Posts Tagged ‘ immigration law in the united states ’

Progress for the Senate Uncertainty for the House

Posted on: August 19, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Social-security-28216202The U.S. Senate has recently passed a major hurdle on the path to immigration reform. With an overwhelming majority of Senators in support of reform, the Senate has passed its own version of a full immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship that affects about 11 million undocumented immigrants living illegally in the United States. Unfortunately, members of the House of Representatives don’t seem to see the approval of this bill by the Senate as anything to be celebrated.

House Republicans Unimpressed by Bill

Within the legislative branch of American government, the Senate and the House of Representatives co-exist and are tasked with working together to draft laws. Unfortunately, both chambers of Congress have to agree on a final bill before it can be submitted to the President for approval and signing into law. With the Senate controlled by the Democrats, and the House controlled by the Republicans, hope for a consolidated immigration reform bill anytime in the near future is looking pretty bleak. Speaker of the House John Boehner himself said that his chamber of Congress will likely have a full bill of its own prepared by the end of this year – whether or not Speaker Boehner is able to meet this deadline remains unknown.

Even if his chamber can meet the deadline, the odds that the House’s bill will pass the scrutiny of the Senate are anything but sure. When both chambers of Congress draft their own individual proposals for a bill, the other chamber has to sign on to support the bill or the two bills have to be consolidated. At this point, there is no telling how long it could take for both chambers of Congress to agree on a consolidated bill that is able to please a majority of Senators and Representatives on both sides of the aisle.

A Glimmer of Hope

A plan drafted by Republican Representative from Texas John Carter may be that last glimmer of hope for getting more Republican support in the House behind the Senate approved bill. The provision would require the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country illegally to maintain a decade of legalized status, that would allow the immigrant to receive a work visa, before the previously illegal immigrant could apply for lawful permanent resident status and eventual citizenship.

While very similar to the Senate plan, the fact that this solution originated from a Republican in a Republican controlled chamber may be enough to boost Republican support for the Senate bill. Speaker Boehner remains hard nosed, reiterating that the only way a Senate passed immigration reform bill will make it to the floor of the House for a vote is if a majority of House Republicans show support for it.

For the Most Accurate Information

While the foundation of immigration reform is steadily growing in Congress, it is still unwise to make predictions about what provisions will or won’t be in a final immigration reform bill. If they are wondering how the decision may affect their status in the United States, undocumented immigrants should contact an immigration law attorney for guidance, and should only depend on the advice of an attorney for a matter so important.

Path To Citizenship Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

Posted on: July 3, 2013 by in immigration reform
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Immigration Rally in WashingtonThe Senate Judiciary Committee, the committee tasked with drafting a comprehensive bill that would overhaul the immigration system in the United States, has made a substantial step forward in crafting what the bill will become.

Path to Citizenship Approved 13 to 5

Not only was the Senate Judiciary Committee able to approve a path to citizenship for nearly 11.5 million immigrants, but it was also able to approve a plan that would create a new program for low and high skilled workers to gain easier access to employment opportunities in the United States.

The vote was nearly halted when Democrats made a last minute effort to include language in the bill that would have allowed same sex couples the same immigration rights as intersex couples, but the issue caused so much fiery debate that threatened the life of the entire bill, the idea was abandoned.

Tensions Rising in the House

The House of Representatives, which has been quietly crafting bipartisan immigration legislation over the last few years, does not appear to be having the same luck as the Senate in reaching a final agreement. Part of the tension is whether or not the House will craft its own bill or simply vote on a bill that was already passed in the Senate, but some members of the House are saying there is no way that a Senate approved bill would pass House scrutiny.

Steady Progress but Progress to be Made

Once both chambers of Congress are able to agree on a final version of the bill, then the proposals that have been made thus far will be in the final stretch on the path toward becoming law. The bill would go to the President for approval which, if not granted, can still be passed into law by a 2/3 majority vote in Congress. How long it will actually take for the path to citizenship amendments to get into law is still a question of how long it will take for a full and final bill to be passed.

Until both sides of Congress can consolidate and approve a bill, the rules and regulations which have governed U.S. immigration will continue to govern, and immigrants should not assume rumors of changing laws have the force of actual laws.

An Attorney Can Always Help

If they would like information on the most current state of immigration law in the United States, immigrants and foreign citizens should get in touch with a U.S. immigration attorney. Even if they are in the country illegally, individuals still have the right to seek advice from experienced immigration attorneys on legal matters relating to their immigration status.

In some cases, an immigration attorney can even provide assistance to individuals who are in the country illegally with upgrading their status to legal. As always, for best results, immigrants and foreign citizens wanting to come to the United States should work with an immigration attorney who can provide counsel in the immigrant or foreign citizen’s first language.