Comprehensive Immigration Reform
We have all heard about Comprehensive Immigration Reform, however what does it really mean and how will it affect the United States? Immigration Attorney Shahrzad Allen answers a few of the most common questions.
Q: What are some of the major provisions contained in the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill?
A: The Bill proposes a plan to make our borders more secure, to increase our internal enforcement of our immigration laws and regulations, to open a path to legalization for the undocumented aliens, to make our Immigration system more merit-based, and to implement a new temporary worker program for unskilled workers.
Q: Do you think there is high probability that the proposed Bill will pass?
A: Although, I cannot predict whether the Bill will pass as written, I am fairly confident that some version of the Bill will be enacted this year. One major factor of vital importance is the change in the Republican policy toward Immigration and the impact that the Latino voters had on the most recent Presidential election. Currently, approximately 80% of Americans favor the passage of some form of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. This Bill has been in the works for a long time and members of both political parties really want to see it progress.
Q: There is a concern that enactment of this Bill which opens a path to legalization for the undocumented aliens would be too costly. Is this a legitimate concern?
A: Obviously there are costs associated with this Bill. Securing our borders and setting up the E-Verify system would have a high cost. But we must also consider the revenue that will be generated through this path. Those individuals who choose to pursue this path and eventually become lawful permanent residents will have to pay a penalty as part of the process. Additionally, we must consider that once we allow the undocumented aliens to come out of the shadows and be given work authorization, taxes will be withheld from their pay just like all working Americans. These taxes will increase the overall U.S. tax revenues.
Q: How will the enactment of this Bill affect our economy?
A: Modernizing our immigration system will allow us to attract and retain highly educated individuals interested in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math (or STEM), which would make us more competitive globally. Furthermore, we will become more welcoming to entrepreneurs, innovators and investors. These groups of immigrants are driven by the desire to build a better life for themselves and their families, which in turn will create jobs and opportunities for American workers.
Q: What effect, if any, would passage of this Bill have on businesses / employers?
A: Passage of this Bill will give provisional status to all qualified undocumented aliens that are currently in the U.S. and also allow employers to hire foreign guest workers if needed. With the passage of this Bill, employers should avoid hiring unauthorized workers because there will be increased enforcement and higher penalties if employers choose to violate the immigration laws.
If you have any questions regarding any of these issues or other Immigration Reform questions, please contact Shahrzad Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 937.223.1130.