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Gang of Eight (immigration)

In the United States of America, the Gang of Eight is a common colloquial term for the bi-partisan group of eight United States Senators—four Democrats and four Republicans—who wrote the first draft of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.[1] The group was also instrumental in bringing comprehensive immigration reform back to the legislative branch in early 2013.[2]

In June 2013, the immigration bill passed the Senate with a strong majority—68–32, with 14 Republicans joining all Democrats. The United States House of Representatives under Speaker John Boehner did not act on the bill, however, and it expired at the end of the 113th Congress.[3] This bill would have created reform that would have resolved some of the issues that were being debated during the 2018 government shutdown.[4]


In the context of proposed immigration reform, the Gang of Eight consists of the following four Democratic and four Republican senators:[5] Of the eight senators that originally composed the group, six remain in office.


According to a National Law review article: The policies envisioned by the Senators include the following provisions:[7]

  • A path to citizenship for illegal immigrants[8] already in the United States is contingent on certain border security and visa tracking improvements. The plan provides for permanent residence for illegal aliens only after legal aliens waiting for a current priority date receive their permanent residence status and a different citizenship path for agricultural workers through an agricultural worker program.
  • Business immigration system reforms, focusing on reducing current visa backlogs and fast tracking permanent residence for U.S. university student visa graduates with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math also known as the STEM fields.
  • An expanded and improved employment verification system for all employers to confirm employee work authorization.
  • Improved work visa options for low-skilled workers including an agricultural worker program.


  1. ^ Cox, Ramsey (April 17, 2013). "Schumer introduces comprehensive immigration reform bill". The Hill. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  2. ^ Roeper, Jennifer; Fowler White Boggs P.A. (February 21, 2013). "Immigration Reform Highlights from the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing". The National Law Review. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  3. ^ David Nakamura & Ed O'Keefe, Timeline: The rise and fall of immigration reform, Washington Post (June 26, 2014).
  4. ^ Bennet |, Michael (2017-01-15). "Donald Trump should look to Gang of Eight for immigration reform". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2019-01-30.
  5. ^ Alexander Bolton (24 May 2013). "Gang of Eight's strategy for winning immigration floor fight: Stick together". Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Senators Reach a Bipartisan Agreement for Comprehensive Immigration Reform". The National Law Review. Fowler White Boggs P.A. 2013-01-31. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
  7. ^ "Senators Propose Immigration Reform". The National Law Review. Varnum LLP. 2013-01-29. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  8. ^ "8 U.S. Code § 1101 - Definitions". Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2 November 2017.