There has been a lot of rattling going on in D.C. lately, and one particular topic never seems to settle down: Immigration.
Earlier today, a bipartisan group of senators formally filed legislation for border security as the cornerstone of immigration reform.
Immigration, or more precisely illegal immigration in this case, has lead to the need for a bill, which will prevent undocumented immigrants from becoming full legal residents.
It is only after the government takes steps to keep unauthorized workers from getting jobs in the United States that the bill will prevent unauthorized workers from getting jobs in the U.S.
The bill does, however, show mercy on law-abiding immigrants who arrived in the United States as children and complete high school, which are the two main exceptions. 20-year-old Manuela Rodriguez is one of them.
Rodriguez, a sophomore at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA, came to the U.S. when she was seven years old. Although she and her two sisters are now legal U.S. citizens, her parents came here illegally and may be affected by the bill.
“I don’t fully understand the impact the bill will have, but I fear for my parents. They came here illegally, yes, but they came here in pursuit of a better future for me and my sisters, and that was their only felony, if any,” Rodriguez said.
When it comes border security, the bill has strict criteria. A $3 billion proposal has been made in order to strengthen the current border security, and this means fortifying fences, more patrols and getting more surveillance technology from the Department of Defense, which includes drones and drone pilots.
The bill also demands that border officers turn back at least 90% of the 30,000 illegal immigrants who attempt illegal border crossings each year.
The only ones who will be eligible for legal residency will be undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States before December 31, 2011, according to the bill summary. They cannot have any felony convictions in U.S. or foreign courts, otherwise they will be considered ineligible. Jesus Barrientos, a 48-year-old construction worker, is one of those lucky ones.
Barrientos was one of many illegal immigrants who came to the US from Mexico undocumented, but originally it was fully legal.
Barrientos came to the US 15 years ago on a business trip, but decided to make a life-changing decision. “I was told by my boss at the time to go to California to sign a few construction contracts over the weekend, but then I decided that once I crossed the U.S. border in Tijuana [Mexico] that I wasn’t going to go back to Mexico,” Barrientos said
Barrientos stayed and never looked back. Since then, he has reached full legal resident status and is now fully established in the outskirts of Seattle.
Although Barrientos himself will not be personally affected by this immigration bill, he has many friends in the U.S. who are so-called Mexican undocumented illegal immigrants.
Barrientos’ brother crossed the U.S. border illegally in 2010 in search of work, and was deported back to Mexico immediately.
As for money, the bill requires undocumented immigrants to pay a penalty of up to $500 for having come to the United States illegally.
They must also pay back any taxes before they can receive temporary approval to stay in the U.S.
The status, called Registered Provisional Immigrant status, opens up most U.S. jobs and allows the applicant to travel outside the country and return legally.
The status lasts for six years and can be extended for an additional fee of $500 annuallly.
This may only be done if the applicant has not been involved in any trouble with the law.
After 10 years as provisional residents, the immigrant could become a lawful permanent resident by following the same guidelines and procedures as an immigrant who enters the country legally.
That particular process includes a $1,000 fee, all according to the bill summary.
The full bill can be found here: http://www.schumer.senate.gov/forms/immigration.pdf