The Long Road to Citizenship: Immigration Reform Update

While the nation focuses on crises in the Middle East and with the debt ceiling, the time and attention of lawmakers is currently turned away from another crisis: immigration reform in the United States.

We talked earlier about the main points in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, which passed the Senate, 66-32, in June.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was a member of the bipartisan group who drafted this important legislation. While the measure has not been taken up by the House, and may never be, it is an ambitious measure that responds to issues posed by both parties.

Updates on the measure include the following:

  • In August, Rubio told a radio show in Tallahassee that President Barack Obama may expand existing programs if immigration reform cannot be realistically addressed by lawmakers. It has been a year since Obama implemented the deferred deportation program to give certain illegal immigrants temporary status to live, work and go to school in the U.S. without threat of deportation.
  • Also in August, in a coordinated effort by the Catholic Church, support for immigration reform is being preached by bishops and priests. In supporting Obama’s reform proposals, Kevin Appleby, director of migration policy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, noted, “We want to try to pull out all the stops.”

In the meantime, about 11 million people live undocumented in the United States, hoping to avoid deportation. If you or a family member needs help with an immigration, deportation or removal matter, talk to an experienced Florida immigration attorney.

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