The Immigration Reform Bill concerns a broad overhaul of the U.S. immigration system. If passed, key changes effect border enforcement protocols, visa categorization for immigrants and other aspects of immigration procedure. The bill grants legal status to 11 million undocumented immigrants, says the American Immigration Council.
The bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators, and is aimed at making the immigration system more effective and in tune with the current reality of immigration in the United States. It also includes two proposed acts, the DREAM Act, designed to give legal residence to immigrants brought to the United States as children, and the AgJobs Act, granting legal residence to undocumented agricultural workers and guest workers on the H-2A program, states the American Immigration Council.
In terms of direct policy changes, the bill more than doubles the number of border patrol agents, and significantly increase surveillance, prosecutorial technology and manpower. If passed, undocumented immigrants could apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant status if they have been in the United States since December 31, 2011, have been paying their taxes and haven't committed a felony. Immigration policy reforms include the introduction of a merit-based system, which favors illegal immigrants for educational achievement, work experience and other factors, claims the American Immigration Council.