Posts Tagged ‘ immigration reform bill 2013 ’

Family Unity: A Concern of Immigration Reform

Posted on: August 28, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Conversation-With-A-Therapist-49284815As the United States gets closer to approving and instituting major migration reform in America, millions of undocumented immigrants and their families wait in the shadows for news of a path to citizenship that will help to keep their families together.

The Current System

Under current regulations, immigration law and family law are often pitted against one another. This usually happens when a non-U.S. citizen parent who has the legal right to exercise parental control over a U.S. born child is recommended for deportation / removal from the country by migration officials, or when the person recommended for deportation / removal is a non-U.S. citizen spouse of a citizen. Examples of how much this affects the family unit are abound, with some undocumented parents reporting that their status has left them living in fear of losing the businesses that they started to support their families and in even of taking their children to the hospital for fear of having their immigration status revealed.

In the past, the U.S. government has unflinchingly deported adults who have been in the country since they were children – brought to the country illegally by their parents – and even children who would otherwise qualify to remain in the country under the DREAM Act.

Path to Citizenship Awaiting Approval

If Congress is able to compromise long enough to agree on an migration reform bill, then things are likely going to get much better for many individuals currently living in the United States without the necessary documentation. Provisions to the proposed immigration reform bill being drafted by Congress are expected to grant migration judges the authority to stop deportation proceedings if the removal of the undocumented person in question would result in a hardship to a U.S. citizen, whether the citizen be the parent, child, or spouse of the undocumented person. The bill is also expected to grant authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to allow some of the individuals who have already been deported before the bill could pass to apply for provisional immigrant status and rejoin their loved ones in the United States.

When Family Unity is Threatened

Because of the sensitive nature of family law and the fact that migration law is so complex and case specific, it is always in the best interests of immigrants living in the United States to seek the advice of experienced immigration legal counsel when an immigration issue appears as if it will threaten the unity of a family. The attorney will be able to review the immigration issue at hand and determine whether or not it is something that could risk breaking the family apart. If so, then the attorney can immediately get started with representing the immigrant to ensure as fair and just an immigration proceeding as possible. Through each step of the immigration process, the attorney will advise the immigrant on his or her rights and best legal options in the matter.

In order to make sure they get the most up to date and accurate information regarding migration laws in general, immigrants in the United States are encouraged to seek the advice of experienced immigration attorneys, and not to rely on what they hear on the news or read online. Depending on inaccurate information can have very negative effects on an immigrant’s status in the United States.

Major Reform Hurdle Removed in Senate

Posted on: August 23, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Immigration-Rally-in-Washingto-7293773Winning Over Republicans

Recently released reports indicate that the U.S. Senate appears to have crossed a major roadblock on the road to immigration reform. The agreement is seen as a major boost in an effort to gain more Republican support for the reform bill by increasing the amount of cash earmarked for beefing up border security. The increased funding is expected to pay for more border security agents, the installment of 700 miles of fence, and the operation of an aerial drone border security program. The move to include border security amendments comes on the heels of several Senators stating that they are much more likely to support an immigration reform bill, one that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented aliens already in the country illegally, if it includes measures to strengthen the U.S. / Mexico border.

Less Optimism in the House

Despite the fact that politicians in the Senate are working hard to reach a viable compromise on the issue of immigration reform, Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner has said that an immigration bill has little to no chance of making it to the floor of the House unless it has the support of a majority of House Republicans. This means that even if the Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, passes its own bill, the House won’t even vote on the bill unless it contains enough provisions that House Republicans can support.

House Bills v. Senate Bills

The reason why the House can kill a Senate bill if it doesn’t agree with its contents is because of how the legislative branch of government, also known as Congress, makes laws. For any bill to become a law, it must be voted on and passed by both chambers of Congress, the House and the Senate. Either chamber can draft a bill, but it must be passed in the other chamber before it can be signed into law. If both parties draft bills to deal with the same issues, which is still something that could happen in this battle over immigration reform, then the two bills have to be consolidated until it meets with the approval of both chambers.

Only after the House and the Senate agree on and vote to approve a bill can it be signed into law by the President – and President Obama has already stated that he will support a bipartisan immigration reform bill. Assuming the President did not want to sign a bill into law, the bill could still become law if it was sent back to Congress for another vote that would require a 2/3 Congressional majority. If 2/3rds of Congress support the bill, then it can become law even without the President’s approval.

Progress Slow but Steady

Even though the debates over immigration seem to be pushing immigration reform forward, there is no telling how long it could take for Congress to approve a full and final reform bill. Speaker Boehner has said in the past that he expects his chamber of Congress to reach an agreement on the issue by the end of 2013, which is good for the country as a whole, but seems like an eternity to the millions of individuals who would be affected either positively or negatively by the passage of the bill.

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.

Senator Rubio’s Strong Words on Immigration Debate

Posted on: August 14, 2013 by in immigration, immigration reform
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bigstock-Immigration-3151682As the U.S. Senate works on coming up with a plan to overhaul America’s current immigration system, Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and original member of the Senate’s Gang of Eight, the bipartisan group of Senators who created the groundwork for what will become a full and final immigration reform bill, has said that if any provisions in the new bill allow same sex couples the same immigration rights as intersex couples, that he will withdraw his support from the bill. Senator Rubio is not alone and is just one of several Republicans in Congress who have voiced their opposition to granting immigration rights for same sex couples. This progressive provision was introduced by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, and is expected to be voted on some time in the near future.

It’s About the Border for Republicans

Of higher priority to Senator Rubio and other Republican leaders in Congress is strengthening the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Despite the fact that a Republican introduced provision has been struck down that would have required the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to declare effective control of the border before any undocumented immigrants could be placed on a path to citizenship, Republicans are adamant about beefing up border security. In one of his most recent interviews, Senator Rubio stated that if provisions to strengthen the border are not included in the Senate’s final bill proposal, then the bill won’t pass the Senate or the House of Representatives and framers of the legislation, in Rubio’s words, are wasting their time.

An Overall Update

Despite the comments made by Senator Rubio, the Senate continues to move forward, albeit slowly, toward coming up with full and final legislation that it can vote on. After the proposed immigration reform bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, it was moved forward for a full Senate vote and debate. However, before a final vote can be completed by the Senate, all 100 Senators have the opportunity to debate and inject amendments into the bill. While the Senate continues to debate the amendments which should be included in the bill, they are still further along in the process than the House of Representatives. Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner has stated that he believes his chamber of Congress will be able to vote on a final bill by the end of 2013.

When both chambers of Congress, the Senate and the House, are finally able to come up with their own bills, the two bills will need to be consolidated and voted on by all of Congress. Only after the entire Congress can agree on a single and final version of an immigration reform bill will such a bill have a chance at becoming law. Once passed by Congress, the bill would be sent to the President, who has already said that he will support an immigration reform bill, to be signed into law.

For the most up to date information on the state of immigration reform, individuals who may be affected by reform should speak to an experienced immigration attorney.

7 Out of 10 Say Immigration Bill Won’t Pass in 2013

Posted on: August 2, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Close-up-of-male-hands-with-pe-46137757Despite what appears to be the best efforts of lawmakers in the nation’s capital to come up with a comprehensive plan to overhaul current immigration policies, a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University reveals that seven out of ten registered voters don’t think that lawmakers will be able to work together to pass an immigration reform bill by the end of this year.

A Bumpy Road So Far

Anyone who is keeping up with the state of immigration reform in America has no doubt heard and read of the slow but steady progress which lawmakers have made so far. Unfortunately, passing a bill like comprehensive immigration reform isn’t easy. It started with the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group Senators, which created a proposal bill that was then forwarded to the Senate Judiciary Committee for finalization. The Senate Judiciary Committee has made more than a few changes to the proposal, but a final version of the check contains both a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country and provisions to beef up border security – the next step for the bill is to be voted on by the entire Senate.

A Bumpy Road to Come

Something that many people forget is that America’s legislative branch is comprised of two chambers, the Senate, which contains an equal number of members from each state, and the House of Representatives, which contains representatives from each state based on state population. For a bill to become law, both chambers need to agree on a final version which the President will then be asked to sign. So far, the Senate has been making lots of progress toward a bill, but the House maintains the option of voting on the check as it is written by the Senate, or writing a check of its own. If the House writes its own bill, then both bills from both chambers will have to be consolidated into a single bill.

So far, critics are saying that the recently passed Senate bill stands little to no chance of being passed by the House – but only time will tell for sure.

What the Poll Means

Despite the lack of faith which polled voters appear to have, the good news is that the poll means little to nothing when it comes to getting the bill to pass. Individuals who are keeping an eye on the state of American immigration reform should keep in mind that much of the noise they hear on the news is debate and speculation – and that’s the way it will be until a check is actually passed into law.

If they are concerned or worried about what will happen to them, immigrants living in the United States who may be affected by the passing of an eventual check are advised to get legal advice only from experienced immigration attorneys. Immigration attorneys are in the best position to accurately advise immigrants on the current state of the law – getting this kind of important advice from anyone other than an attorney can lead to the immigrant getting bad and inaccurate information which may have an adverse effect on the immigrant’s status.

Border Security a Major Immigration Issue for GOP

Posted on: July 29, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Immigration-3151682According to several prominent members of the House of Representatives, border security is at the top of the list of priorities when it comes to overhauling immigration in America, but the current immigration reform bill proposed by the Senate lacks enough provisions within itself to strengthen the border, Republicans say, to pass House scrutiny.

Two Chambers, One Bill

In the United States, the government consists of three branches of government. The legislative branch, which is responsible for making laws, consists of two separate but equally important chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The two are unique from one another in that the Senate consists of an equal number of Senators from each state, while the House consists of Representatives assigned to represent constituents based on population, with more populated states getting more Representatives in the House.

For a bill to become a law, both chambers of Congress must come up with a single bill that can pass a vote from both chambers. In many cases, both chambers will vote on a single bill submitted by one chamber, but when issues are as polarizing as immigration reform, both chambers retain the right to come up with their own proposal bills which would then become consolidated into a single bill. This is where the nation stands at the moment – the Senate Judiciary Committee has already proposed a full version of a bill which will be voted on by the whole Senate sometime in the near future. The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is still in the early stages of a draft bill proposal which will eventually be voted on by the entire House.

Once the Senate and the House agree on and vote on a bill, the bill will be sent to the President for a signature to be signed into law. If the President does not wish to sign the bill into law, which many believe won’t happen because of the President’s prior comments on the issue, then the bill can be sent back to Congress where Congress can pass the bill into law without the President’s signature by gaining a 2/3rd Congressional majority of support.

No Changes Yet

With all the talk in Washington regarding immigration reform, it might be confusing to make heads or tails of where an immigration reform bill will land, but until a final bill is passed into law, the laws on immigration in the United States will remain as they are.

Individuals with questions on the progress of immigration reform or immigration laws as they currently stand, particularly if they are trying to come to or remain in the United States, should contact experienced immigration legal counsel for answers to their questions. An immigration attorney is the only person who should be depended on for advice on the matter, because immigration attorneys regularly study and review immigration laws in order to stay in business. Getting information from anyone else on the issue could result in the delivery of wrong or outdated information, which could have drastic consequences for the foreign citizen or immigrant.

Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Immigration Bill

Posted on: June 25, 2013 by in immigration reform
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bigstock-Citizenship-documents-43205116The President recently commended the Senate Judiciary Committee for approving a bipartisan immigration reform check proposal – the committee has spent several weeks debating the language which would be included in the bill and, although not every politician was able to get exactly what they wanted, the President remains hopeful that immigration reform is right around the corner. Of course, the critics are saying otherwise.

The President’s Role

After both the Senate and the House of Representatives can come up with a full and final check for immigration reform, the bill is sent to the President’s desk for a signature. If the President affixes his signature to the bill, it becomes law. If the President refuses to sign the bill or vetoes the bill altogether, then it can be sent back to the legislative branch for another vote to override the President’s decision, but it would need the support of 2/3rds of Congress. If the bill is unable to garner the support of 2/3rds of the legislative branch, then the bill dies.

So far, only the Senate has a final version of a bill which it will be voting on soon – it is unsure whether or not the House will vote on the same check or draft one of its own. Both chambers of Congress must agree on a full and final bill before a bill can go to the President to be signed into law.

The Mood in the Senate

Overall, the Senate seems pleased that it has been able to negotiate a bipartisan deal for immigration reform, and so do many members of the general public. It was reported that when the Senate Judiciary Committee finalized their version of the check which will be sent to the rest of the Senate for a vote, the Senate chamber erupted with cheer, and many members of the crowd began chanting “Si se puede,” the famous battle cry of famed labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

Assuming that the bill is able to pass a Senate vote, which many believe that it will, it remains unknown how the House of Representatives will react. Some members of the House, which maintains a Republican majority, have already expressed their own doubts over whether or not the Senate’s check will be able to withstand the scrutiny of the House, with many certain that the bill will be squashed.

Speculation Isn’t News

It’s easy for critics to speculate on which direction the Senate and the House will take with progress toward immigration reform, but until a check  is signed into law by the President or passed into law by a 2/3rd Congressional majority, speculation remains nothing more than words. Immigrants currently living in the country are advised by legal professionals to avoid misinterpretations of speculation for news. For the most accurate and up to date information on the progress of immigration reform, immigrants should only seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney, who studies and practices the very specific field of immigration law, for information regarding their status and immigration reform in general.