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The second component of IRCA was to establish, for the first time, federal civil and criminal penalties for employers who knowingly hired unauthorized immigrants. In addition, to ensure that “foreign-looking” workers were not subject to discrimination, IRCA made it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant based on his or her national origin or citizenship status.Through a new employment verification regime, the I-9 process, employers were required to verify and document the lawful status and authorization to work of all new hires, including U. The law created the office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices in the Department of Justice, which investigates and prosecutes claims of discrimination. A separate program allowed workers who had performed seasonal agricultural work during the 12-month period ending May 1, 1986 to legalize their status.In the 97th Congress, the IRCA bill died in the House of Representatives in 1982.After being introduced in the 98th Congress, the bill died again in 1984 amid disagreement between House and Senate negotiators.On November 6, 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).The law, which is best known for connecting strengthened immigration enforcement with legalization provisions for unauthorized immigrants, marked a significant milestone in immigration policy.
In addition, the law held out the promise of legal status and eventual citizenship to millions of unauthorized immigrants, marking the first large-scale legalization program in U. The law’s provisions on immigration enforcement and employer verification remain very much in effect and have served as the building blocks for much of the nation’s current immigration enforcement regime and debates.In March 1982, Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Representative Romano Mazzoli (D-KY), who had both been Commission members, introduced the first versions of IRCA (also known as the “Simpson-Mazzoli Act”) in Congress.The introduction of IRCA proved to be but a first step in a long and arduous journey toward the bill's final passage.These included the implementation of a new guest worker program for agricultural workers combined with a special legalization program that created a path to U. citizenship for certain agricultural workers already in the United States, as well as aid to the states to assist with the costs associated with immigrant integration.
The revival of the bill was viewed as something of a legislative miracle by many members of Congress.
In August 1977, Carter submitted a plan asking Congress to pass legislation that would add 2,000 new border patrol agents to the U.