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Immigration Reform Update

By Humera Subhani Email By Humera Subhani
March 2013
Immigration Reform Update

A group of key senators, representing both the Republican and Democratic parties, announced an agreement on the key principles of immigration reform in January 2013. These renewed efforts toward comprehensive reform are similar in many ways to past proposals.

The proposal has support from both key political parties. The senators behind this proposal are Charles Schumer (DNY), Dick Durban (D-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ). Some of these senators have been involved with immigration reform efforts for many years.

The matter has been presented in the form of these four items on the agenda:
• Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether undocumented foreign nationals have left the country when required.
• Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families.
• Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers.
• Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.

President Obama called for common sense, comprehensive reform. He noted that most Americans agree that it is time to “fix the system that has been broken for way too long” and that immigration reform will strengthen our economy and our nation’s future. His commitment to key principles at the heart of meaningful immigration reform started with an earned path to legal status that eventually could be converted to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented in our communities, and included:
• Eliminating the extremely long wait times for families to be reunited with loved ones with temporary and permanent reforms to the family-based immigration system.
• Treating same-sex families just like other families.
• Eliminating long wait times for employers and prospective employees by reducing backlogs and adding visas.
• Granting green cards to graduates in science, technology, engineering, and math fields, creating a “startup visa” for job-creating entrepreneurs, and expanding opportunities for investors contributing to U.S. economic development.
• Expediting an opportunity for DREAMers to earn their citizenship.
• Investing in our immigration courts and providing greater protections for those least able to represent themselves.
• Providing broader discretion to judges to help keep families together when they face hardship.
• Imposing tough criminal penalties on notarios who prey on vulnerable immigrants.

It is still a long and tumultuous road ahead but many are hopeful that immigration reform will be realistically possible in the first part of 2013.

 

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR March 2013

 

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

15Feb06

15Feb06

2A

22Nov10

22Nov10

2B

01Mar05

01Mar05

3rd

15Jul02

15Jul02

4th

22Apr01

22Apr01

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Sep04

Current

3rd

22Nov02

01May07

Other

22Nov02

01May07

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B



 

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