Millions of undocumented immigrants would enjoy legal protection and, eventually, a possible path to citizenship under general legislation unveiled on Tuesday that would also step up efforts to secure the US southern border.
Under the “dignity programproposed by Rep. Maria Elvira SalazarR-Fla., undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least five years would be allowed to work legally while contributing $1,000 a year to a new fund supporting job training for American workers.
After 10 years, immigrants would become eligible for a five-year “redemption program” requiring civic education and community service, and could be considered eligible for citizenship through existing naturalization procedures.
“If you have been here in this country for more than five years, working, paying taxes, not committing any crime, then you can come out of the shadows and live a dignified life,” said Salazar. journalists during a press call on Tuesday morning, before officially presenting the bill.
The legislation would also allow undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, often called Dreamers, and holders of Temporary Protected Status to adjust their status to lawful permanent residence.