Comparing the Immigration Bills

Issue House Senate
Legalization of Undocumented Immigrants No provision. The Senate passed a plan with three categories:

-- Immigrants illegally in the United States for at least five years will be allowed to remain. They can become legal permanent residents and eventually citizens after paying at least $3,250 in fines and fees, any owed taxes and learning English.

-- Undocumented workers in the U.S. between two and five years must go to a point of entry on the border, file an application and seek to return.

-- Those in the U.S. less than two years must leave for their home countries. They must compete with other applicants to return.

-- Those convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors will be deported.
Guest Worker Programs No new temporary worker program. Created a program for 1.5 million immigrant farmworkers.

Allowed visas to be issued for 200,000 new temporary guest workers.
Border Security Required two-layer fences along 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, along with barriers, cameras and sensors.

Called for more Border Patrol agents and the hiring of at least 250 port of entry inspectors in each of the next three years.
Authorized 370 miles of triple-layer fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border and another 500 miles of vehicle barriers.

Authorized hiring 1,000 more Border Patrol agents and added another 14,000 agents by 2011 to the force of more than 11,000.

Authorized additional detention facilities.

Limited National Guard stints along the U.S.-Mexico border to 21 days.
Criminal Issues Made it a felony for immigrants to be in the United States illegally and increased penalties.

Made it a felony to assist anyone attempting to enter or remain in the United States illegally.

Established mandatory sentences for smuggling illegal immigrants.
No provisions for felonies.
Employer Enforcement Increased fines for hiring undocumented workers from $10,000 to $40,000 for each violation and established prison sentences of up to 30 years for repeat offenders.

Within six years, employers would have to use electronic database to verify Social Security numbers of all workers.
Increased fines to $20,000 per violation and imposed jail time on repeat offenders.

Within 18 months, employers would have to electronically verify the legality of employees.
National Language No provision. Made English the national language.