What Changes will the Immigration Reform Bill Bring?

The Gang of Eight introduced its 844 page immigration reform bill, in April and the debate on immigration reform is heating up. Several amendments to this bill have been filed and the Senate Judiciary Committee is debating on those amendments. This bill is likely to be amended several times but the senators who came up with this bill believe that this bill will be passed. The Senate immigration reform bill includes several provisions and it would benefit the nation’s undocumented immigrants, low skilled foreign workers, high skilled foreign workers and it would stiffen border security. The Senate immigration reform bill would raise the H-1B quota. At present, the country grants 65,000 H-1B visas and an additional 20,000 visas for people who hold advanced degrees, per year. If the bill is passed, the H-1B quota will be raised.

Likewise, STEM graduates would become eligible for US Green Cards and the US Congress would issue Green Cards to high-skilled foreign workers. The Senate bill would create a merit based system and issue merit based Green Cards. This system would permit the US Department of Homeland Security to weigh few factors such as education, employment, family ties, etc and issue immigrant visas to foreign nationals based on these factors. This bill would put an end to the F-4 family preference category that is meant for the siblings of US citizens. Likewise, the Green Card lottery program that grants diversity immigrant visas would also be abolished.

This bill would make E-Verify mandatory. E-Verify is a federal program that permits the US employers to check whether the employees hired by them are authorized to work in the United States. Many American states have already mandated E-Verify and the Senate bill would require all the US companies and employers to use E-verify. Nevertheless, the bill would put an end to illegal immigration by strengthening the borders of the country. Moreover, it would grant the undocumented immigrants an opportunity to stay back in the country of their dreams. However, undocumented immigrants would have to pay their back taxes and establish that they are not criminals.

Such undocumented immigrants could apply for permanent resident status after ten years and for US citizenship, three years after obtaining Green Cards. Though this process is quite lengthy, this bill would help the undocumented immigrants who are living in shadows to obtain legal status. Borders of the country would be secured and the US employers would be prevented from hiring and exploiting undocumented immigrants. This bill would change the country’s immigration laws and permit high skilled and low skilled foreign nationals to work in the country. It would also protect the Americans. Several amendments to this bill have been filed and the Senate Judiciary Committee is debating on those amendments. President Obama backed the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill and he would sign the bill that the Congress passes, into law.

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