Immigration Reform

immigration reform lawyer massachusettes

Massachusetts and Connecticut Immigration Lawyer

Since Gov. Jan Brewer signed Arizona's immigration bill into law, immigration reform has moved to near the top of the agenda on Capitol Hill. In the past, Congress has failed to offer sustainable new legislation or revamp old processes; however, several bills in Congress could ultimately provide some lasting and progressive reform to seemingly ineffective laws and programs.

Immigrant visa limits set by Congress remain at 700,000 for the combined categories of employment, family preference, and family immediate. There are additional provisions for diversity and a small number of special visas. In 2008 immigration in these categories totaled slightly less than 750,000 and similar totals (representing maximums allowed by Congress) have been tallied in recent years.

Naturalization numbers have ranged from about 500,000 to just over 1,000,000 per year since the early 1990s, with peak years in 1996 and 2008 each around 1,040,000. These numbers add up to more than the number of visas issued in those years because as many as 2.7 million of those who were granted amnesty by IRCA in 1986 have converted or will convert to citizenship. In general, immigrants become eligible for citizenship after five years of residence. Many do not immediately apply, or do not pass the test on the first attempt. This means that the counts for visas and the counts for naturalization will always remain out of step, though in the long run the naturalizations add up to somewhat less than the visas.

For further information on Immigration Reform please contact The Harrington Law Firm for a consultation.