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Details of the Senate immigration proposal
Monday - 1/28/2013, 5:41pm EST
(AP) - 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
_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 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)