Julia Preston in the NY Times has had an advanced look at the framework for the comprehensive bill. It's mostly what we've been talking about here for the last few days, but it looks like the citizenship path will have some hurdles:




According to a five-page draft of the plan obtained by The New York
Times on Sunday, the eight senators -- including Mr. McCain; Charles E.
Schumer, Democrat of New York; and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South
Carolina -- have agreed to address the failings of the immigration system
in one comprehensive measure, rather than in smaller pieces, and to
offer a "tough, fair and practical road map" that would eventually lead
to a chance at citizenship for nearly all of the immigrants here
illegally.



"We on the Democratic side have said that we are flexible and we want to
get a bill," Mr. Schumer told reporters in New York on Sunday. "But
there's a bottom line, and that's a path to citizenship for the 11 or so
million people who qualify. We've made great, great progress with our
Republican colleagues."



Under the senators' plan, most illegal immigrants would be able to apply
to become permanent residents -- a crucial first step toward citizenship
-- but only after certain border enforcement measures had been
accomplished.



Among the plan's new proposals is the creation of a commission of
governors, law enforcement officials and community leaders from border
states that would assess when border security measures had been
completed. A proposal would also require that an exit system be in place
for tracking departures of foreigners who entered the country through
airports or seaports, before any illegal immigrants could start on a
path to citizenship.



I think the exit control system should be possible considering much work on this was done before the US VISIT project was abandoned. As for the border commission, I worry about the injection of politics in the process. The language will need to be very carefully writte n to ensure it works as envisioned. Also, if legalization beneficiaries have the conventional green card options available to them, that will help prevent the commission from leading to new problems down the road.