Root Law Group Releases Report about Immigration Reform

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Root Law Group created a report with a summary of Immigration Reform.

Root Law Group compiled a report about Immigration Reform. This report is created to help people understand complex immigration law concepts in an easy to understand language.

Report has six chapters that cover different parts of Immigration Reform. Six chapters are:

1) Border Security
2) Provisional Immigration Status
3) Skilled Workers
4) Unskilled Workers
5) Employment Immigration
6) Family Immigration

Background information about the Immigration Reform:
On April 16, 2013, the Senate introduced S. 744, the immigration bill that promises comprehensive immigration reform. Currently, it has passed in the Senate and the bill is in the House of Representatives, where it is currently being debated. Below is a summary of the current Senate bill, but the final bill that will hopefully be signed into law may look different.

Brief summary of each chapter:

Chapter 1: Border Security
The first goal of the bill is to strengthen border security. Major benefits to immigrants might be put on hold or delayed until this is achieved. Goals of border security include:

-24-hour surveillance of the border with Mexico, so that 90% of those crossing the border illegally would be caught and turned back;

-a plan to be developed and implemented using drones, additional agents and fencing; and

-additional customs agents to be hired to check those entering the U.S. and make sure they have legal status.

Chapter 2: Provisional Immigration Status
Before becoming lawful permanent resident and citizens, illegal immigrants will be given registered provisional immigration status. An estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. could obtain provisional status as long as they:

1.    entered in the U.S. before December 31, 2011 and remained in the U.S. since then;
2.    do not have a felony conviction or three or more misdemeanors; and
3.    pay a $500 fine.

After 10 years in provisional status, immigrants can apply for lawful permanent residence. Those that were brought to the United States as minors would be eligible to apply after 5 years, and would then be able to apply for citizenship immediately.

Chapter 3: Skilled Workers
There is good news for skilled workers under the bill, including:

-the H-1B visa program cap would be raised from 65,000 applicants a year to 110,000 – 180,000 a year, with 25,000 more set aside for those with advanced degrees;

-individuals with certain extraordinary abilities, athletes and graduates of U.S. schools with certain degrees and job offers would be exempt from green card quotas;

-a startup visa would be available for those coming to the United States to start a business; and

-the Diversity Visa Lottery would be eliminated, and replaced with one based on merit (based on education, employment, length of residence in the U.S., etc).

Chapter 4: Unskilled Workers
Unskilled workers are often overlooked under the current immigration system, but the new bill would ensure they also receive benefits, including:

  • a new W visa that would allow 200,000 unskilled workers a year to enter the U.S.; and
  • making agricultural workers already in the U.S. illegally eligible for green cards if they worked in the industry for at least two years and will continue to do so for an additional five years.

Chapter 5: Employment Immigration
Employment-based immigration will greatly benefit under if the bill becomes law. By 2021, the bill would eliminate the current backlogs and will allow the recapture of unused visas from previous years. There will no longer be country-specific visa caps. Certain workers with that are highly skilled or talented will be exempt from the visa caps altogether.

Chapter 6: Family Immigration
Unlike with employment immigration, family immigration could see some of its benefits eliminated. This would include family petitions for siblings and married sons/daughters over the age of 31. If you have a family member in this category, contact our office to file the petition now before these benefits are no longer available.

To request the report, please contact Root Law Group.

James E. Root
Principal Attorney
Root Law Group, Exclusive Immigration Practice

For more information and a free legal consultation regarding this and other current immigration topics please contact Root Law Group at (888) ROOT-LAW or (888)766-8529

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James Root
Root Law Group
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