BREAKING: On October 2, 2013, House Democrats released their own version of a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Xavier Becerra, Ruben Hinojosa, Joe Garcia, Joe Crowley, Judy Chu, and others presented the legislation. The text of the bill can be found here.
Emphasizing that their goal is for the House bill to be bipartisan, the Democrats indicated the bill will draw from elements of the Senate bill (S. 744), but without the border-security provisions (Corker-Hoeven amendment). Instead they will incorporate a bipartisan bill that passed the House Homeland Security Committee in May. For a summary of the Senate bill, click here.
Both the Senate bill and the new House bill include a “path to citizenship” or legal structure which allows for persons in undocumented status to eventually apply for temporary legal residency, then lawful permanent resident status, and eventually citizenship. Thus far, Republican leadership in the House has not supported comprehensive immigration legislation and has instead introduced various pieces of legislation addressing different areas of immigration with the glaring exception of any kind of solution for the undocumented population.
For the House bill to advance, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) would need to allow it to come to a vote. However, Speaker Boehner has repeatedly indicated he has no plans to bring the bipartisan Senate bill to the House floor. It remains to be seen whether or not his reaction to this bill will follow suit. Stay tuned for further updates.
For more information on immigration reform and how it may affect your situation, please contact the attorneys at Minsky McCormick & Hallagan P.C.