We are pleased to bring you the Second part of our newsletter on The Proposed Immigration Reform Bill 744. If you believe you qualify for an immigration benefit right now or if you need help modifying a criminal record, please contact us at: 617-523-6320 to review your eligibility. It is always a good idea to start an immigration process as soon as possible as you will get to the front of the line sooner. If you did not get a chance to read Part 1 of this newsletter, you can read it on our site at: The Proposed Immigration Reform Bill 744, Part 1.
Enjoy the summer,
Desmond FitzGerald and
The FitzGerald & Company Team
* This video is in Spanish
1. What provisions does the proposed bill include for “Dreamers” and DACA holders?
There are two important provisions in the immigration proposed bill regarding those who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals):
- A Registered Provisional Immigrant who entered the US prior to turning 16 will be eligible for LPR status after 5 years;
- DHS may make the process to obtain LPR status easier for individuals who have been granted DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.)
2. What benefits does the proposed bill include for Agricultural Workers?
Agricultural workers will receive a Blue Card that will allow them to live, work, travel outside the US, and they will be able to apply to extend these benefits for their children and spouses, if they have worked in farming in the US at least 575 hours or 100 work days from December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2012; and have not been convicted of any serious crimes.
3. What provisions does the proposed bill include regarding merit-based visas?
The proposed law provides a point system through which individuals may obtain Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status, including work and achievements in education, work for community and civic organizations, the creation of new businesses by entrepreneurs, and high demand occupations.
4. What advantages does the proposed bill include for Physicians?
The number of waivers for physicians will be increased to 35 from 30 for each state, so long as the state has used at least 90% of the available waivers the previous year.
5. What changes are included in the proposed bill for H1b visas?
The following are the changes stipulated in the bill for H1b visas:
- The number of H1b visas will be increased to 110,000 from 65,000 and additional increases will be available including an increase to 180,000, if the demand for employment of highly skilled workers requires it;
- Spouses and children will be eligible for work authorization;
- Changes from employers will be made easier
6. What does the proposed bill state regarding the Use of Force when apprehending immigration law violators?
Government officers will be disciplined for improperly using force in apprehension of suspected immigration violators
7. Will there be an increase in government fees for immigration?
Yes. Fees for visas and immigration benefits would be increased to support the increased security provisions of the law.
8. What are some problems or unresolved issues of the Immigration Reform Proposal?
Upon review of the proposed bill, the following are some of the problems or unresolved issues that we found and that we hope are addressed before the bill goes out for a final vote:
- The Provisional Registered Immigrant status only applies to individuals who entered the US prior to December 31, 2011. This would leave all the people that are undocumented and came in after this date unable to benefit from the new law. In the past, most immigration laws that have passed have provided benefits to those who came in just prior to the date of the enactment of the law, so we hope this date gets modified in this manner for it to be more inclusive.
- The benefits under the RPI (Provisional Registered Immigrant) status, only apply to individuals who were in the US without legal status, including those who were granted TPS. This unfairly discriminates against persons who face many of the same difficulties of those without status but managed to comply with the law. The lawful non-immigrants in the US are just as important as any other and are as deserving of these benefits. For example, an individual who entered the US on an employment visa (E, H, L, O, P, R…) but who left his family in his country because the family could not live here without permission to work will continue to be separated from his family for a protracted period of time, instead of being able to have them enter quickly under this program.
- Funds are being spent on enforcement aspects that are not an effective use of resources, for example the doubling of fencing in certain areas. The costs related to the construction and maintenance of such a project should be used in other more important public projects.
9. Is it true that there will be a delay for the benefits of the new proposed law to be effective if the objectives for border security are not achieved?
The media has discussed a great deal about the purported fact, that the benefits of this program will not be available until the border security measures have been successfully implemented, however, the actual current provisions of the law provide for distribution of most benefits after DHS has presented a plan for border security, not after its implementation has been achieved, as many suggest.
Section 3 (c) states:
“Not earlier than the date upon which the Secretary has submitted to Congress the Notice of Commencement of implementation of the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy and the Southern Border Fencing Strategy under section 5 of this Act, the Secretary may commence processing applications for registered provisional immigrant status pursuant to section 245B of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by section 2101 of this Act.”
“The Secretary may not adjust the status of aliens who have been granted registered provisional immigrant status, except for aliens granted agriculture card status under section 2201 of this Act or described in section 245D(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, until the Secretary, after consultation with the Comptroller General of the United States, submits to the President and Congress a written certification that… the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy has been submitted to Congress and is substantially deployed and substantially operational.”
In conclusion, the provisions that purport to delay the benefit of adjustment of status or Legal Permanent Residence, based upon the achievement of Southern border security are largely, if not entirely irrelevant, because the only benefit subject to this delay is adjustment of status or legal permanent residence derived from Registered Provisional Immigration Status—it does not prevent adjustment of status under any other provision of the law. In addition, the proposed law already provides that these adjustments of status applications cannot be processed until the entire current visa application in the backlog have been processed and the backlog eliminated, which will take approximately 10 years. Finally, there is a provision of the proposal that states that adjustment of status will be available after 10 years, regardless of whether or not border security is achieved. Therefore, the substantial benefits of this proposal will be effective 180 days after it becomes law. Those benefits being able to live and work in the US, be able to travel in and out of the US and be able to bring certain family members to the US; and full legal permanent resident status and in most cases citizenship will be accessible after 10 years.