The details of the proposed Immigration Bill have been released by the “Gang of Eight” Senators. The proposed bill allows for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before December 31, 2011 to be eligible for legal residency called “registered provisional immigrant status”. Some prohibitions to qualification include any felony convictions in U.S. or foreign courts or more than three misdemeanor convictions.
The proposed bill would also require undocumented immigrants to pay a penalty of up to $500 for having come to the United States illegally and pay all back taxes.
The registered provisional immigrant status lasts for six years and can be extended for an additional $500 fee, if the applicant has not gotten into trouble with the law.
After 10 years as provisional residents, immigrants could become lawful permanent residents.
Separate provisions for agricultural workers
Agricultural workers who are currently in the country illegally would be allowed to apply for a new “blue card” if they have worked in the U.S. agriculture industry for at least 100 days in the two years prior to December 31, 2012.
Applicants would also have to pay a $400 fee, show they have paid their taxes and have no criminal convictions. Blue card holders would be eligible for permanent legal residency in only five years.
The proposed bill also establishes minimum wages for certain workers.
The proposed bill calls for $3 billion to beef up border security. It also requires constant surveillance of high-risk border areas and demands that border officers turn back at least 90% of those who attempt illegal border crossings each year.