Is Immigration Reform on the Horizon?
All eyes this month are on the Budget Reconciliation bill in Congress. It is looking like the bill might be the only significant piece of immigration-related legislation that the Democrats can pass, for now. The bill was just narrowly passed in the House of Representatives last week, and will now make its way to the Senate.
However, some are concerned that the immigration parts of the bill may be on the chopping block in the Senate as Democrats look for compromises that actually enable them to get the bill passed.
The first blow to immigration reform in the bill was that the included path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants was found by Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to be incompatible with being included in a budget bill — it was deemed too significant.
To make up for this, the latest version of the bill offers immigrants who arrived in the United States prior to 2011 a 5 year, renewable parole option (essentially a work permit) that can prevent them from being deported. Some estimates say that, if passed, this could help as many as 7 million undocumented immigrants.
Another significant part of the bill aims to “recover” millions of green cards that have gone unused since 1992, using these to clear out the backlog and delays associated with green card applications currently.
Will the final version of the reconciliation bill include these important reforms? Only time will tell.
Stay tuned to our blog and newsletter for the latest updates!