Marco Rubio Among Eight-Member Bipartisan Group Behind Immigration Reform Deal

A group of eight Democratic senators and Republican senators have decided to stop it already with all the bickering and do some bipartisan work and have released an immigration reform framework that includes a "path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants -- a day earlier than when Obama is supposed to announce his own ideas for reform.

The group includes Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, John McCain of Arizona, Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, and our very own Marco Rubio.

Bottom line: The senators' proposal would give a pathway to residency, and citizenship, to many of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

The plan is highlighted by something the Gang of Eight (lame, we know) refers to as four Legislative Pillars:

1. Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required.

2. Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families.

3. Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers.

4. Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation's workforce needs while simultaneously protecting all workers.

An increase in funding for aerial drones and equipment to guard U.S. borders and create a commission of border state officials is also on the docket.

The Erudite Eight (yeah, that's actually worse than Gang of Eight -- sorry) are hopeful that the framework to draft legislation could be up for a vote in the Senate in the coming months.

Immigration reform bills have met a quick and painful death in the past (because, politics!). And the last comprehensive immigration plan died in the Senate in 2007 (because, politics!).

But the fact that Hispanic voters did not show for GOPers last November just might have been the game-changer everyone has been waiting for (because, politics!).

There really is no other explanation why this would be the one issue Republicans are suddenly veering left(ish) over.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph