Details of the Senate immigration proposal

Updated at: 01/28/2013 4:07 PM
By The Associated Press

Here are some details of the bipartisan Senate framework on immigration reform announced Monday. President Barack Obama is expected to endorse a similar set of proposals Tuesday during an appearance in Las Vegas.

Create a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country:

_First, increase border security efforts including adding unmanned drones, surveillance equipment and more border agents;

_Require completion of an entry-exit system to track whether people in the U.S. on temporary visas have left as required;

_Create a commission of lawmakers and community leaders living along the southwest border to make a recommendation about when the border security measures have been com

pleted;

_While security measures are under way illegal immigrants can register with the government, pass background checks and pay fines and back taxes in order to earn "probationary legal status."

_Once security measures are in place, immigrants on "probationary legal status" could apply for permanent legal status behind other immigrants already in the system.

_People brought to the U.S. as children, and farmworkers, would have a quicker path to citizenship.

Improve the legal immigration system:

_Reduce backlogs in family and employment visas;

_Award green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math from American universities.

Strong employment verification:

_Create non-forgeable electronic system for requiring prospective workers to demonstrate legal status and identity;

_Stiff fines and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Admitting new workers:

_Employers could hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American and the hiring of an immigrant will not displace American workers;

_Create an agricultural worker program to meet the needs of the nation’s agriculture industry when American workers are not available;

_Allow more lower-skilled immigrants to come to the country when the economy is creating jobs, and fewer when it is not;

_Permit workers who have succeeded in the workplace and contributed to their communities over years to earn green cards.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)