Progress of the S. 744 CIR

Thứ Tư, 19 Tháng Sáu 201300:00(Xem: 25689)
Progress of the S. 744 CIR
On Tuesday 11 June, the S.744 CIR bill was approved for debate. That means it will be discussed and modified by the Senate. This will take several weeks. The important point is that 82 of the 100 senators voted to allow S.744 to move to the next part of the approval process. This shows the desire of both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate to have the debate, which is expected to take 3 weeks.

The biggest obstacle to passage of any type of CIR is the question of border security. Some members of congress say it should be the top priority and security should be guaranteed before the 11 million illegal aliens are allowed to begin their path to citizenship. However, last week, the Senators said they would not require completion of a border security program before allowing the illegal aliens to start on the path towards citizenship.

Senator Mark Rubio, of the Senate Gang of Eight, originally said border security should come first but he is now saying that the legalization process should begin first in order to identify the 11 million illegals.

The bottom line at the moment is that no one knows if the CIR will become law this year. There are still members of Congress who want to forget about the S.744. They want to introduce immigration laws that would try to solve the immigration problem piece by piece, instead of in one comprehensive reform package.

The CIR is about 4 things: What to do about the 11 million-plus immigrants who live in the U.S. without legal permission; How to tighten border security; How to keep businesses from employing people who are in the U.S. illegally; and How to improve the legal immigration system.

Of the 11 million immigrants living here illegally, almost 60 percent are from Mexico. The next closest figure is 6 percent from El Salvador. Almost 3 million of the illegal immigrants live in California.

There's a lot of talk about creating a "path to citizenship" for immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal status.

The Senate bill would allow those in the country illegally to obtain "registered provisional immigrant" status six months after the S.744 becomes law. Additional border security improvements would have to go into place before anyone obtained green cards or citizenship.

It would take immigrants living here illegally at least 13 years to get all the way to citizenship. They would have to pay taxes, fees and $2,000 in fines. No one who entered the country after Dec. 31, 2011 would be eligible.

Why are the illegal aliens hoping to become US citizens in the future? It is because Naturalized citizens are protected from losing their residency rights and cannot be deported if they get in legal trouble. And, they can bring family members into the U.S. more quickly. Certain government jobs and licensed professions require citizenship. 

However, nearly two-thirds of the 5.4 million legal immigrants from Mexico who are eligible to become U.S. citizens haven't done so. These Mexican permanent residents say that the barriers to naturalization are the need to learn English, the difficulty of the citizenship exam, and the $680 application fee.

A big question in the immigration debate is how much priority to give to the family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Right now, the U.S. gives a lot more visas to family members that to foreign employees. About two-thirds of permanent legal immigration to the U.S. is family-based, compared with about 15 percent that is employment-based.

The Senate CIR plan would prevent citizens from bringing in siblings and would allow them to sponsor married sons and daughters only if the children were under 31 when the sponsor filed the petition.

Some policy makers think employment-based immigration should be boosted to help the economy. S.744 would raise the cap on visas for high-skilled workers, create a start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs, and set up a new merit visa that would award points to prospective immigrants based on their education, employment, length of residence in the U.S.

Q.1. Senator Rubio said that he will introduce an amendment to the CIR that would require all immigrants to prove they were proficient in English before they could receive permanent legal immigration status. What effect would this have on the 11 million illegal aliens in the US?
A.1. That would make it harder for millions of immigrants to get on the path to citizenship. About 55 percent of adult illegal aliens would not be able to pass the English portion of the U.S. citizenship test if they took it today. It takes about 600 hours of instruction for someone to move from the bottom levels of English understanding to a fluent, conversational level.

Q.2. How did most of these 11 million illegal immigrants enter the US?
A.2. More than half of those in the U.S. illegally have come in without inspection, evading border controls. The rest of the illegal aliens entered the US legally but didn't leave when they were supposed to.

Q.3. When will the Senate and the House of Representatives complete their debates about the CIR?
A.3. The Senate will try to finish their debate before July 4th and the House of Representatives hopes to complete debate by the end of July.

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