Immigration Reform Update – March 2013

Eight senators have agreed on a preliminary plan to overhaul the immigration laws of the United States and have also agreed on a path to legalization for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living currently living here.

The eight include four Republicans and four Democrats. They are Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Jeff Flake and democrats Charles Schumer, Richard Durbin, Robert Menendez and Michael Bennet.

The proposed changes include work visas that are not required to be tied to a specific employer and an emphasis on allowing more visas for software engineers and highly skilled workers. Unlike in years past, both business and organized labor are not fighting the passage of an immigration reform bill.

There are many other changes on the table including the tracking of non-citizens leaving the United States. Additionally, the bill would require people to register with the immigration authorities, file federal income taxes for the years they have lived in the United States and pay a fine. Another sticking point is how long the undocumented will have to wait until they can file for a green card.

Stay tuned for many more updates. At the end of the day though, this is an exciting time and we are closer than ever to comprehensive immigration reform.

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