infoWashington, DC –  Yesterday afternoon, March 18, 2010, Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC) announced their blueprint for comprehensive immigration reform in The Washington Post. They outlined four pillars of their plan:

  • Enhanced security measures, including biometric Social Security cards and an employment verification system for the dual purpose of ensuring that benefits are appropriately distributed and that employers only hire documented workers.  Under this framework, employers will be held accountable, for failure to comply with these measures.
  • Strengthening the country’s commitments to border security and a zero tolerance interior enforcement policy for gang members, smugglers, and terrorists. The Schumer Graham plan would also implement an entry-exit system to track individuals who enter on legal visas and report those who overstay.
  • A process that would admit additional lower skilled workers to the U.S. when there are jobs available to them and would award green cards to immigrants who receive a PhD or master’s in science, technology, engineering or math from a U.S. university
  • A tough but fair path to legalization for the estimated 12 million undocumented individuals already living in the United States. Undocumented immigrants would be required to: admit to breaking the law, pay fines and back taxes, perform community service, pass background checks, and demonstrate English proficiency before taking their place at the back of the line for lawful permanent residence.

“We applaud the Senators for their bipartisan efforts on this important issue” said Maria M. Odom, Executive Director of Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). “This is a welcome development, as it provides momentum in anticipation of tens of thousands of Americans joining together in the March for America on the National Mall on Sunday, March 21.”

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