At this point Immigration Reform is still at least a Congressional summer vacation away from being passed. Most people "in the know" will tell you that the Senate Bill (BSEOIMA, S.744) will never have a vote in the House of Representatives. That may or may not be true. What is clear is that the House of Representatives is feeling a great deal of pressure to do something on Immigration Reform, but is hesitating on allowing people who came without papers or who overstayed their visas to ultimately obtain permanent resident status or U.S. Citizenship without going through the "normal" immigration process.
Everyone is focused on the "undocumented" part of the immigration reform process, but the reality is that the really significant parts of the Senate bill have nothing to do with "amnesty" or "legalization." The key parts of the bill deal with the FUTURE of immigration to the United States. If a version of the Senate Immigration does pass, these new and modified future immigration processes will greatly benefit tens of millions of legal immigrants in the coming decades. The changes will include increased visas for employment-based cases, a significant reduction in wait times for green cards for Mexican, Indian and Chinese nationals, a new "point" system for immigration to the United States, a new immigrant visa for those who complete Masters degrees and Ph.Ds. in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields in the United States, and most importantly, an elimination of certain family categories and the Diversity Lottery, to account for all the new employment based immigrants.
The Senate bill also will provide a temporary visa to those already in the immigration "line" awaiting the decade’s long family backlog, with the right to work and travel. There are also massive changes to the grounds of removal, the process for removal, and even the defenses to removal that today are so limited, but will be expanded should the Senate bill see the light of day. The question remains though is What Immigration Reform Will Happen?
The answer is simple. No Immigration Reform will happen, unless WE make it happen. Recently pundits have said that even though a majority of Americans support Immigration Reform, they are not "angry" about it. And, we all know that only "angry" people call their congressman. So who is calling their congressman? The calls come only from people who oppose Immigration Reform. Consequently, your congressman thinks YOU don't support Immigration Reform, so he can just ignore the polls and vote against the bills.
So, what Immigration Reform will happen? None, unless YOU call your congressman today. Do you want the benefit for you, your business, and your family of the positive changes to immigration law described here? How bad do you want these changes? Do you want it enough to pick up the phone right now and call 202-224-3121 and ask for your Congressman? Are you angry enough to tell him or her that you are calling to ask for them to "Support Immigration Reform Now"?
Immigration Reform, and particularly the positive changes mentioned here, are absolutely essential for the future growth and prosperity of the United States. We must also deal compassionately and wisely with the issues of the undocumented people who so strongly and silently support our way of life. And, we must deal with border security and unlawful employment for future generations. But we will deal with none of these vitally important issues if we remain silent. I, for one, refuse to remain silent. I call each day, several times a day to my Congressman. I am sure he is listening. I am also sure that he will vote against reform, but it will not be because he has not heard my voice. Let your congressman here your voice, today, tomorrow and into the future until we secure an immigration system that works for all today's and tomorrow's Americans.