In response to the law recently passed in Arizona, Federal lawmakers presented a framework for launching negotiations toward a bipartisan immigration reform bill.
Developed by Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and endorsed by Senate leadership, the bill makes "zero tolerance" for immigrants trying to enter the country illegally its center point. It proposes to achieve this by tightening border enforcement and by barring undocumented foreigners from taking jobs in the United States, according to media reports.
Other elements of the bill include issuing biometric Social Security cards for all workers—including American citizens—which employers would be required to verify. The proposal also carves a path for more than 10 million immigrants to become legal, including permanent-resident status to every foreigner with an advanced degree in science or technology from an American university.
Senate Democrats made no secret of the fact that the tough new Arizona immigration law prompted the unveiling of the federal proposal.
Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate’s number two Democrat, quoted the Arizona association of the chiefs of police who said that "we strongly urge the U.S. Congress to immediately initiate the necessary steps to begin the process of comprehensively addressing the immigration issue, to provide solutions that are fair, logical and equitable," quoted by the National Public Radio.