What does “Immigration Reform” actually entail?
Author: US Immigration Lawyer Alena Shautsova
For the past few months there has been a lot of talk about “Immigration Reform”. On Thursday, June 27, 2013, the current bipartisan immigration reform bill passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. So what is all this talk about immigration reform really about? For the approximately eleven million undocumented immigrants in the United States, who leave their homes every day unsure if they will be coming back later that night, the current bill would grant them legal status and a pathway to citizenship.
Undocumented immigrants would have to meet the threshold security benchmarks before obtaining a green card and the pathway to citizenship would be a thirteen year process which includes learning English.
In addition, the bill proposes a higher cap on visas for high-skilled workers and establishes a new visa classification for low skilled workers to work on America’s farms and other places requiring less formal training.
The bill also seeks to curtail undocumented immigrants being paid under the table with both employers and undocumented immigrants avoiding tax payments.
Finally, the bill calls for $30 billion to bolster security along the United States-Mexico border. The $30 billion dollars will be spent on adding approximately 20,000 more border patrol agents, finishing nearly 700 miles of fencing along the border, and other security and surveillance measures.
So what happens now? Now, as per the checks and balances system of our government, the bill will go to the House of Representatives for approval. If passed in the House, then President Obama can sign the bill into law.