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Senators Schumer & Graham Set To Begin Drafting Comprehensive Immigration Reform For 2013

Posted by attorney Caroly Pedersen

This Week's Immigration News December 10, 2012 Senators Schumer & Graham Set To Begin Drafting Comprehensive Immigration Reform For 2013 Former major Congressional players in past Immigration Reform efforts are once again coming together to pick up where they left off in 2010 when the last immigration reform Bill was defeated. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham are said to have begun reviving their “Blue Print" for Immigration Reform, which they authored together in a bi-partisan effort to pass reform legislation in 2010. The “Blue Print" lays out broad outlines of what they believe a bipartisan, Comprehensive Immigration Reform Law should include and what we will likely see presented in Congress in the next several months. The Graham and Schumer Blue Print has four major components: Biometric Social Security cards, Border Enforecement, Temporary Worker program for low skilled jobs, Legalization of Immigrants currently inside the U.S. who do not have legal immigration status and STEM Green Cards for graduates of U.S. PhD or master's programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math. You can read the article they co-authored in 2010 which was published by the Washington Post, called: The Right Way to Mend Immigration, and other commentary about their efforts by visiting our website at: and clicking on the Immigration Newsletter. Former President George W. Bush Urges Congress To Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform In a major speech last week, former President George W. Bush urged Congress to pass a major comprehensive immigration reform package in the upcoming year, urging lawmaker to have a “benevolent spirit" on immigration reform debate, adding that “Not only do immigrants help build our economy, they invigorate our soul".Bush, who has told reporters in the past that failure to pass immigration reform during his administration was among his biggest disappointments, said that "America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time". Bush said that Congress should "keep in mind the contributions of immigrants" who "… come with new skills and new ideas. …They work hard for a chance at a better life." THIS WEEK’S IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS Question: I have heard a lot in the news about the amnesty coming up next year, but I want to know if after Obama leaves office, whether they can cancel the law and take back the immigration status once I get it? I’m wondering because I saw that Mr. Romney was going to cancel the deferred action law if he had gotten into office. Thanks. Answer: Generally, once an immigration regulation becomes law and individuals who qualify under the new policy are granted immigration benefits, such immigrants retain those benefits and are “grandfathered" in under the rules existing at the time they applied for and received their status. Once passed, laws cannot be changed except through an act approved by Congress and the President. The “Deferred Action" status that Obama granted for immigrants who qualify under the Childhood Arrivals Program is not a new law, it is just an “expansion" of a policy that already exists. For that reason, had Romney been elected, he could have cancelled that expanded use of the policy for the future. Question: Hi, I filed for my early Citizenship because I am still married to my American husband but at the immigration interview the officer asked me for documents to prove that we are living together and gave me a notice for another immigration interview when my husband has to come in with me. The problem is that me and my husband don’t live together anymore and we aren’t even talking so I can’t do what they are saying. I thought the law was that if I’m married to an American I can apply, not whether we are living together, is that true? Answer: Most U.S. Residents must wait for 4 years and 9 months from the date of first obtaining their Green Cards before being eligible to apply for U.S. Citizen through Naturalization. However, the law allows U.S. Residents who are married to and living with their U.S. Citizen spouse in a bona-fide (real) marriage to apply for Early Naturalization in 2 years and 9 months after obtaining their Green Card. The law is generally known as the 3/3/3 rule: 1) The U.S. Citizen Spouse must have been a U.S. Citizen for at least 3 yrs; 2) The couple must have been married for at least 3 yrs and finally 3) The U.S. Resident must have held status as a Green Card holder for at least 3 yrs (really only 2 yrs & 9 mos). Since you are no longer living with your U.S. Citizen husband, you are no longer eligible to apply for expedited naturalization based upon your marriage. A good option is to have your Naturalization application “withdrawn" in order to try and avoid any issues arising about whether or not you were eligible for your Permanent Green Card. Another option is to allow the case to be denied without pursuing the matter further. You can find out more about important Early Naturaliztion issues by calling our office at: 954-382-5378.

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