Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    Immigration Reform For Undocumented Aliens

    Immigration Reform for Undocumented Aliens

    Immigration Reform for Undocumented Aliens

    This area of immigration reform is perhaps the most controversial. An undocumented alien is anyone who is in the US without lawful US Immigration authority. Their documents, if they had any in the first place, have expired and they have not left the country, hence the term undocumented alien. I guess a more impolite characterization is to call them illegal aliens.

    It is estimated that there are more than 12 million undocumented aliens from around the world living in the US; some estimate that the figure is closer to 20 million.  This issue is completely polarized and politicized and is also the reason why for so long very little has been done to resolve this problem.  On November 2nd 1986 Ronald Regan created an amnesty and over three and a half million people took part. It was called Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). With certain exceptions, all those undocumented aliens who had lived in the US continuously since January 1st 1982 could take part. Given that the act went into force in 1987 meant that to qualify one had to have lived in the US for at least five years continuously to qualify.

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    There are aliens from around the world living in the US working hard and very productive in need of these reforms

    Since IRCA there has been the 2005 Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (s.1033) bill proposed by Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain. This bill was hugely popular due to the high profiles of Kennedy and McCain. The bill stirred up a lot of hope for millions of people and then came the massive anti-immigration lobby backlash. In essence this bill required the payment of a $1,500 fine for having remained whilst undocumented and one could qualify if they have lived in the US for more than two years, although the then President George Bush, a strong advocate for CIR, wanted no time limit.

    Also in 2005 the Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005 (S. 1438) proposed by John Coryn and Jon Kyl was also introduced. This bill was very unpopular and appeared to persecute undocumented aliens rather then help them.  Then came the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S.2611) sponsored by Senator Arlene Specter which actually passed the Senate May 2006, but did not pass the House.

    Finally we had the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (aka Secure Borders Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007).  This bill ultimately failed because it was simply politically too late.  At that time it was election season again and Congress was deeply divided down the middle. Both sides had one eye on running for re-election and the other on the bill and the bill as written was awful. Even immigration reformers hated it.

    The three main presidential candidates Obama, McCain and Clinton, campaigned on finishing what had been started, and after the 2008 election the Democrats, traditionally pro-immigration reform, won in a landslide. CIR is possible this time around more than ever, and is probably due to the fact that both houses of Congress are overwhelmingly dominated by pro-immigration Democrats. Also, completing CIR was a main campaign pledge. The question now is whether it will happen.

    Immigration Lawyers and Their Clients Are Monitoring Every Sound Bite As CIR Gets One Step Closer

    Immigration Lawyers and Their Clients Are Monitoring Every Sound Bite As CIR Gets One Step Closer

    Having been in the thick of this debate for the last 5 years, the conventional thinking seems to be that we will get CIR if the healthcare debate does not deplete President Obama’s political capital. Some people fear that if the healthcare reforms fail to pass there will not be any political fight left to take on CIR. Obviously we hope this will not be the case.  The best estimate I can see right now which is highly subject to change is that the CIR debate will kick off in October when we hope to get our first look at a new bill and by March 2010 we’ll have legislation in place.

    One final thought on the undocumented alien debate is that if 12 million undocumented aliens are legalized, they’ll be able to get credit for the first time; they’ll want to buy houses, cars, and consumer goods as part of their realization of the American dream. This in turn will create more jobs and could be the biggest economic stimulus package in American history.

    Comprehensive Immigration Reform
    Are We There Yet?
    Healthcare Debate
    Family Based Immigration Reform
    Employment Based Immigration Reform
    Business Immigration Reform
    Undocumented Aliens Immigration Reform

      

    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram

    US Immigration Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram
    Chris M. Ingram LL.M., ESQ – Immigration Attorney
    Admitted in New York.
    Practice Specializing in US Immigration Law
    520 Broadway, Suite 350,
    Santa Monica,
    California 90401
    Tel: 310 496 4292

    Everyday the Law Offices of Chris M. Ingram provides a comprehensive range of US Immigration expertise. We also provide a free consultation for our prospective clients.

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