Today obtained a draft of the White House’s immigration bill, which the administration has been working on as a fallback option in case the House and Senate become bogged down crafting their own legislation. According to the draft, the bill would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for green cards in eight years (a prerequisite to citizenship) provided they learn English, study “the history and government of the United States,” and pay any back taxes they owe. The bill also would increase the number of border patrol agents and add 140 immigration judges to help process violations faster.
One glaring omission: the White House draft did not yet include its plan for future immigration, a contentious area that could include a guest worker program favored by business. The AFL-CIO and Chamber of Commerce are engaged in talks on a compromise proposal for bringing in immigrant workers for low skill jobs but they’ve yet to produce a plan.