Gang of Eight Agrees on Provisions for Immigration Reform Path to Legal Status
Author: Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova
The eight Senators, called the Gang of Eight, who are in charge of writing a bi-partisan bill for immigration reform reached an agreement about the most contested aspect of the bill. After weeks of deliberating over a draft, the senators came to a private agreement behind closed doors about a proposal for legal status for 11 million illegal immigrants. Because this aspect of immigration reform was so controversial, arriving at an agreement was an encouraging prospect for moving forward with the rest of the immigration reform as well.
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the bill contains the following requirements for immigrants:
- Registering with the Department of Homeland Security
- Filing federal income taxes for the time spent in the United States
- Paying a fine (yet to be determined)
- No criminal record
After immigrants obtain probationary legal status they can work. However, the probationary legal status does not allow them to receive food stamps, Medicaid, family cash assistance, federal public benefits or unemployment insurance. There are still some issues to be decided, such as how long the wait is before immigrants with probationary legal status can apply for green cards and subsequently become citizens. The group of senators hopes to complete the entire bill to present to the Senate Judiciary Committee by early April.
If you have questions about immigration, face deportation proceedings or other problems with your immigration status, consult a New York immigration attorney and protect your rights.