Immigration Reform (Senate Bill 744) – Immigration Lawyers Release Videos to Inform About the Reform and What To Do Next, Recommend to Prepare Now

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For those who are illegal, undocumented or "out of status" in the United States, the time to act is now. Immigration Experts affiliated with the law firm International Law Group (Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia) have released two videos (in English and Spanish) that explain the current legal situation, and advise what to do next.

On April 16, 2013, the proposal for a comprehensive U.S. Immigration Reform was published ("Senate Bill 744: Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," available on the website of Senator Charles Schumer at http://www.schumer.senate.gov). Some optimistic U.S. Senators expect it to become law within a few months, but there may be delays and some provisions may still change. The proposal will provide a Government process (through USCIS, U.S. Department of Homeland Security) for legalizing the estimated 11 million "illegal" foreigners in the U.S., and implement measures to better protect against people entering the U.S. illegally. The proposal is 844 pages long, and quite complicated, but it includes the following:

For those who are currently "illegal" in the USA: Unauthorized immigrants may apply to receive legalized status, called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status. To qualify, one must have been in the United States before December 31, 2011. To apply, one must pay a $1,000 fine, pay back taxes, learn English, remain employed and pass a criminal background check. Spouses and children can be included in the application, but they must be in the United States at the time. "Registered Provisional Immigrants" can apply for a green card after 10 years.

Currently, it is planned that the registration period is only 1 year (from the date of the publication in the Federal Register). Therefore, such persons should get their applications ready now.

There are a few other important changes in the proposal:

H1B Visas: The proposal will increase the number of H1B visas to at least 110,000 (from currently 65,000) ever year.

E-VERIFY System: All Employers must implement the employment verification system (E-VERIFY) to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States.

Videos that Explain the Reform and Advise What To Do Next

For those who are illegal, undocumented or "out of status" in the United States, the time to act is now. Immigration Experts affiliated with the law firm International Law Group (Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia) have released two videos (in English and Spanish) that explain the current legal situation, and advise what to do next. The videos can be found:

The Time to Act is Now

"The best thing to do is to discuss one's cases with an immigration lawyer now and start putting together the documents needed to apply," is the advice of Attorney Mike Meier. "For those who are in the U.S. without valid status, entered illegally, etc., now is the time to act. The Immigration Reform has a limited Registration Period, meaning one is given a limited time to register. If one does not file the application during this time period, then the opportunity is gone and one cannot apply anymore."

Due to estimates of 11 – 15 million "illegals" in the U.S., one needs to take steps now to timely obtain necessary documents, information, translations and take all steps to prepare for the application with USCIS. You don’t want your case to be at the end of that line!

What To Do Next

The videos contain recommendations for those who are illegal in the U.S., and what to do now:
(1) Make a folder with the most important documents the person will need to become legal:

  • Proof that he/she was in the U.S. before December 31, 2011: proof that he/she paid bills, had a driver's license, received mail, rented an apartment, etc.
  • Copy the passport and the entry visa & I-94 (if he/she has one).
  • If he/she does not have a current passport, one should go to his/her Embassy or Consulate to extend it or get a new passport.
  • If his/her English is not good, take a language course now.

All of this applies to family members (spouse and children), too.

  • Get ready to file any tax returns he/she missed.
  • Collect all documents regarding prior Immigration Violations. Was the person ever arrested by police or immigration officers? Was the person ever accused of a crime and had to appear in Court? The lawyer needs to see any prior Removal Orders, and information on "Reentry After Removal." The lawyer needs to know whether he/she was deported. The lawyer needs to see all information relating to any criminal violations and criminal convictions.

This is the time to consult with a lawyer. To contact a qualified immigration lawyer, here are a few references in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC, and Florida:

International Law Group [Maryland, Virginia, Washington, DC]
Languages: Spanish, German, English
Phone: (202) 580-8759
Website: http://www.internationallawgroup.com
Videos about various immigration and visa issues: http://www.internationallawgroup.com/videos.htm

Lee & Meier, PLLC [Virginia]
Languages: Korean, Spanish, English
Phone: (703) 385-3085
Website: http://www.leemeierlaw.com

Transnational Law Group [Florida, Miami, Miami Beach, Key West]
Languages: French, English
Phone: (305) 537-2760

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