The senators will soon unveil their immigration reform proposal and at the same time the House of Representatives is also working on its own immigration reform proposal and this proposal contains three different paths to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants. However, all the undocumented immigrants may not qualify for citizenship in the same way under this proposal. The bill that the senators are crafting contains a single method for legalizing the undocumented immigrants but the bill that the House is crafting divides the undocumented immigrant population into three different categories.
DREAMers are the undocumented immigrants who were smuggled into the country, at a very young age. According to the Republican Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, DREAMers must not be punished as they were brought to America and they had not crossed the borders illegally by themselves and so they must be permitted to obtain US citizenship. Apart from the DREAMers, low skilled agricultural workers would also become eligible for US citizenship and the US citizenship process would be expedited for the DREAMers and the low-skilled workers, according to the House bill. However, the bill does not specify how soon the DREAMers would be permitted to apply for US citizenship.
Undocumented immigrants who would be able to apply for US citizenship through family members or through employer sponsorship, belong to the second group. Such family members of US citizens and other foreign workers who have job offers in America and who have accumulated unlawful presence, will have to get back to their home countries and wait for three or ten years and then apply for US visas and return to America. That is because, people who have overstayed their visas will be banned from entering into the United States for three or ten years. The House bill would cut down the waiting period for such undocumented immigrants and they would not be required to wait for three or ten long years to return to America. Nevertheless, they would be required to return to their countries of citizenship during the waiting period and this may be difficult for the undocumented immigrants who have their families and businesses in America.
The other undocumented immigrants belong to the third group. The House bill would permit these undocumented immigrants to remain in the country if they are willing to pay their back taxes and fines and if they are willing to learn English. But they may not be permitted to obtain Green Cards immediately and they need to wait for ten years to become lawful residents and another five years to obtain US citizenship. However, the House bill would benefit the DREAMers but not the other categories of undocumented immigrants.