An immigration reform plan offered Wednesday in Washington ties work to the prospect of legal residency for millions of illegal immigrants.
The sponsors are U.S. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.
The proposal also would increase spending on border security and tackle backlogs of immigrant visas that keep families separated.
The senators proposed that undocumented workers and their families in the U.S. be given the chance to become "invested stakeholders" by earning legal permanent residence through work.
President Bush earlier this month proposed creating a temporary worker program.