Thursday, April 18, 2013

Details of the Proposed Immigration Reform

The Gang of Eight introduced its proposal for immigration reform in the Senate today.  The bill is 844 pages long, and will take time to read, digest and analyze.  However, one organization, the Migration Policy Institute, has published a detailed comparison of the proposals introduced in this bill, and the proposals made in 2006 and 2007.

The heart of the proposal appears to be to require the Department of Homeland Security to create strategies to provide greater border security, and to implement those strategies, in exchange for permitting those who are present in the United States without legal status to be given provisional status, which could eventually lead to citizenship.

First, Homeland Security must submit strategies for protecting the southern border within six months of the passage of the bill.  Once the strategies have been submitted to Congress, then a new status, Registered Provisional Immigrant ("RPI"), is created.  The Secretary of Homeland Security must then certify to Congress and the President that the plans have been submitted, implemented and substantially operational or complete.  A mandatory employer verification system (E-Verify) and an electronic exit system at air and sea ports must also be implemented.  Once all of these conditions have been met, then those with RPI status may apply for permanent residency.

RPI status must be renewed every six months.  Eligible aliens must have been continually present in the United States from December 31, 2011.  Those with RPI status must learn English, and pay all taxess before they can adjust to permanent residency.  However, certain deportees who were present before December 31, 2011 may apply for re-entry under RPI status, if they were not deported for criminal reasons and other criteria are met.

To received RPI status, there will be a $500 fee at filing, and a $500 fee upon renewal.  To adjust to permanent residency, there will be a $1,000 fine, plus a processing fee ($400 fine for agricultural workers). 

It should be stressed that this is just a proposal.  It is subject to mark-up and amendment in the Senate.  It must also pass the House of Representatives and be signed by the President before it becomes law.  Thus, changes should be expected.  More details on the proposal shall follow.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
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  2. Thanks for sharing it.Immigration reform is a term used in political discussion regarding changes to current immigration policy of a country.
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