The Lewis Leeper Blog
Our Massachusetts Immigration Attorneys Provide Answers
On April 16, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced an immigration reform bill that could change the lives of thousands of immigrants in Massachusetts, not to mention millions across the nation. The bill addresses a number of key issues in the immigration debate, including legalization for the country’s undocumented population. The legislation proposes a 13-year path to citizenship, which, among other requirements, calls for immigrants to undergo background checks, pay fines and learn English.
Immigrants currently in the U.S. without authorization and who were in the country before December 31, 2011, may be able to apply for a new status called Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI), which grants work authorization and permits workers to change employers and travel outside the country. An individual may apply for a green card after ten years in this provisional status if they meet specified requirements; three years later, they may apply for citizenship.
The bill could also mean a shorter path to citizenship for undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as children, a measure based on the DREAM Act. These immigrants may apply for RPI status, followed by a green card application after five years. Ultimately, qualified individuals may become citizens immediately after acquiring their green cards, as time spent in RPI status would count towards naturalization.
In addition to these provisions, the bill includes border security, backlog reduction, worker protection, and family unification measures. As the bill goes through the legislative process, amendments will likely be made and the legislation, if passed at all, may look different from the original proposal. Instead of reading through 844 pages of dense legal language or relying on advice from friends or strangers, let us help you navigate the complex and changing world of immigration law; contact us now to get in touch with one of our Massachusetts immigration attorneys.
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