1. A bipartisan group of senators put forward a plan Monday to give many of the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. This blueprint has sparked comparisons to a 1986 law which gave amnesty to 2.7 million people.
  2. There are some major differences, however. The Senate proposal is much tougher in several aspects than the law signed by President Ronald Reagan
  3. How the two programs would be similar

  4. President Ronald Reagan gestures during a news conference at the White House in 1986. (AP Photo/Scott Stewart)
  5. Immigrants must not have a criminal background

  6. 1986 law: Undocumented immigrants could not qualify for temporary or permanent residence if they had been convicted of a felony or three misdemeanors in the U.S. 
  7. Senate proposal: The blueprint states that individuals with "a serious criminal background" or who "pose a threat to our national security" will not be eligible and may be deported.
  8. Immigrants must have an understanding of English and civics

  9. 1986 law: Undocumented immigrants needed to meet "minimum requirements for an understanding of English and a knowledge of American history and government" or show they were studying those subjects. Those 65 and older were exempted. 
  10. Senate proposal: The blueprint states that individuals would need to "learn English and civics" before they were eligible for permanent residency, but not for a probationary status.
  11. Immigrants must show a history of employment

  12. 1986 law: Undocumented immigrants were not eligible if they could not show a history of employment or otherwise looked like they might be likely to end up on public assistance.
  13. Senate proposal: The blueprints states that individuals will need to "demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment" to be eligible.
  14. There is a separate process for agricultural workers

  15. 1986 law: Undocumented immigrants who had worked at least 90 days in seasonal agriculture in the previous year were allowed to apply in a separate program.  Approximately 1.1 million people qualified under this provision.
  16. Senate proposal: The blueprint says agricultural workers will be "treated differently" and handled through a "different process" to become citizens because of the role they play in providing food for Americans. It does not give details.
  17. How the 1986 law was tougher

  18. A crowd of 1,566 people are sworn in as U.S. citizens in New York City on Sept. 3, 1986. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)
  19. Immigrants were required to have lived continuously in the U.S.

  20. 1986 law: Undocumented immigrants had to have lived continuously in the U.S. since before Jan. 1, 1982, though brief trips out of the country were excused. Approximately 1.6 million people qualified under this provision.
  21. Senate proposal: The blueprint does not list any requirements for having lived continuously in the United States or having moved here before a certain date. 
  22. There was no separate process for people brought as children

  23. 1986 law: Nothing in the 1986 law differentiated between adults and children who were undocumented immigrants.