The Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform bill sets up a pretty long path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants — with a somewhat nasty catch. It will take about 13 years for immigrants to become full citizens, but for at least 10 of those years, they won’t be able to access any of the means-tested federal benefits they’re paying into. “Current restrictions preventing non-immigrants from accessing federal public benefits will also apply to lawful probationary immigrants,” the Gang of Eight said in a joint statement, a point Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reiterated in stronger terms independently.
While visiting the annual Miami conference of the Hispanic Leadership Network, a conservative Latino organization, ThinkProgress asked several conference-goers whether they thought it was fair that immigrants on a pathway to citizenship weren’t able to access benefits that they were paying into. Here is what they said: