Friday, May 18, 2007

//News// U.S. Senate reaches compromise on immigration reform

A bipartisan group of senators announced a compromise deal on the proposed immigration reform bill in the U.S.

The proposal, reached Thursday, seeks to give illegal immigrants already in the U.S. a probationary permit to live and work in the country. hey may eventually be given a path to citizenship but only after border security has been improved. The compromise deal also requires punitive policies against employers who willingly hire illegal immigrants.

The proposal also creates a temporary worker program and a separate program for agricultural workers. Low skilled workers would be allowed to work for two years but they can renew their visa twice. However, they must leave for a period of one year in-between renewals. They may apply for permanent immigration, but they would be evaluated based on points for their skills and education level.

The plan seeks stricter rules for petitioning family members, except for spouses and children. Under the proposal, there will be stricter quotas for petitioning parents and siblings.

The Senate needs to vote on the proposed bill, the text of which is expected to be avialable in the following days. Deliberations are set to start on Monday.

Members of the Lower House had earlier said they will follow the Senate's lead on immigration policies, but it will have to approve its own version of the bill before final approval by U.S. President Geoge Bush.

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