Implications of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Currently, President Obama is trying to reform the existing immigration policies in the United States. His administration has been very clear that they support the rights of immigrants because this group built the American identity. Therefore, President Obama believes that this country has the obligation to support them. Not everyone in Congress agrees with all of his proposals, however; as there are many complex issues involved in the process of immigration reform.

The President and most of Congress agree that there should be an increase in the number of visas for highly skilled immigrants who are looking to work in the U.S. or start their own business. Foreign students who have graduated from a U.S. university with a degree in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM), would be a high priority as well. The STEM Jobs Act has been proposed, which would allot 55,000 visas for students in STEM programs so that they could stay and work. These fields are currently in high demand from U.S. companies, meaning that this act would supposedly help the economy.

Another policy change would occur in the realm of young immigrants, if legislation were to pass. The Obama administration has formed a proposal that would improve the system for young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents. These individuals have grown up in the U.S. and have been taught in American schools. The President plans to give these individuals citizenship if they have served in the Armed Forces or gone to an American university.

Immigrants who have relatives that are U.S. citizens would also be assisted. The family-sponsored system would increase from an annual cap of 7% to 15% in each county. Same-sex couples are also addressed in this plan, as applications for same-sex partners have been denied. The Federal Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, so same-sex relationships are not legally recognized.

Implementation Plan

According the Obama Administration's official website, the President has four principles to his immigration policies:

  1. Strengthen Border Security: if more tools are given to law enforcement officials, the President believes that crime can be decreased and communities will be safer.
  2. Streamline Legal Immigration: the President wants to see more efficiency in the provision of visas by implementing the STEM program and speeding up the process for family-sponsored immigration.
  3. Earn Citizenship: if immigrants pass a background check, pay taxes, and learn English, then Obama wants to provide a way for them to earn citizenship legally so they can come out of the shadows.
  4. Stop Hiring Undocumented Workers: businesses have continued to exploit immigrants by knowingly hiring undocumented workers and paying them low wages. President Obama wants to provide a reliable way for companies to make sure that employees are in the U.S. legally.

If these four things are followed, the Obama administration believes that immigrants and citizens alike will benefit. Right now there are about 11 million people in the U.S. that are undocumented, which is not the ideal situation for these immigrants or for the nation.

Let an Ohio immigration lawyer in Columbus assist you!

While the immigration policies are hopefully soon to change, the current system can be quite harsh on immigrants. Don't risk your future by taking on your immigration issue alone. The Ohio immigration lawyers at Jonathan A. Bartell, Attorney with Margaret W. Wong & Associates are here to help! We have over a decade of experience in handling cases of every type, from acquiring visas to defending individuals against deportation. Don't wait to contact our office at 216-469-2892 or fill out a free case evaluation! We assist clients all over Ohio, from Cleveland to Cincinnati.