Posts Tagged ‘ immigration reform law ’

Family Unity: A Concern of Immigration Reform

Posted on: August 28, 2013 by in immigration reform
No Comments

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
No Comments

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.

Border Security a Major Immigration Issue for GOP

Posted on: July 29, 2013 by in immigration reform
No Comments

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.