Several randomly selected UTSA students said although a White House plan calls for green cards or permanent residency within eight years for undocumented immigrants, they support the path to citizenship that is already part of a bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration reform.
“If it’s not leading to citizenship than what is the overall point, other than being here and sending money back to your family,” said Ryan Thornburge.
However, Nathan Bice also saw some benefit to permanent residency if they meet the requirements.
“If you can prove yourself in eight years, that’s a big chunk of your life that you’ve dedicated to the country and working, so that makes sense to me,” Bice said.
The White House's “Plan B” that leaked over the weekend creates “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visas to live and work in America, if they pay back taxes and learn English, U.S. history and civics.
The framework that could wind up in Congress includes a path to citizenship that starts at the back of the line, background checks, and other aspects in the alternate plan, including increased border security and verifying the legal status of new employees.
Republican leaders like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, one of the “Gang of Eight” who devised the bipartisan proposal, already have declared the White House plan “dead on arrival.”
George Rodriguez, president of the conservative South Texas Alliance for Progress, said he supports Rubio’s assessment.
Rodriguez said, “This is further evidence that Obama only wants to play politics and ignore consulting Republicans, even while negotiations are ongoing.”