Tampa Immigration Attorney Antonio L. Viera, of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., on Immigration Reform

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We see that the time for immigration reform is long overdue, and the prospects of reform are dimming.

Tony Viera, attorney with the law offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A.

It is a shame, because right now many hardworking people who have done everything right are not afforded the opportunity to study, work and live in the United States.

“The time for immigration reform is long overdue,” said Antonio L. Viera, a Tampa, Florida immigration attorney with the law offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. “Although the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill has passed with a large majority in the Senate, it has stalled in the House of Representatives. Without passing the House, it cannot be signed into law by the President, and we are left with what we have.”

“It is a shame, because right now many hardworking people who have done everything right are not afforded the opportunity to study, work and live in the United States. I have talked with young people, teenagers working hard in high school and looking to apply to college, who could be deported tomorrow because they were brought to the country when they were 6 months old,” said Viera of the situation.

Currently, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) is refusing to take up immigration reform. He is invoking the nonbinding “Hastert Rule,” that any legislation must be approved by a majority of the majority: “For any legislation… to pass the House, it’s going to have to be a bill that has the support of the majority of our members [in the GOP],” said Boehner.

Viera spoke of the significant amount of political pressure coming to bear on the House to advance reform. This has ranged from demonstrators kneeling in front of deportation busses to arrests of members of Congress amongst a large crowd during a demonstration in the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to name a few of many in recent months. Unfortunately, none of this has changed the politics.

“In this Congress, even the Violence Against Women Act, one of the least controversial pieces of legislation, was held up partially because it offered special protections to immigrant women,” lamented Viera.

He continued, “There have been the minor administrative advances of allowing ‘Dreamers,’ some of the young, undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children, to stay and work in the country, as well as granting Parole in Place to military families. These programs, however, cover a small fraction of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in our country, and do not address record deportations under the current Administration. Nor do they address the millions of people we have entangled in an immigration system that takes decades to navigate.”

Antonio Viera ended the conversation with “As someone who is from Puerto Rico whose parents migrated from Cuba, I feel very much a part of the Tampa immigrant community, often even serving new immigrant families in the same dialect of Spanish I would hear from my parents growing up. While the prospects of reform dim as the congressional calendar soon comes to an end, I hope that the House will take up reform: I need more tools to help serve my community.”

About Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett , P.A.
The law firm of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. was founded in 1971 by attorneys Ed Carlson and Paul Meissner. For more than four decades, they have been committed to protecting the injured and defending the accused. Their attorneys have established a solid reputation of case success throughout Florida, providing strong legal representation, easy accessibility and a high level of dependability. A client-centered approach ensures that clients know what is happening as their case progresses, and understand their options every step of the way. With a focus on personal injury, they help victims of auto accidents, slip and falls and wrongful death accidents. The firm is well-known for their innovative criminal and DUI defense work, defending both local and high-profile clients. Attorney and Partner Kevin Hayslett is widely recognized as The Attorney to the Stars, providing strong legal representation for notable celebrities and dignitaries throughout Florida. The firm also handles social security disability, workers compensation, divorce, family law and immigration cases. They offer free initial consultations and have five convenient Tampa Bay Area locations. Attorneys are available 24/7 for emergencies. Count on the legal team of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. to be there, fighting for you, protecting your rights. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 877-728-9653 or visit their website http://www.carlsonmeissner.com

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MaryAnn Bounacos

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