Recent Actions on Immigration Reform

Today’s article features recent action in Washington D.C. towards passage of Immigration Reform legislation. These actions can give us some clues as to what an eventual compromise might be.

First, the U.S. Senate last night passed the FY10 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill (H.R. 2892) which requires work place enforcement to prevent employers from continuing to employ undocumented workers.

Second, the Council on Foreign Relations has recommended “earned legalization, not amnesty” for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants now living in the United States. To apply for residency they would need to pay taxes, learn English, pass background checks and pay fines.

Third, the Fairness to Surviving Spouses Act of 2009 (S. 815/H.R. 1870) would halt the deportation of individuals whose pending applications for green cards are not approvable because their U.S. citizen spouse died within the first two years of marriage.

These recent actions in Congress and policy positions of interested non governmental agencies demonstrate a trend of a slow, deliberate approach to reforms that would permit undocumented workers to apply for legal status and work authorization through either a family member or employer; but would also include tough enforcement actions by the government against employers who continue to hire illegal aliens and continued detentions and deportations of those attempting illegal entry or reentry into the United States. John Lee Carrico Esq.

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