On Wednesday, the Senate officially filed an 844 page immigration bill which will be the
focus of debate for the next couple months as the Senate debate over what should stay included and what should be removed.
The bill focuses on four main areas:
- immigrant visas;
- nonimmigrant visas (such as workplace programs);
- border security; and
- enforcement within the U.S.
The bill proposes a $3 billion increase for border security, including electrified fences, more frequent patrols, and surveillance technology such as drones.
As for permanent residency, the bill would only be available to people who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011. The details state that these people would be eligible for “registered provisional immigrant” status. After ten years of RPI status, you can apply for legal permanent residency.
Furthermore, to apply for RPI, the applicant cannot have any felony convictions in the U.S. or abroad. Also, three misdemeanor convictions may cause denial of RPI status. The illegal voting law will still carry over and prevent RPI applications from being successfully approved.
Withstanding the bars to applying, there is a $500 fine. Once approved, the applicant can work and travel out of the country freely.
It is important to remember that this is just a proposal and is not the current law. As always, we will keep a close eye on any developments. We have faith that reform will come and it will be for the better.
If you want to read the bill yourself, please visit: http://www.aila.org/content/fileviewer.aspx?docid=44069&linkid=260326