Congress is likely to ignore most of the White House version of immigration reform. This is especially true when it comes to their proposed "path to residency":
A draft of a White House immigration proposal obtained by USA TODAY would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years.
The plan also would provide for more security funding and require business owners to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. In addition, the nation's 11 million illegal immigrants could apply for a newly created "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa, under the draft bill being written by the White House.
If approved, they could then apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse or children living outside the country, according to the draft.
The bill is being developed as members in both chambers of Congress are drafting their own immigration bills. In the House, a bipartisan group of representatives has been negotiating an immigration proposal for years and are writing their own bill. Last month, four Republican senators joined with four Democratic senators to announce their agreement on the general outlines of an immigration plan.
One of those senators, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Obama's bill repeats the failures of past legislation and would be "dead on arrival" in Congress.
"It fails to follow through on previously broken promises to secure our borders, (and) creates a special pathway that puts those who broke our immigration laws at an advantage over those who chose to do things the right way and come here legally," Rubio said. "It would actually make our immigration problems worse."
The draft was obtained from an Obama administration official who said it was being distributed to various agencies. The official requested anonymity because he was not authorized to release the proposal publicly.
Rubio's concerns are more than justified. The White House would pay lip service to border security, which means that prior to the bill going into effect, there could be a massive human wave that crosses our borders looking to cash in on the "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" designation.
I think there is zero chance the residency portion of this bill will even be debated in Congress. It may be a sop to Hispanic groups, and not a serious legislative proposal. But it also makes anything that the bi-partisan groups come up with in Congress look mild by comparison and therefore, more acceptable.