Only time will tell. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
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Of course this is only an opinion, but it is difficult to say. The Obama administration stated that they want comprehensive immigration reform legislation passed in the first half of the year, so that is positive news. However, many in Congress still oppose. It takes time to get bills passed and this Congress will be no different. Immigration advocates are very hopeful this time around, but we have been here before. It is important for our community to contact your local representatives and let them know that these issues matter to us.
The answers provided should not be considered legal advice. They are for general information only. It is always recommended you consult with an attorney prior to taking any action.
The senators who introduced the proposal have said they hope something could be passed by this summer. Obviously, there is no guarantee of this, and it's possible it could take longer or not happen at all. As far as knowing who will qualify for it -- we simply won't know until we see what they include in the law. Most lawmakers agree that to qualify, people will have to pay a fine, pay back taxes, not have a serious criminal record, and possibly learn English. You can prepare yourself for those things now in case reform does pass. It's also good to have all of your documents in order -- passport, birth certificate, proof of entry, etc.
The information offered is general in nature and not meant to be relied upon as legal advice. No client-attorney relationship is created through this information. Please consult an attorney prior to making legal decisions.
At this point, we don't know what is going to happen, or when.
It seems to me that President Obama would like to have new immigration laws in place some time this year, 2013, but again, it is impossible to predict what will happen.
President Obama, and some legislators, have indicated a desire to create some sort of path towards permanent resident status for many of the approximately 11 million people who are currently in the United States without permission. Again, at this point, we don't know exactly who will qualify, and who will not.
It is important at this time to pay attention to reliable news reporting sources, and to be patient. There likely are lots of rumors circulating, and no doubt many of those rumors are based on information that is not accurate.
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Everyone should take an active part to make this come to fruition. We should all do our best to open the legislators' eyes, whisper to their ears louder than the naysayers, appeal to their hearts and convince them with sensible and practical reasoning.
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All of this is pure speculation but the fact that 4 Repulican US Senators and 4 Democrat US Senators are FIRMLY in support of CIR as compared to McCain and Kennedy in 2007 means a lot. The Republicans understand (especially Romney) that their party will continue to lose unless something is done with CIR. Most people WITHOUT serious crimes will be eligible. I am a betting man. I say as early as this summer. You will obtain "probationary legal status" (work permit and no deportation) fairly quickly. The path to citizenship will take a very long time. My best guess having watched for a VERY long time.