CIR Immigration Bill Status May 22 2013
* CIR update as of June 24, 2013-
The Bill as currently drafted has not made provisions for same sex couples- as it is widely believed that a majority of right wingers would surely abandon their support of same.
Senator Patrick J. Leahy, vows that he would not support the Bill with a provision for green card on behalf of their same-sex partners.
Let’s be realistic- The Senate, in my opinion, with the current pulse of discontent regarding Immigration Reform sweeping the nation- post Boston- will be seeking an excuse to back out of this deal should the same sex couple issue be pressed upon them. If reports are accurate, President Obama, a supporter of gay rights- has been warned by Republicans that such a provision would lead them to abandon the legislation altogether.
CIR Bill Legislation Current Provisions
As it stands, the legislation allows the purported 11+ millions of people living in the U.S. illegally to obtain “registered provisional immigrant status” six months after its enactment- if they meet current eligibility criteria.
Current Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must have been continuously present in the United States before Dec. 31, 2011- and must be clear of any criminality, that is: felonious judgments and not more than two misdemeanors on their records and must pay a fine in the amount of $500.00.
This provisional immigrant status lasts six years and is renewable with an additional fee payment of $500.
Legal Permanent Residency
Legal Permanency or Green Card Status may be sought after a ten year period with the payment of a $1000.00 penalty and proof of a lack of Tax liability.
Under this current language, the Bill makes provisions for Youths who were brought to the US as minors to be eligible to apply for Green Card status after five years.
Highly Skilled H-1 visa immigration is to increase in number from the current limit of 65,000 to possibly 180,000 depending on unemployment levels in the US.
Agricultural workers would be granted legal status via “blue cards” with which they would be eligible to apply for Legal Permanent Residency after a certain period.
Guest worker visas will be issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, instead of the Department of Labor, as currently done.
In summary, the Bill is far more complicated than I care to detail at this stage. My only hope is that as the debate ensues in June, a more user friendly version emerges in its inclusion of a shorter waiting period for sibling relative of immigrants, and a possible shortening of the provisional residency period, thus, allowing a quicker pathway to US Citizenship.
This is a great day for our country as the most significant immigration policy debate in decades has been unfolded.
The Saintiny Immigration Law Firm
The Law Office of Yolette M. Saintiny, Esq.
Member- New York State Bar, Second Judicial Department