Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Aliens

Currently, there are around 10 million illegal immigrants residing and working in the US.  This negatively affects other immigrants who wish to enter the US legally and work in the US.  Also, it affects the US government and its people since these illegal immigrants do not pay taxes.  A number of options exist for rectifying this situation, including deporting all illegal immigrants found in the US.  Instead of choosing this option, the Senate has decided to help the illegal immigrants become legal immigrants in the US.

The bill proposed by the Senate will make it possible for those who entered the US illegally and have been working in the US to adjust status.  Provisions have been set up for those living in the US illegally for more than five years, two to five years, and less than two years.  The illegal immigrants will be given a chance to become legal immigrants without facing a harsh penalty or being deported, provided they follow the procedure.

Those residing in the US illegally for more than five years (on or before April 5, 2006) may adjust status by filing out an application, pay a fine of $2000, not inadmissible on health, criminal, security, child abduction, or polygamy grounds, provide documentation of employment for at least three years during the five year period and at least six years after the implementation of this law, pay all federal and state back taxes, meet the citizenship English and civics tests, pass a security clearance, and a complete a few other steps will be able to adjust their status.

Illegal aliens in the two to five year group will be granted Deferred Mandatory Departure status, meaning they must leave the US and then may be readmitted as either a nonimmigrant or immigrant alien.  Those in this category must have been continuously present in the US since January 7, 2004 and document continuously employment before January 7, 2004.  In order to be granted readmission as nonimmigrant or immigrant, must depart from the US in a timely manner, otherwise may face a 10 year benefits bar and fined up to $3000.

Illegal aliens in the US for less than two years must leave the US and can reenter on H-2C status.  From there they will be able to try to obtain a green card through the normal method.

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Unlawful Employment of Aliens
Visa Reforms
Work Authorization and Legalization of Undocumented Aliens
Dream Act
Citizenship Changes
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