Dylan Matthews summarizes the key points in the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform proposal, touching on many of the major issues that have vexed reform advocates since the failed legislative effort in 2007.
“If you’re an undocumented immigrant who arrived in the United States before Dec. 31, 2011, haven’t committed a felony (or three misdemeanors), hold a job, and pay a $500 fine and back taxes, then you will immediately gain the status of ‘registered provisional,’ allowing an individual to legally stay in the United States without risk of deportation… the recognition-to-citizenship process takes a total of 13 years and requires $2,000 in fines from each adult affected… DREAMers — or those who entered illegally before age 16, graduated from high school, and have been in the United States for at least five years — would have a quicker path.”
“If, by the fifth year the bill is in effect, 90 percent of crossers aren’t being apprehended and 100 percent of the border isn’t being surveilled, the bill would establish a commission of four border-state governors and add another $2 billion in security funding… The bill would mandate employers use an improved version of E-Verify, an electronic system for determining the legal status of current and prospective employees, within five years.”
“The number of H1-B visas, which are designed for high-skilled workers, would increase from 65,000 to at least 110,000, and up to 180,000 depending on employer demand… A new ‘W-visa’ program for low-skilled guest workers, capped at 20,000, would start in 2015. The cap would rise to 75,000 by 2019… the bill also caps the number of agricultural visas to 337,000 over three years. A new agricultural guest worker program would be launched as well… The bill allows an unlimited number of visas to go to parents, children and spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents.”
Talking Points Memo has the more in-depth bill summary released by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight.”