Revolution #90, May 27, 2007
Major Provisions of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Hire 18,000 new border patrol agents.
Build 200 miles of vehicle barriers and 370 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Erect 70 ground-based radar and camera towers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Deploy four unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting systems.
End the program in which undocumented immigrants are released upon apprehension. (This means greatly increased detentions of immigrants.)
Provide for detaining up to 27,500 immigrants per day on an annual basis.
Use secure and effective identification tools to prevent unauthorized work (the beginning of a national identification system).
UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS CURRENTLY IN THE U.S.:
Undocumented immigrant workers present within the U.S. before January 1, 2007 could come forward immediately and receive a probationary (temporary) permit to remain in the U.S. and work after submitting a completed application, fingerprints, and being cleared by one-day background checks. This probationary permit can eventually (see stipulations below) be converted to a "Z" nonimmigrant visa providing legal status. To qualify for the “Z” visa, they must be currently employed and pay fees and penalties totaling $5,000 . This would allow them to work and cross the border. For their spouses, minor children and elderly parents, a variant of the “Z” visa would be issued with lesser fees.
“Z” visa holders may later obtain lawful permanent residence (a “green card,” this is not citizenship) once they pay an additional $4,000 in penalties and their head of household returns to their home country to apply for lawful permanent residence . Processing of “green cards” for holders of "Z" visas would begin after clearing an existing backlog, which is expected to take eight years.
No one with a probationary permit may be processed to obtain the “Z” visa until "triggers" (see border militarization provisions above) for border security and workplace enforcement (see below) have been met (estimated by the Department of Homeland Security to take 18 months but in reality could take much longer).
Require employers to electronically verify new employees to prove identity and work eligibility.
Increase penalties for unlawful hiring, employment and record-keeping violations.
GUEST WORKERS (requires border security measures to be in place first):
Create a new temporary guest worker program with two-year "Y visas," initially capped at 400,000 per year with annual adjustments.
Workers could renew the Y visa up to three times, but would be required to return home for a year in between each time . Those bringing dependents could obtain only one, nonrenewable two-year visa.
Families could accompany guest workers only if they could show proof of medical insurance and demonstrate that their wages were 150 percent above the poverty level.
Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and permanent residents would be eligible for permanent residency based purely on their status as family members, but other relatives such as adult children and siblings would not.
380,000 visas a year would be awarded based on a point system, with about 50 percent based on employment criteria, 25 percent based on education, 15 percent on English proficiency and 10 percent on family connections. (This is instead of basing visas on someone being a family member.)
Apply new limits to U.S. citizens seeking to bring foreign-born parents into the country.
Visas for parents of U.S. citizens would be capped annually at 40,000 and those for spouses and children at 87,000.
(Much of this information came from a summary of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 written by the American Immigration Lawyers Association)
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