What follows is a list of provisions from the bill that I have thus far been able to cobble together from the available information. Once the official text is put up I'll revise and update this.
- Increased border security and cooperation with Mexico and Canada
- Creates a "virtual wall" of unmanned vehicles, cameras and censors to monitor the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Doubles the border patrol over five years adding 12,000 agents
- Provides a path to legalization and citizenship for the 12 mil undocumented immigrants as long as they pass security clearance, pay all back taxes, pay a criminal fine for breaking immigration laws, remain employed, have no criminal record, acquire a level of English proficiency, and eventually pass the civics section of the citizenship exam. Current undocumented residents cannot begin to apply for legal status until all current immigration requests have been processed
- Creates a guest worker program that allows approximately 400,000 unskilled workers to come and work for up to six years. Additionally, after a certain amount of time the guest workers who qualify may apply for permanent residency.
- Doubles all current fines for employers who hire illegal workers
- Quotas will become adjustable according to a given formula
- The Department of Labor will maintain an updated Job Bank of willing employers looking for workers
- The DREAM program will be continued allowing children of undocumented immigrants who have graduated from high school to be allowed to apply to Colleges without having their parents immigration status taken into consideration
- The inclusion of an agricultural provision that will allow 1.5 million agricultural workers to work in the US legally
- Redefines the "aggravated felony" language of HR4437 to exempt those already here from prosecution.
- Exempts humanitarian workers from possible criminal penalties
IMPORTANT UPDATE ACTION
From the AILA website comes this action item:
Mr. Frist apparently has sought and obtained "unanimous consent" (UC) to devote the first day of debate on immigration reform (starting either tomorrow or Thursday) to debate only, no amendments or votes. This means there will be no "motion to proceed" and no filibuster at this point. It is unclear which base bill Frist will proceed with (his own or the Judiciary Committee bill), but because he is apparently leaving the question open for now, we should continue pressing for the Senate Judiciary Committee bill to be the starting point for debate.
Please continue to call Senate offices and to express appreciation to Specter, Graham, Brownback, DeWine, and Feinstein for their votes yesterday. Their offices are getting slammed with negative calls and need to hear some positive reinforcement from our side!
Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
DeWine: (202) 224-2315
Graham: (202) 224-5972
Brownback: (202) 224-6521
Specter: (202) 224-4254
tags: immigration, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, Specter bill, Senate Judiciary, S. 2454,