Gang of Eight (immigration)
In the United States of America, the Gang of Eight is a common colloquial term for the bi-partisan group of eight United States Senators who wrote the 2013 comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill. The group was also instrumental in bringing comprehensive immigration reform back to the legislative branch in the spring of 2013.
Collectively, these eight senators wrote the first draft of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, commonly known as "the immigration bill". The House of Representatives has not acted on this bill after it was passed by the Senate.
In the context of proposed immigration reform, the Gang of Eight consists of the following four Democratic senators and four Republican senators:
- Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO
- Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-IL
- Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ
- Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC
- Sen. John McCain, R-AZ
- Sen. Bob Menendez, D-NJ
- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL
- Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY
The policies envisioned by the Senators include the following provisions:
- A citizenship path for illegal aliens already in the United States is contingent on certain border security and visa tracking improvements. The plan provides for permanent residence for illegal aliens only after legal immigrants waiting for a current priority date receive their permanent residence status and a different citizenship path for agricultural workers through an agricultural worker program.
- Business immigration system reforms, focusing on reducing current visa backlogs and fast tracking permanent residence for U.S. university immigrant graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math also known as the STEM fields.
- An expanded and improved employment verification system for all employers to confirm employee work authorization.
- Improved work visa options for low-skilled workers including an agricultural worker program.
- Roeper, Jennifer; Fowler White Boggs P.A. (February 21, 2013). "Immigration Reform Highlights from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing". The National Law Review. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
- Cox, Ramsey (April 17, 2013). "Schumer introduces comprehensive immigration reform bill". The Hill. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- Alexander Bolton (24 May 2013). "Gang of Eight's strategy for winning immigration floor fight: Stick together". TheHill.com. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
- "Senators Reach a Bipartisan Agreement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform". The National Law Review. Fowler White Boggs P.A. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Senators Propose Immigration Reform". The National Law Review. Varnum LLP. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2015-07-31.