Skip to main content

Three Ways to Get Ready for Immigration Reform

Everyone has heard of the new Senate Immigration bill, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (BSEOIMA), proposed by the bi-partisan Gang of 8.  The key to remember is that this is a proposal, NOT a law. Nothing has changed yet.  Our current immigration laws, as bad as they are, are still in place.  There is no need to run out and hire an attorney, there is no one to pay to work on a case under this bill, and there is no need to panic about your qualifications. Before BSEOIMA becomes law there will be many changes, some good some bad, and the only law that matters is that one that ends up on the President’s desk for signature.  That said, let’s look at some key points of BSEOIMA.

First, everyone has focused on the newly proposed Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status for undocumented and overstayed immigrants. RPI is a 10 year path to permanent residence that comes with interim work permits and travel permission, but with a $2,000 fine, regular filing fees (probably at least $1,000), the need to learn English and pass a civics test, have no felonies and maximum three misdemeanors and a requirement that ALL back taxes are paid!

The take awayto get ready for reform, have your friends and family who might apply for RPI save their money, meet with accountants to file and/or fix back taxes (at least 3 years and possibly more), see an experienced immigration defense attorney, and learn English!

Second, and possibly more important than the RPI status, are the substantial modifications to our current legal immigration system, including a new “start up” visas, a counting of only principal applicants and not family toward the total number of immigrant visa numbers, an increase in business immigration numbers, an elimination of the diversity lottery, and many other good immigration changes that help legal immigrants immigrate faster to the US.  There is a trade off of family immigration numbers with the elimination of the brother and sister category, and perhaps the married children of citizen category.  But it is not an immediate elimination.  The key is EVERYONE in the “line” for legal immigration will obtain permanent residence before anyone in RPI status. 

The take away:  file applications for your family NOW if they qualify under any category, even if the “line” appears long.  It will be a lot shorter than RPI!

Third, there are over 400 different new waivers in this bill.  BSEOIMA includes forgiveness to people with deportation orders, permission to return to the US if previously deported, lowered standards for waivers, new waivers for false claims to citizenship, and many other positive and necessary modifications to our overly stringent immigration laws.

The take away:  if you or your relative have deportation orders, or have been deported, meet with an experienced immigration attorney, get your immigration files, and plan for reform now.

Reform will not happen for many months, but WE have to make it happen.  Call your Senators and Congressman today (and tomorrow) at 202-224-3121 and insist that they support Immigration Reform!  


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…


Todas las personas en los Estados Unidos, incluidos los extranjeros y aun los con ordenes de deportacion, tienen ciertos derechos básicos que deben ser respetados por los agentes de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE). Estos derechos se derivan tanto de la Constitución de los Estados Unidos. y las leyes de Estados Unidos. Como extranjero, usted tiene los siguientes derechos:

Usted tiene el derecho de negar la entrada a un agente de ICE a su casa sin una orden válida. Esta orden debe ser firmado por un juez. Usted puede negarse a abrir la puerta, o se puede cerrar la puerta después de descubrir que el agente no tiene una orden válida. Los agentes del ICE generalmente no vienen con una orden judicial. Estos agentes suelen venir a la casa de alguien con una orden final de deportación, muy temprano en la mañana. Si alguien está golpeando en su puerta a las 6:00 am, no le es requerido abrir la puerta. Mirar fuera de primera. Si es un agente del gobierno, ust…