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What’s the Latest on Immigration Reform? Why Keeping up to Date Is Important

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Immigration Reform

There are about 44 million immigrants living in the United States today. 77 percent of that immigrant population are in fact, here legally. That leaves about a quarter of the immigrant population undocumented.

The latest on immigration reform news has generated a lot of commotion as well as an immense amount of polarity between political parties. Everyone seems to be divided, but not everyone seems to understand exactly what it all means.

Immigration laws can change at the drop of a hat, so if you’re trying to keep up with the latest on immigration reform, keep reading.

The Latest on Immigration Reform

Immigration reform is a term that encompasses all of the attempts to change laws governing immigration and immigrants. Generally speaking, when we use the term immigration reform, we are talking about finding ways to help those who are here illegally to stay here.

Of course, there are those who feel our immigration laws have been much too lenient. Now the terminology has taken a turn and aims to crack down on the immigration system, making it harder to stay here illegally. Unfortunately, in more current immigration news, it’s also becoming harder to gain citizenship.

The immigration laws and policies can change in a number of ways from multiple parties. Congress, court judicial systems, and the president himself all have the power to handle immigration-related matters.

The latest on immigration reform centers around president Donald Trump and his rampant enforcement of the immigration laws. Since his election, he has ordered the construction of a border wall, terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (otherwise known as DACA), and has also let Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) kick down doors.

Those who are detained in an immigration detention center don’t always have the much-needed funds for bail bonds immigration services. Some aren’t even eligible to receive bail bonds or any form of support. This has become a large problem over the past few years as detention centers fill up and reports of poor conditions continue to leak out.

What Are the Current Options For Immigration?

As of right now, there are five ways to obtain a Green Card in the United States:

  • Through a highly qualified US job
  • Through reunion with a family in the US
  • Through a pricey investment (in the millions)
  • Through the Green Card Lottery

Attaining a green card through a qualified job or a million-dollar investment is extremely rare as most immigrants come from poor countries. Even the ones who come here with an education and a job transfer have a hard time gaining legal status. It’s also surprisingly rare that not many people have close relatives living in the US already.

This means that the best chance an immigrant has at becoming a permanent resident is the Green Card Lottery.

Each year, 55,000 green cards are “raffled off”. The lottery was created under the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and it’s also known as the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program. It was initially designed to maintain the diversity within the country, but as of now, President Trump aims to abolish the lottery.

Of course, immigrants in the US who wish to become legal permanent residents can apply for a green card. This is done through the above ways as well. It can also be done for those seeking asylum or for other special cases. Unfortunately, the United States government only allows a certain number of visas to be used each year.

Because of the finite number of visas set by congress, if immigrants are denied a green card or visa, they are deported. This is why there are many immigrants in the United States who do not apply.

What’s Happening with Immigration Now

Currently, President Trump and his advisors are creating new immigration policy restrictions. These restrictions aren’t just affecting illegal immigrants, but legal immigrants as well. Referred to as Trump’s “America First” program, the focus on family reunification and asylum have shifted drastically.

Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • A border wall with Mexico
  • The end of DACA—which means the deportation of child arrivals
  • Restricted travel and work visas from eight countries
  • An increase screening of refugees
  • A review of the H-1B visa program which allows companies to temporarily employ immigrants with a work visa
  • A halt in legal immigration

This means more strict requirements in terms of applying for a green card and/or gaining naturalization in the United States.

The requirements aim to weed out immigrants who already use or may need to use public benefits such as Medicaid, housing aid, food stamps, etc. Adversely, these requirements are in favor of those who can afford homes/property, private health insurance, etc.

The latest on immigration reform ideally aims to cut down on the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States. This is being done as a means to alleviate our national resources, including welfare and medical care. Unfortunately, the way in which ICE raids are carried out and with the termination of DACA and the poor conditions of our FEMA camps, we’re seeing a very inhumane side of immigration reform.

Give Us Your Tired, Your Hungry, and Your Poor

The United States is a country built on immigration, so it doesn’t seem right to most people that many immigrants will be facing deportation or be turned away at the border. While many Americans are in favor of welcoming immigrants and making it easier for them to gain legal status, there still has to be a way of alleviating our system’s resources.

As we’ve said, the laws on immigration can change in the blink of an eye. Check back with us daily to stay on top of the latest on immigration reform.

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