Republican 15 year Path to Legalization

Under the “dignity program” proposed by Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years would be allowed to work legally while paying $1,000 annually into a new fund supporting job training for American workers.

After 10 years, the immigrants would become eligible for a five-year “redemption program” requiring civics education and community service, and could be considered eligible for citizenship through existing procedures for naturalization.

“If you have been here in this country for more than five years, you have been working, you have been paying taxes, you have not committed a crime — then you can come out of the shadows and live a dignified life,” Salazar told reporters during a press call Tuesday morning, before officially introducing the draft bill.

The legislation also would allow undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, often called Dreamers, and Temporary Protected Status holders to adjust their status to lawful permanent residency.

Participants in the Dignity Program would have to pass a criminal background check, pay back taxes, start paying income taxes on new wages and pay $10,000 in restitution over 10 years to the federal government for entering the country illegally.

At the end of 10 years, participants in the Dignity Program would have the option of continuing work in the country as legal residents under a renewable visa or they could enter a five-year “Redemption Program,” which would provide a pathway to citizenship for participants who make payments of $2,500 every 20 months to the American Worker Fund and who study English and U.S. civics.

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