Immigration Bill Will Ramp Up Border Security

Senate preps legislation as marchers gather in DC
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2013 1:50 PM CDT
Immigration Bill Will Ramp Up Border Security
Denise Villagomez, a union member, writes on a sign as she and other union volunteers prepare for Wednesday's immigration reform rally at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Today, thousands are gathering in Washington to demand immigration reform—and with a Senate bill set for release as soon as tomorrow, "we are optimistic," an activist tells WCSH. Possible details of the legislation are emerging, and it may set some tough standards in terms of security, notes the Wall Street Journal. Before immigrants can obtain green cards, the full border with Mexico will have to be monitored, and border agents will have to significantly improve their success at catching those trying to cross illegally in areas deemed "high risk."

Another requirement: Within five years, all employers must be using a government E-verify system to detect illegal workers. The US must also develop a new electronic screening system for airports and seaports to crack down on those overstaying visas. Achieving all this could take a decade, meaning a potentially long wait before illegal immigrants can even apply for permanent residency. Just 44% of the border was effectively monitored as of 2010, the Department of Homeland Security said. During the wait, immigrants would be eligible for probation if they pay a fine and have a criminal background check, among other requirements. (More immigration stories.)

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