Implications Of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The U.S. Congress and several presidents have considered various immigration reforms, although to date these big changes have not been adopted and implemented.
For example, there has been wide agreement that the number of visas for highly skilled immigrants who are looking to work in the U.S. or start their own business should be expanded. Foreign students who have graduated from a U.S. university with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) should be a high priority as well.
The STEM Jobs Act, for example, would have allotted 55,000 visas for students in STEM programs so that they could stay and work. These fields are currently in high demand from U.S. companies, meaning that this act would supposedly help the economy.
Another policy change would occur in the realm of young immigrants. Although the full Dream Act was never adopted by Congress, the executive memorandum authorizing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) provided important protection for immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. These individuals have grown up in the U.S., have been taught in American schools and have never known life in their “home country.” This IS their home. While DACA recipients do not yet have a path to citizenship, the courts have extended their DACA waivers indefinitely.
Immigrants who have relatives who are U.S. citizens would also be assisted under proposed immigration reforms. The family-sponsored system, for example, would increase from an annual cap of 7% to 15% from each county.
Reform Is Needed
There are an estimated 11 million people in the U.S. who are undocumented, which is not the ideal situation for these immigrants or the nation. Immigrants, citizens and the economy would benefit from comprehensive and meaningful reforms, such as:
- Strong but humane border security: With more tools for law enforcement officials, crime can be decreased and communities will be safer.
- Streamlined legal immigration: More efficiency in the provision of visas, implementation of the STEM program and speeding up the process for family-sponsored immigration would alleviate many problems and delays.
- A path to citizenship: If undocumented immigrants pass a background check, pay taxes and learn English, they could earn citizenship legally so they can come out of the shadows.
- Disincentives to hiring undocumented workers: Businesses have continued to exploit immigrants by knowingly hiring undocumented workers and paying them low wages. We need a reliable way for companies to make sure that employees are in the U.S lawfully, where they, in turn, will be protected by U.S. labor laws.
Until The System Is Reformed, We Can Help
While the politicians debate immigration policy changes, the current system can be quite harsh on immigrants. Don’t risk your future by taking on your immigration issue alone. The Ohio immigration lawyers at Georgalas & Juarez, L.P.A., are here to help! We have years of experience handling cases of every type, from acquiring visas to defending individuals against deportation.