On April 28, 2010, Senators Schumer (D-NY), Menendez (D-NJ) and Reid (D-NV) circulated a 26 page document outlining the points to be covered in any immigration reform bill.
The first section of the proposal is entitled “Secure the Border Before Taking Any Action to Change the Status of People Living Illegally in the United States.” This section includes a requirement for clear benchmarks to ensure border security, including increasing the number of border patrols, ICE agents, inspectors and fraud investigations. In addition, the Democrats call for improving technology and infrastructure to assist the Border Patrol and to increase resources for immigration courts so that they might expedite the removal of individuals who are illegally in the United States.
The proposal also calls for a controversial national identification card, which would be a biometric Social Security card. The proposal calls for implementation of the proposed ID card as the only acceptable document for employment verification five years after its initial implementation.
The proposal also includes a program that would allow undocumented immigrants already in the United States to achieve permanent residence after an eight year process. It also has language favoring unions and authorizing the creation of a commission to review future flow of immigrant workers in the United States. Advocates believe that the Democrats are making this proposal to address many of the Republican concerns. The measures proposed would make it much more difficult for Republicans in the Senate to reject an immigration bill.