With the Senate Judiciary Committee only recently approving a path to citizenship in the language of a bill that would be a massive overhaul to immigration in the United States, many wonder how the House of Representatives is coping with the progression of immigration reform in America.

Why Both Sides Matter?

The Senate and the House of Representatives represent the two chambers of the legislative branch of government, the branch that is responsible for law making in the United States. Both chambers may present bills among themselves, but the approval of both chambers is required before a final bill can be turned into a law. A bill that passes in one chamber of congress, but not the other, cannot become law.

This affects immigration overhaul because, even if the Senate is successful at coming up with a bill that wins approval in the Senate, the bill can be substantially changed or killed entirely by the House of Representatives.

Considering the polarizing atmosphere on Capitol Hill through these debates, many are not holding their breath to find out if a path to citizenship has a chance at becoming law. When told of the Senate approved amendments in the bill, some members of the House remarked that the Senate bill would never survive the scrutiny of the House.

The primary problem is that the Senate is controlled by the more liberal democrats who are fighting for a path to citizenship, while the House of Representatives is controlled by the more conservative republicans who are fighting for stronger borders and beefed up enforcement policies. Unless both sides can get what they want, which is possible but still slow to come, it may be a long time before immigrants in America see the reform that is being so widely debated today.

Options Available Today

Foreign citizens living in the country today, even those who are living in the country illegally, may qualify for an upgrade in their immigration status from illegal to legal and not even know it. The law allows individuals in certain limited situations, even those who have lived in the country illegally for several years, to qualify for legal resident status. If they would like more information on these limited situations, individuals can contact a qualified immigration attorney in person, by phone, or email.

If they have not yet arrived in the United States, foreign citizens have several visa options available to them that may allow them to come to the United States and live in the country while they work and receive legal counsel on upgrading from the status of visa holder to the status of lawful permanent resident or naturalized citizen.

For best results and for a smooth immigration application process, foreign citizens are encouraged to speak with a qualified immigration attorney that can provide legal counsel in their first language. Having to depend on legal advice which the person can’t understand can put the person at a major disadvantage in terms of understanding and knowing what to expect from the process.