Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL) introduced a new bill in Congress yesterday – “the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009” or “CIR ASAP” for short. Mr. Gutierrez, who is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, has described the bill as the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. More than 80 co-sponsors have already signed on to the legislation.
The bill is geared to promote family unification and includes a component relating to the Dream Act. (For those who are not aware, the Dream Act would provide certain undocumented immigrants who graduate from a U.S. high school the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency - the bill is intended to alleviate the hardship faced by children who accompanied undocumented parents into the U.S.) The bill also creates a legalization program for other categories of undocumented immigrants and their spouses and children. In addition, the bill includes provisions calling for enhanced border security, improved detention conditions, increased due process requirements for foreign nationals, and increased employment verification requirements.