There are millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, many right here in Michigan. Every year, they wait and watch as government representatives make decisions that will impact them, their families and their ability to achieve citizenship. With a new administration in office, immigration reform has been made a top priority, and a massive immigration overhaul bill is currently making its way to Congress for approval. What is in this latest proposal?
First, let’s discuss the changes it may make to the DACA program. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program has been around for nearly a decade and has given immigrant children certain protections and a pathway to citizenship. Proposed changes to the program would shorten the timeframe DACA participants would have to wait to apply for temporary legal status, greed cards and, ultimately, citizenship.
TPS holders and farmworkers
The bill also discusses changes to how long Temporary Protective Status holders and farm workers must wait to apply for legal status, green cards and citizenship. If it passes, they may go from their current status to citizens in a matter of eight years. Of course, they must meet all the requirements, pass the necessary background checks and, eventually, pass the citizenship test.
For those already in the country and who have family who would like to join them, the changes proposed would make it easier for them to sponsor their loved ones. Many of these cases are held up due to the number of petitions filed every year. The hope is changes made to immigration processing will clear backlogs, allowing more petitions to receive approval every year.
These are just three of the big things addressed in the latest immigration proposal that would affect numerous Michigan residents if it passes. Of course, only time will tell if it will, either in full or in part. Immigration attorneys will be ready to help those to whom the changes apply if the bill becomes law. In the meantime, legal counsel can help those who desire legal status seek to attain it by following current immigration laws.