Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.  --  It's called the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill for a reason.  It brings together several different immigration reform proposals, addressing issues like border security, immigration status, and guest worker programs.

Congressman Doc Hastings, Senator Patty Murray, and Governor Christine Gregoire have all stated that guest worker programs are essential to the state's economy.

An expanded guest worker program is included in the new bill.  It would allow workers to stay for three years, with a possible three-year extension, if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines they're eligible.

A three-year extension is possible, and visas would be provided to the worker's spouse and children. 

The agJOBS act is also included, which would allow some agricultural workers to get permanent resident status.

Border security is addressed by imposing criminal penalties on anyone involved in the construction of border tunnels.  And it would become illegal to hire undocumented immigrants.