By now anyone who is interested in immigration matters in the Miami area, has heard about the overhaul the current United State's immigration system is undergoing. Legislation on the topic has been introduced and is being reviewed. What may not be clear to all interested parties however, is just who will ultimately benefit from the immigration overhaul, and how. It is likely that there are many in South Florida who fit this description.
The bill that is currently under review is called the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013". If passed in its current form, it is believed that around 740,000 individuals who are currently in the U.S. without authorization, living in the state of Florida, would be able to start down the path to citizenship.
Under the proposed plan, many will be eligible to start the process of citizenship as soon as the nation's borders are secured. After that, the 13-year citizen path would commence with securing provisional legal status. This period would last for 10 years during which time they could secure employment legally and pay applicable fines. In addition to paying a total of $2,000 in fines, other fees will likely be assessed along the way. Once the provisional period is up permanent legal status could be secured via a green card. Another three years after that the petition for citizenship could be filed.
There are of course certain criteria undocumented immigrants living in Miami and across the country, must meet. One of these is that the individual must have arrived in the U.S. prior to January 1, 2012.
Just how much the bill will change in the course of its review remains to be seen. There will certainly be more to come on this topic.
Source: Associated Press, "Bipartisan bill could help 740,000 undocumented immigrants in Florida," Erica Wener, April 17, 2013