Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leaked White House Draft Immigration Reform Proposal

According to this proposed legislation, illegal immigrants already in the United States would be able to immediately apply for status as a "Lawful Prospective Immigrants" (LPI). This is basically the same as the 1986 Act (IRCA) which made aliens granted amnesty Temporary Residents. Once illegal immigrants get LPI status, under the Obama draft proposal, they would be able to file for their spouses and children not in the US to come in as LPIs. Therefore, the number of potential legalized aliens this proposal could include in the near term could be 44 million or more.

Under this proposal, LPIs would have to wait either 8 years or until all the people waiting to immigrate legally on the date of the bill (i.e. who are waiting for a visa number) have immigrated, whichever comes first, to file for permanent residence. There is a provision to increase visa numbers to accelerate legal immigration, so the wait may be less than 8 years. There is also a provision to reduce the wait time for LPIs who came as children (DACA cases) to 2 years instead of 8, to file for permanent residence. 

A former USCIS manager (name withheld at the author’s request)

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Ben Ferro

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