Monday, February 17, 2014

Comprehensive Immigration Bill Update

While the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill in June last year, Republicans in the House, many of whom say they would not support a plan that includes a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, have opted to take up the issue in a piecemeal fashion.

1. Border Security

Senate Bill:
  • Increases spending by roughly $40 billion over the next decade to bolster border security, adding 20,000 new Border Patrol agents and 700 miles of fencing along the southern border. After border security goals are met, undocumented immigrants could begin the path to citizenship.
  • Creates an exit system to confirm the departure of foreigners at airports and seaports.
House Bill/Action:

A statement of principles written by House Republican leadership and being circulated at a party retreat this week mentions that some kind of border security triggers must be included in an immigration overhaul, according to aides who have seen the document.

In May, the House Homeland Security Committee passed a bipartisan bill that requires the Department of Homeland Security to draft a plan within five years to achieve a 90 percent apprehension rate of those who attempt to cross the southern border illegally.

A comprehensive immigration bill unveiled by House Democrats last month also includes this legislation.

2. Legalization

Senate Bill:
  • Includes a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants that would take a minimum of 13 years.
  • After passing background checks and paying fees and back taxes, immigrants could gain provisional legal status. After 10 years, and only when the current backlog of visa applications is cleared, formerly illegal immigrants could apply for green cards. After three years with green cards, those immigrants could apply for citizenship.
  • A faster track would be available for young illegal immigrants who came here as children and for agricultural workers.
 House Bill/Action:

The Republican leadership's statement of principles is reported to call for a path to legal status (but not citizenship) for many of the 11 million adult immigrants in the country illegally and a path to citizenship for young immigrants who came here as children.


  1. hi Amazon, thanks for the information..due to the increase in the cap on H1 visas will there be any movement for H1B india in the next couple of months?

  2. Amazon,

    I have a question regarding the House Bill/Action in point 5. It says

    "Another approved bill provides green cards to foreign graduates of U.S. universities in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math, and raises the cap on high-skilled H-1B visas."

    When was this approved? Last I know is that this was a part of the Senate approved bill but didn't hear about House approving this.


    1. To both posts and other readers, first and foremost the information provided by Amazon in blog article is a high level synopsis (update) of the current status of immigration reform in Congress. None of the bills have made there way through the entire Congress and onto the President for signing into law -- so they have NO effect whatsoever on or change the current immigration laws, regulations, and rules (including quotas). Further most of the immigration reform is at best proposed bills, and like the the recently released GOP "principles" not even that much.


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