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Friday, May 18, 2007

Inmmigration compromise reached in Washington

Highlights - Key components of the compromise immigration plan:
All illegal immigrants who arrived before Jan. 1, 2007, could stay and work after paying a $1,500 fee, passing a criminal background check, and showing a strong work record.

They would also have to pay a fine of $5,000.

After eight years, they could apply for a green card.

A new visa category would be created for parents of U.S. citizens, allowing them to visit for up to 100 days per year.

A temporary-worker program would allow 400,000 immigrant workers to enter on two-year visas, after which they would have to return home for a year before reapplying. The visas could be renewed up to three times.

A new point system would add factors for green-card eligibility to lessen the "chain migration" of family members.

The Border Patrol and interior enforcement would be expanded, and a new security perimeter would be created. Such border enforcement provisions would have to be implemented before immigrant-rights measures take effect.

SOURCES: Office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Congressional Quarterly

Deal on Immigration Reached
Bush Supports Senate's Bipartisan Compromise, but Hurdles Remain

Jonathan Weisman - Washington Post Staff Writer - Friday, May 18, 2007; Page A01

The Bush administration and a bipartisan group of senators reached agreement yesterday on a sprawling overhaul of the nation's immigration laws that would bring an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants out of society's shadows while stiffening border protections and cracking down on employers of undocumented workers.

The delicate compromise, 380 pages long and three months in the making, represents perhaps the last opportunity for President Bush to win a major legislative accomplishment for his second term, and it could become the most significant revision of the nation's immigration system in 41 years. Bush hailed the agreement as "one that will help enforce our borders, but equally importantly, it will treat people with respect."
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