Immigration Reform on Hold until 2014

House Speaker John Boehner told House Minority Nancy Pelosi that immigration reform legislation is on hold until next year.  When President Obama got elected, many hoped that immigration reform would be a reality.  However, Congress has been reluctant to draft an immigration reform bill or hold hearings on immigration reform.

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NEW Senate Immigration Bill – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013

On Tuesday, April 16, 2013, a bipartisan group of senators introduced a major immigration bill that would bolster border security, legalize many of America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants and put them on a path to citizenship, dramatically overhaul the legal immigration system, and crack down on employers who hire unauthorized workers. The press conference was canceled due to the Boston bombings. The immigration bill/proposal is entitled, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.

In summary, the proposed bill creates a new legal immigrant status, referred to as Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI), which will allow the current undocumented population to earn lawful permanent resident (or green card) status in 10 years. Also, the bill/proposal eliminates U.S. citizen sponsorship of brothers or sisters and enacts an age limitation on U.S. citizen sponsorship of married children. Further, a new guest worker visa, W visa, is created and non-immigrant work visas numbers/availability will be increased. Lastly, a merit based visa system is created for skilled workers and all employers would be required to use the E-Verify system. The immigration bill/proposal still has a long road through hearing, amendments and approval from the House of Representatives before making it to President Obama’s desk for signature and enactment into law.

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
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Immigration Lawyer Orlando Comments on 2014 Immigration Reform

There were high hopes for passage of a comprehensive immigration bill in 2013 but it did not become reality due to the lack of action by the House of Representative and its leader, House Speaker John Boehner.  Immigration lawyer Orlando, Gail Seeram, is hopeful we may see some immigration reform in 2014.  In 2013, the Senate drafted and passed by a majority vote the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.  However, when it was time for the House of Representative to vote on the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, they declined and never introduced the legislation for discussion or vote.

Well, it’s a new year and House Speaker, John Boehner, seems to have changed his tune and view on immigration reform.  In the first week of the new year, Mr. Boehner hired Rebecca Tallent, a longtime immigration adviser and advocate for immigration reform.  Mr. Boehner’s action sends a strong message that he as leader of the House of Representative is committed to what he calls “step by step” approach to revising the immigration laws.

Last year the Senate bill sought to revamp all major areas of the immigration law including a legalization program for illegals in the U.S.  For 2014, my prediction is that the House of Representative, under the leadership of John Boehner, will propose an immigration bill or legislation specific to border security, stricter deportation guidelines and a limited program to legalize the 12 millions undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Lack of Congressional action has left millions of families living in two parallel universes – some states cut undocumented immigrants off from housing , school, employment and other states give the same immigrants access to driver’s licenses, better wages, and college education for their children.  We need one immigration system that will be embraced by all the states and give undocumented immigrants hope that they will be U.S. citizens in a country they have called “home” for many years!

Immigration Lawyer Comments on President Obama and Governor Romney on Immigration

As the U.S. presidential election is this week, immigration lawyer Gail Seeram helps  undecided voters to see where each candidate stands on immigration. Through their speeches and presidential debates, each candidate briefly describes their position on immigration enforcement and immigration reform. Presidential Obama has an established record of being tough on immigration enforcement as we have seen record deportation from the U.S. under his administration. Also, President Obama has acted through executive order to grant status to immigrant widows of U.S. citizens and grant young immigrants deferred action and temporary work authorization. Governor Romney does not have a clear record on immigration since he has not initiated any immigration policies as governor and has not voted on any immigration matters. For those who are naturalized U.S. citizens, immigration should be an important voting issue for you since you were once considered an immigrant in this country and am sure have family and friends who are still struggling as illegal or legal immigrants in the U.S. For me, the clear choice for immigration reform is President Obama but you decide based on the following statements from each candidate.

President Obama has been quoted as follows:

Des Moines Register, October 23, 2012 “We need to get immigration reform done, and I’m fully committed to doing that.” “The second thing I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform.”

Univision Forum, September 19, 2012 “I am happy to take responsibility for the fact that we didn’t get [comprehensive immigration reform] done. But I did not make a promise that I would get everything done 100% when I was elected as president. What I promised was that I would work every single day as hard as I can to make sure that everybody in this country regardless of who they are, what they look like, where they come from, that they would have a fair shot at the American dream. And that promise I’ve kept.”

Univision-Enrique Acevedo Interview, April 13, 2012 “I can promise that I will try to do it [immigration reform] in the first year of my second term. I want to try this year. The challenge we’ve got on immigration reform is very simple. I’ve got a majority of Democrats who are prepared to vote for it, and I’ve got no Republicans who are prepared to vote for it. It’s worse than that. We now have a Republican nominee who said that the Arizona laws are a model for the country; that — and these are laws that potentially would allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship papers are based on an assumption.”

Governor Romney has been quoted as follows:

CNN GOP candidate debate, January 16, 2012 “Those who come into the country legally would be given an identification card, and if employers hire someone without a card, then those employers would be severely sanctioned. If you do that, people who have come here illegally won’t be able to find work. And over time, those people would tend to leave the country, or self-deport. I don’t think anyone is interested in going around and rounding up people around the country and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants into America. Let’s focus our attention on how to make legal immigration work and stop illegal immigration.”
GOP candidate debate (Reagan Library), January 30, 2008 “My plan is this, which is for those that have come here illegally and are here illegally today, no amnesty. Now, how do people return home? Under the ideal setting, at least in my view, you say to those who have just come in recently, we’re going to send you back home immediately, we’re not going to let you stay here. You just go back home. For those that have been here, let’s say, five years, and have kids in school, you allow kids to complete the school year, you allow people to make their arrangements, and allow them to return back home. Those that have been here a long time, with kids that have responsibilities here and so forth, you let stay enough time to organize their affairs and go home.”

GOP candidate debate, January 5, 2006 “I disagree fundamentally with the idea that the 12 million people who’ve come here illegally should all be allowed to remain in the US permanently, potentially some of them applying for citizenship and becoming citizens, others just staying permanently. That is a form of amnesty, and that it’s not appropriate. We’re a nation of laws. Our liberty is based upon being a nation of laws. I would welcome those people to get in line with everybody else who wants to come here permanently. But there should be no special pathway to permanent residency or citizenship for those that have come here illegally. I welcome legal immigration. Of course we need to secure the border. We need to have an employment verification system with a card to identify who’s here legally and not legally. We need to have employer sanctions that hire people that then don’t have the legal card. But with regards to those already here, it is simply not right and unfair to say they’re going to all get to stay.”

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
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Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.

Immigration Reform Bill Introduced by Congressman Gutierrez (D-IL)

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), in the House of Representatives. The 87 original co-sponsors of the bill include members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Progressive Caucus.The necessity of comprehensive immigration reform stems from a long-neglected immigration system that has failed to keep up with our nation’s changing needs, resulting in breakdowns that have crippled our ability to regulate immigration adequately, protect our borders, reunite families, and foster economic opportunity.The CIR ASAP bill includes many of the elements necessary to bring our immigration system in tune with the current social and economic demands of our nation including, family reunification, restoration of judicial discretion, a generous legalization program, sensible law enforcement, and creative, if untested, answers to future immigration flows.”Our current immigration system fails to reflect the realities of 21st century America, and CIR ASAP begins to deal with these failings and sets us on a path towards enacting fair and humane immigration policies,” said Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. “We need to move forward, even in tough economic times, if we wish to ensure the future growth and prosperity of our nation. Introduction of this bill jump starts the New Year, providing a vehicle for other lawmakers to react to and build upon. We expect many more proposals in the Senate and House in the coming months and urge lawmakers to make this a fact-based debate with the goal of passing reform in 2010.””While the Gutierrez bill doesn’t have all the answers, it begins the dialogue in Congress,” said Ben Johnson, Executive Director of the American Immigration Council. “The bill reflects the political realities within the House of Representatives, and as such does not include some of the necessary reforms for ensuring economic prosperity which Gutierrez has long supported. It is clear that what makes good policy does not always make good politics. However, the bill makes a significant contribution to restoring due process and discretion to the immigration system, and serves as a starting point for bringing more voices to the table.”

For more information, email Gail@GailLaw.com or call 1-877-GAIL-LAW or 407-292-7730.
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Copyright © 2014, Law Offices of Gail S. Seeram. All Rights Reserved.