Congress pushes for a path to citizenship
🇺🇸 A new immigration bill was passed yesterday! Congress’ proposal is to have a Pathway to Citizenship included in the Budget Reconciliation Bill. This just passed the vote in the Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over Immigration in a vote of 25-19, so it will move to the House of Representatives. Next it will go to the US Senate and finally to the President for signing.
The House Judiciary Committee released a PRINT of who they will legalize. The print is here.
There is real hope now that this proposal will become part of the Budget Bill and the PRINT released by the Judiciary Committee will follow.
In order to gain congressional approval and get immigration attached to the party-line spending plan, Democrats will need to demonstrate that their proposal would have a significant effect on federal spending, revenues, or debt.
Democrats assert that offering a pathway to legal status would make those included eligible for certain federal benefits — and thus impact the budget. They also claim precedent is on their side, highlighting a 2005 GOP-led bill that addressed immigration as part of the so-called budget reconciliation process, which is the same path they’re using this year to avoid the need for Republican votes.
Millions of people undocumented immigrants in the United States or those waiting in family-based or employment immigration lines will be able to get US Green Card status if this law passes through Congress. This law could help with the pathway to citizenship for illegal and undocumented immigrants in America.
✅ Important things from this Amnesty proposal:
a. There will be a supplemental fee (a penalty filing fee) for legalizing, the $$ to be different in each category.
b. It covers yet-unlegalized people who are physically present and residing in US since Jan. 1, 2021.
c. CATEGORIES OF PEOPLE WHO WILL BE ABLE TO ADJUST STATUS/GET GREEN CARDS:
🔶 1. Employment-based immigrant applicant with a priority date (date of submission of their petition to USCIS) that is more than 2 years before, can adjust to permanent residence without numerical limits by paying a “supplemental fee of $5,000; and
🔶 2. Immigrant Investors for the EB-5 Category. They will pay a supplemental fee of $50,000; and
🔶 3. US Citizen sponsored family-based immigrants (US Citizens filing for children over 21 and siblings) with a “priority date that is more than 2 years before”, and to have the supplemental fee for getting a Green Card of $2,500; and
🔶 4. People brought to US as kids under the age of 18; and
🔶 5. TPS holders of no less than 3 years; and
🔶 6. People eligible for deferred enforced departure as of January 20, 2021; and
🔶 7. Farmworkers; and
🔶 8. Pandemic-era Essential Workers – people from industries including healthcare, medical, infrastructure builders, computers and IT, transportation, food industry and law enforcement who began working in these fields at least as early as January 31, 2020 and ending up to and including 25 August 24, 2021. This category must show record of working in these fields.
💵 The supplement fee would be $1,500 if an applicant’s priority date is not within two years but they are required to be present in the country, according to the committee print. This fee would be in addition to any administrative processing fee paid by the applicant.
❓Why is this Pathway to Citizenship NOT ENOUGH?
The bill would still not be enough to fix major problems of our broken immigration system such as:
1. Systemic problems with the system at every level
2. Not getting rid of H-1B and other employment base visa annual caps.
3. Not much for people overseas – mostly to legalize immigrants inside the US.
4. No systemic fixes for our broken immigration system.
5. No news about fixing the long waiting lines and delays in asylum application process and in immigration courts.
Shepelsky Law Group
US Immigration Experts