Ira Gay Sealy/Getty Images
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    The Bracero Program, which began in the early 1940s and lasted through the mid-1960s, allowed Mexican laborers to work in the United States temporarily. Part of IRCA allowed employers to again hire temporary workers.
    Ira Gay Sealy/Getty Images
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Then-Rep. Charles Schumer attends a committee meeting in 1985. Schumer helped broker the 1986 deal and has been a key player in the current immigration discussions.
    Terry Ashe/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Then-President Ronald Reagan (R) addresses the nation from the White House in January 1986. Reagan signed IRCA into law.
    Diana Walker/Getty Images
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Hugo Ortega crossed without documentation from Mexico to the United States as a teenager. He applied for legal status under IRCA and later U.S. citizenship. He now owns several restaurants and is a well-known chef in Houston.
    Gina Sunseri/ABC News
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Ortega owns Hugo's in the Houston area, which offers patrons Mexican cuisine. Ortega began his culinary journey washing dishes in Texas restaurants and eventually became a James Beard Foundation Award-nominated cook.
    Gina Sunseri/ABC News
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Hugo's serves everything from brunch to dinner and dessert.
    Gina Sunseri/ABC News
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Ana Hernandez Luna was born in Mexico and moved to the United States with her parents (shown here) and older sister, Maria. The family overstayed a visitor's visa and applied for legal status through IRCA.
    Courtesy of the Texas House of Representatives
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Hernandez Luna, a Democrat, was elected at 26 in 2005 to serve the Houston area in the Texas House of Representatives after her former boss, Rep. Joe Moreno (D-Houston), died in a car accident.
    Courtesy of the Texas House of Representatives
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    Noel Bordador also benefited from IRCA. The episcopal priest overstayed a visitor's visa after he came to the U.S. from the Philippines as a teenager. He now helps New York City's homeless population.
    Courtesy of Noel Bordador
  • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: The Human Faces

    If a comprehensive immigration reform bill passes this year, it will be the biggest change to the nation's immigration laws since IRCA. The undocumented population is much larger, about 11 million people, and the effects are likely to be more widespread than in 1986.
    Charles Dharapak/AP Photo
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