The Proposals

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Monday, March 27, 2006

A look at how the major immigration proposals would affect businesses:

House-passed legislation

· Requires employers to verify the legal status of employees. It subjects employers to criminal penalties of a year or more in prison. It also sets civil fines of up to $50,000 for each illegal hire.

· Does not include a guest-worker program.

Proposal of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.)

· Requires employers to verify legal status of employees. An employer who has knowingly hired more than 10 illegal workers in one year could face up to 10 years in prison.

· Expands guest-worker program, authorizing immigrants to work for three years. They may reapply for another three years, then must return home for a year before again applying to the program.

Proposal of Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.)

· Allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the country for six years under temporary work visas if they pay a $1,000 fine and pass background checks. They can later apply for permanent residence and citizenship if they pay an additional $1,000, are proficient in English and civics, and pay all back taxes.

· Allows 400,000 new guest workers into the country each year. It permits immigrants to stay in the country for up to six years under temporary work visas. Applicants would have to pass criminal and security background checks, pay a $500 application fee, and undergo a medical examination.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

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