A bipartisan group of senators who are aiming to reform immigration legislation is known as the “Gang of Eight.”
The representatives include Sens. Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin, Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, and Michael Bennet, according to The Washington Post
Their DREAM Act legislation was first presented in 2013 and provides amnesty to the more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States, according to USA Today
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The law grants temporary legal status for at least 10 years to undocumented aliens so long as they pass a background check, learn English, pay taxes, and give at least $2,000 in fines. They would be allowed to apply for citizenship within 13 years.
The legislation also includes adding $6.5 billion to secure the border, requiring business owners to review the immigration status of hires, and reforming short-term visas to bring in high-tech and lower-skilled workers.
The Gang of Eight’s law is the first major immigration reform bill since 2007.
The legislation has been largely more unfavorable in the conservative crowd, placing Rubio and Graham, two 2016 Republican presidential candidates, in a spot to defend their proposals in their campaigning, according to Radio Iowa
The topic hits home for Rubio as he is the son of a Cuban immigrant, and while he resisted joining the group at first, he later contributed as he realized the proposal worked in accordance with his ideas, The Washington Post reported.
Graham has said the Republican party cannot survive without pushing for reform on immigration.
McCain has advocated for immigration reform, though as a 2008 presidential candidate he was a proponent of closing the border made memorable by the “complete the dang fence” political advertisement.
Flake, Schumer, and Bennet have all made bipartisan moves to propose immigration reform in the past.
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Durban authored the original DREAM Act, which focused on providing illegal immigrant students a path to citizenship. Menendez promoted this act and introduced reform of his own in 2010.
Other gangs of eight exist on a more local level, including a group of four Democrats and four Republicans in Oregon’s House and Senate working on transportation funding issues, according to The Oregonian
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