Effect of 2006 Senate Bill 2/3

Posted on July 04, 2006 by Warren Wen | Category: Immigration

Effects of the Senate Bill on Illegal Immigrants

According to official statistics of the U.S. government, the illegal immigrants in the U.S. is around 13 millions, but the number would be far greater in reality as the number has been increasing at the speed of 20% annually.  Due to the significant impact of illegal immigrants on national security, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 has paid much attention to solving the problems of illegal immigrants.

In the new bill, illegal immigrants were handled differently by the bill, based on their length of stay in the U.S.:

  1. Illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. longer than five years would not be required to return home, but they should pay at least $3,250 of the surcharge, the supply tax and learn English;
  2. Illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. between 2 years and 5 years would be required to return to the boarder and apply for the re-entry;
  3. Illegal immigrants who have been in the U.S. less than 2 years must leave the U.S.

It is noteworthy that a felony once or the misdemeanor offenses for three times would lead them to be deported no matter how long they have stayed in the U.S.  Thus, those illegal immigrants who have stayed in the U.S. for more than 5 years and who can not be grandfathered under Section 245(i) may be able to adjust their status legally in the U.S. under the new bill.

According to these regulations, if illegal immigrants want to adjust their status legally, the greatest difficulty they may have to face would be proving how long they have stayed in the U.S.  Generally speaking, the USCIS confirms the residential period from the date noted on I-94.  Thus, those illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. legally could prove when they entered the U.S.  Nevertheless, those who entered the U.S. illegally may find this more challenging.  They would have to find other evidences to prove when they entered the U.S.  It would be difficult to find evidence since most of illegal immigrants live an unstable life. Therefore, we suggest illegal immigrants to consult with experienced attorneys and entrust them to keep the copies of their documents. Once the bill becomes law, they could adjust their status as soon as possible.

The bill would also provide illegal immigrants, who are high school graduate, another way to adjust their status. It would allow them to adjust their status if they attended college or enlisted for the U.S. army.

The bill includes some very harsh enforcement provisions as well. It proposes a more severe action to punish those employers who hire illegal immigrants.

In summary, the bill would give qualified illegal immigrants the opportunity to adjust their status on one hand, and on the other hand, it would take some measures to slow down the speed of increasing illegal immigrants. But we should notice that the bill has not been made into the law yet. It still needs to be negotiated with the House of Representatives.  The problem of illegal immigrants seems to be the most controversial issue between the Democrats and the Republicans. It would not be easy for the Democrats and the Republicans to reach a common ground, but their common understanding lies in that the problems of illegal immigrants need to be solved effectively.  Thus, we should continue to pay close attention to this matter.

This article is only for your reference. Please do not apply mechanically to any exact cases. You are welcome to consult our attorneys at Liu & Associates, P.C. For contact information, please click here.