Highlights of Senate Democrats's immigration proposal
Saturday, May 1, 2010;
Key facts on immigration proposal
Establish "zero tolerance" for illegal border crossers by adding enforcement personnel, technology and tracking systems for departing foreigners.
Over six years, issue new biometric Social Security cards linked to fingerprints and machine scanners to all U.S. workers and employers to verify work eligibility.
Ease immigration for highly skilled foreign students in the sciences, and create a new temporary worker visa for low-skilled non-agricultural workers.
Add protections for U.S. workers and wages, and grant redress to any American worker displaced by a temporary worker.
Clear immigration backlog of close relatives waiting to be reunited with legal permanent U.S. residents within eight years.
Register, fingerprint and screen 10.8 million illegal immigrants. After eight years, non-criminals who learn English and civics and pay taxes and fees may apply for permanent residency.
More on border measures
Beef up Border Patrol, customs, immigration enforcement and judicial personnel.
Expand use of sensors, military equipment, transport and tracking systems.
Create a Border Patrol Auxiliary.
Complete a system to verify fingerprints of foreigners exiting the country to confirm visa compliance.
More on employment measures
Begin issuing biometric Social Security cards within 18 months linked to fingerprints or other biometric identifier.
Deploy a scanner system nationwide over six years that will require all employers to verify workers' eligibility using the cards.
Triple penalties for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.
Create a national birth and death registration system.
More on immigration measures
Offer legal permanent residency (green cards) to all foreign students completing advanced degrees in the sciences with a related U.S. job offer, and end numerical caps that have kept some highly educated immigrants from India and China waiting for many years.
Create a new temporary visa for non-agricultural workers valid for three years and renewable once. Visa holders may earn permanent residency.
Allow any qualified American worker displaced by a temporary visa worker to gain redress. Add U.S. worker and wage protections, and create a commission to monitor labor markets and recommend when immigration levels should be raised or lowered.
Clear within eight years a backlog of 4.6 million close relatives waiting abroad to be reunited with legal U.S. green card holders, starting with spouses and minor children. Raise family immigration limits to 10 percent from 7 percent of total admissions.
More on legalization measures
Register, fingerprint and conduct background checks on 10.8 million illegal immigrants immediately. Non-criminals will be granted provisional status.
After eight years, those who have been present continuously in the United States and who clear new criminal and security checks, learn English and civics and pay taxes and fees may apply for permanent residency.