Recently, the House Republicans issued their official statement on what standards must be met in any immigration bill in order for the House to pass the legislation. In general, the Republicans have six broad categories of goals they want accomplished before they will pass comprehensive immigration reform.
First, there is a widespread consensus amongst House Republicans that increased border security and enforcement of current immigration law must come first during the reform process. Most likely spurred by the Obama Administration’s implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy which temporarily suspends deportation proceedings for eligible foreign nationals, the Republicans want to put in place reforms that strengthen the enforcement of immigration laws.
Second, the Republicans want to establish a tracking system for recording visa entries and exits. The justification for such a system is that it would help identify and locate foreign nationals who enter the U.S. without authorization and who remain in the country past their period of authorized stay.
The third standard is for the government to implement an electronic employment verification interface that would allow U.S. companies and businesses to confirm a prospective worker’s identity and work authorization in a paperless process.
Fourth, the Republicans want the immigration laws to reflect the U.S.’s desire to welcome skilled workers, especially in the agricultural industry, and thereby will strive to revamp the existing temporary worker programs, by shifting the availability of green cards away from family members and to workers.
Their fifth standard is to help address the undocumented minor foreign national population by providing some sort of immigration relief to those who were brought to the U.S. as children and who serve in the U.S. military or obtain a college degree. This relief will likely be very similar to the Obama Administration’s DACA policy.
Finally, the Republicans are very steadfast in their determination to not establish a special option for undocumented foreign nationals who are currently in the country to obtain U.S. citizenship. Instead, the Republicans state that they will develop a fair process that requires security background checks, the payment of penalties and back taxes, proof that the foreign nationals can support themselves without utilizing public benefits, and proficiency in the English language and American civics.
Foreign nationals, special interest groups, and the American public at large have been eagerly awaiting the passage of comprehensive immigration since the Senate passed their bill back in June of 2013. Hopefully the Republican’s release of their initial standards signals that the House will similarly be completing and passing reform legislation soon.
Feel free to contact our office if you have questions on immigration opportunities. We look forward to helping you with your case!