STRIVE Act introduced in House, 3/22

Shusterman’s Immigration Update provides a summary of a House bill introduced on 3/22 by two pro-reform Congressman, Luis Gutierrez and Jeff Flake – H. 1645. find a copy of the bill here.
“The STRIVE Act is clearly a political compromise between those who want tougher border and interior immigration enforcement, and those who maintain that our immigration problems cannot be solved solely by increased enforcement,” writes Shusterman.
Per Schusterman:
On March 23, the STRIVE (Security Through a Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act of 2007) Act of 2007 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors.
Border: The bill would create a “virtual” fence along the border between the U.S. and Mexico; increase the number of border patrol agents and immigration inspectors at the border; allow for cooperation between the border patrol and the Department of Defense as well as the government of Mexico. The bill would increase the size of the Border Patrol between 2,000 and 2,400 each year between 2008 and 2012.
Interior Enforcement: It would increase the number of ICE agents by 1,000; increase penalties for gang violence, failure to depart, alien smuggling, drunk driving, firearms possession and sale, unauthorized employment of illegal aliens, and money laundering; and expand expedited removal.
Employment Verification: The bill would create a system for employers to electronically verify workers’ employment authorization; establish criminal penalties for employers and workers who operate outside the system; and would implement strong enforcement mechanisms. It would create significant criminal penalties for individuals who falsely attest to being authorized to work and create significant civil penalties for employers who do not comply with the new system’s requirements. It would establish serious criminal penalties, including a possible three-year prison term for employers who knowingly hire unauthorized aliens.
Guest Workers: It would create an “H-2C” guest worker program with an initial cap of 400,000 guest workers annually. 2,000 additional inspectors from the Department of Labor would be hired to enforce the labor standards portion of the law.
Earned Citizenship: Persons who worked in H-2C status for five years would be able to apply for conditional permanent residency and eventual citizenship. They would have to meet the following requirements: (1) show physical presence in the U.S. and evidence of employment; (2) complete criminal and security background checks; (3) pay $500 application fee; (4) meet English and civic requirements; and (5) show admissibility (certain bars to admission related to undocumented status are waived; security- and criminal-related bars may not be waived).
The bill also incorporates the DREAM Act and the AgJobs bill. It would provide for significant increases in the number of H-1B, employment and family-based immigrant visas.