We still don't have the official summary of the Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, but Senator Charles Schumer, the chair of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have written a joint op-ed piece that will appear in tomorrow morning's Washington Post that describes the major provisions of the CIR bill they will shortly introduce in the Senate.
The bill will look similar to previous bills, but we now learn that it will have some new features. They include the introduction of the controversial new national identification card (a biometric social security card). The legalization program will now include community service in additional to other penalties. And those receiving advanced degrees from US universities will be exempt from green card caps.
There WILL be a guest worker program in the bill, though it is hard to tell exactly how it will work with this limited description:
Our blueprint also creates a rational system for admitting lower-skilled workers. Our current system prohibits lower-skilled immigrants from coming here to earn money and then returning home. Our framework would facilitate this desired circular migration by allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can show they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position; allowing more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating jobs and fewer in a recession; and permitting workers who have succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their communities over many years, the chance to earn a green card.
Look for more details to emerge in the coming days.