In June 2013, the U.S. Senate approved a sweeping overhaul of federal immigration law by passing the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, a bill which provides a 13-year path to citizenship for approximately 11 million unauthorized immigrants presently residing in the United States The bill next goes to the House of Representatives to approval, and immigration attorneys as well as immigrants across the United States will be tracking its progress as the bill, if enacted into law, will have a significant impact on millions of immigrants across the country.
The Senate bill includes a number of sweeping reforms for hot-button immigration issues which impact undocumented immigrants, families who are awaiting reunification, guest workers, minors, and others. These proposed reforms include:
- Path to Citizenship ― The bill provides a means for millions of U.S. residents to achieve legal status and, ultimately, citizenship through a legal process over the course of 13 years. Minors and farm workers may be eligible for legal status through a significantly shortened process.
- Family Unity ― The bill makes many provisions for the reunification of families who have been separated by deportation, as well as speed the application review process for backlogged visa applications of U.S. citizens and permanent residents’ family members.
- Expanded Guest Worker Programs ― The bill includes protections for guest workers encountering abuse or wrongful termination.
- Increased Border Security Provisions ― The bill, in its current form, also includes provisions for tightening border security, devoting approximately $40 billion over the next ten years to border enforcement measures, including additional border patrol agents and fencing along the United States’ southern border.
At BK Lawyers LLC, we are actively following the rapid developments in immigration law. If you or a loved one is seeking further information on how these legislative changes may impact your immigration status, contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.