Resources on Current Legislation in 111th Congress
Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
Real Enforcement with Practical Answers for Immigration Reform (REPAIR): Senate Proposal
This proposal is not a bill. However, with the clock ticking and Senator Lindsay Graham walking away from conversations on CIR, top Senate Democrats released a proposal for immigration reform based on earlier bipartisan talks. They aim to use the proposal as a vehicle to invite Senate Republicans to the table. The nearly 30 page outline addresses border security; interior enforcement; enforcement accountability and protections; low and high skilled skilled immigration; family immigration; employment verification and creation of a biometric social security card; legalization program for undocumented immigrants; and immigrant integration.
Status: The proposal was issued April 29th, 2010 by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, Immigration Subcommittee Chair Chuck Schumer, and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Bob Menendez.
For more info:
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act (CIR ASAP Act), H.R. 4321, creates an earned legalization program for undocumented immigrants; includes AgJOBS and DREAM Act, provides resources for the integration of immigrants; promotes family unity and addresses backlogs; creates a labor commission to determine future flows and creates a three year visa program to address unauthorized flows; provides standards for detention; repeals the 287(g) program; and increases judicial review.
Status: H.R. 4321 was introduced December 15, 2009 by Representatives Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), and 90 other co-sponsors. Washington’s Rep. Jim McDermott is an original co-sponsor.
For more info on HR 4321:
Reform Immigration For America Campaign, December 2009
Immigration Policy Center, December 2009
American Immigration Lawyers Association, December 2009
Migration Policy Institute, December 2009
Bills Addressing Different Components of CIR
Immigration reform is being moved forward as a comprehensive package, but early in the 111th Congress individual bills were introduced to highlight different components that are needed in CIR legislation.
The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, HR 1751/S. 729, is a piece of bipartisan legislation that would provide a pathway to legalization for undocumented children who came to the U.S. at less than 15 years old. Undocumented youth would qualify for conditional permanent resident status upon acceptance to college, graduation from a U.S. high school, or being awarded a GED in the U.S. Students who serve in the military for at least two years or complete a vocational degree or at least two years of university work towards their B.A. would qualify for legal permanent residence.
Status: Introduced March 2009 in the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee. Introduced May 2009 in the House and referred to the Subcommittee on Higher Education, Lifelong Learning, and Competitiveness. As of January 2010, there are 106 cosponsors in the House and 32 cosponsors in the Senate. In WA, Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representatives Larsen, McDermott, and Smith are co-sponsors.
For More info:
National Immigration Law Center’s: DREAM Act: Policy Briefs, Weekly Updates, Students’ stories, and videos.
Reuniting Families Act, H.R. 2709/S. 1085 would recapture unused family and work visas; reduce the family backlogs by exempting spouses and children from numerical caps on family immigration; provides relief for widows and orphans and allows them to continue to wait in line; raises the per country limits of countries with high backlogs from 7 to 10 percent; and recognizes the sacrifices of our military by exempting children of World War II Filipino veterans from numerical caps. The legislation also includes similar provisions to H.R. 1024/S. 424, which ensures that LGBT families are able to bring in partners and children.
Status: H.R. 2709 was introduced June 2009 by Rep. Honda. It is in the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. As of January 2010, H.R. 2709 has 79 co-sponsors. S. 1085 was introduced by Senator Menendez in June 2009 and referred to the Judiciary Committee. It has five co-sponsors.
HR 1024/S. 424 was introduced in February 2009 by Rep. Nadler. It is in the Judiciary Committee. As of January 2010, the legislation has 118 co-sponsors. Senators Cantwell and Murray and Representatives Baird, Inslee, McDermott, and Smith are co-sponsors.
For more info:
Asian American Justice Center, Fact sheets and Background Materials on Family Reunification
Immigration Oversight and Enforcement Act, H.R. 1215, would create legally enforceable detention standards; strengthen oversight and accountability of the immigration detention system; expands alternatives to detention; provides protections for unaccompanied youth; and creates safeguards against forced drugging of detainees.
Status: Introduced February 26th, 2010 by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. It was referred to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. As of January 2010, there are 62 co-sponsors, including Rep. Jim McDermott.
For more info:
American Immigration Lawyer’s Association: Section-by Section Analysis
Rights Working Group: One Pager
Women’s Refugee Commission: NGO Sign on Letter in Support of H.R. 1215
Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act (AgJOBS), S.1038/HR. 2414 would create a pathway to legalization for undocumented farm workers, ranch hands, and H-2A guest workers. Eligible agricultural workers would pay a small fine and apply for a temporary blue card, which would apply for seven years. After a minimum of three years, workers who have continue to work in the agricultural industry are eligible to apply for legal permanent residence. AgJOBs would also reform some of the current H-2A requirements.
Status: AgJOBS was introduced in May 2009. As of January 2010, HR. 2414 has 57 co-sponsors, including Rep. Rick Larsen. It is in the subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. S. 1038 has 21 co-sponsors, including Senators Murray and Cantwell. It is in the Judiciary Committee.
For more info:
FarmWorker Justice: Summary and Worker Education Materials
Refugee Protection Act of 2010, S.3113, was introduced on the 30th anniversary of the Refugee Protection Act of 1980. S 3113 would provide a much needed upgrade to the refugee and asylee system, including a streamlining of resettlement, and reaffirm our commitment to refugees and asylees. Over the past 30 years the US has been a leader in refugee resettlement, resettling about 2.6 million people. However, changes in immigration law have hindered our ability to provide protections to refugees and asylees and present severe obstacles to refugees and asylees seeking asylum in the U.S. The bill would provide greater protections for asylum seekers by eliminating time limits on filing for asylum; providing more safeguards during the complex adjudication process; creating a national alternative to detention (ATD) program and requiring better detention conditions; eliminating the one year waiting period for refugees and asylees to apply for a green card; and providing greater protections for vulnerable groups by ensuring that asylees that faced gender or sexual orientation based violence can pursue a claim even though the persecution may not be “socially visible.”
March 15th, 2010: Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and co-sponsored by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), and Roland Burris (D-IL).
May 19th, 2010: Hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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