Pryor Introduces Immigration Bill, Notes Potential Problems

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Senator Mark Pryor has sponsored a new bill aiming to limit illegal immigration, but even he acknowledges it still needs work.

The SAVE Act would add more border patrol agents, increase enforcement on those applying for jobs with mismatched Social Security numbers and buy advertisements to highlight the new get-tough effort in Latin America.  However, Pryor told reporters on a conference call yesterday the bill only mirrors one offered in the House and needs work that might not happen in the waning session this year.

The other major component of the bill calls for a national rollout of a pilot program already checking to see if Social Security numbers offered by new employees match federal records.  However, the stepped-up enforcement remains on hold as a federal judge has said the Social Security database contained errors that could have cost many legal workers their jobs.

The bill also makes it a felony for anyone to transport, harbor, conceal or shield an illegal immigrant in the country.  The bill includes a provision protecting those who aid illegal immigrants while working for nonprofit, religious organizations, but doesn't appear to protect other nonprofit workers or physicians.

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