Immigration Deal at a Glance

Posted January 28, 2013 at 1:52pm

The immigration proposal outlined Monday by a bipartisan group of senators is intended to create a new system in which border security is enhanced while those who are in the United States illegally get a chance at a green card.

Border Security

• Provide Border Patrol with updated technology, infrastructure and personnel.

• Increase use of unmanned aerial drones and other surveillance equipment.

• Create “entry-exit system” to track temporary visa holders and ensure they leave the country as required.

Path to Legal Status and Citizenship

• Require current undocumented immigrants to pass a background check, pay fines and pay back taxes before earning “probationary legal status” that allows them to live and work in the United States.

• Mandate that probationary immigrants “go to the back of the line” as they apply for a green card.

• Require probationary immigrants to pass another background check, pay taxes, learn to speak English, go through civics education and prove they have worked in the United States before getting a green card.

• Require that border security enforcement measures be completed before green cards are given to those on probationary status.

• Bar probationary immigrants from receiving federal entitlement and other benefits.

• Create a separate path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors (also known as the DREAM Act).

• Create a separate path to a green card for agricultural workers.

• Require a reduction in backlogs on visas for family and employment.

• Give green cards to immigrants who earn a doctorate or master’s in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. university.

Employment Verification

• Create “stiff fines and criminal penalties” for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.

• Create an electronic employment verification system to ensure that employers can check the status of new workers.

• Allow employers to hire immigrants if they can prove they could not find an American to do the job.

• Allow more immigrants in times of job growth, but restrict immigration when the job market is shrinking.