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Immigration Reform Bill

This bi-partisan bill is designed to: strengthen the border, strengthen the economy and the rights of American workers, create a roadmap to citizenship for the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants, change our visa system, and reforms the current legal immigration system.  The Immigration Reform Bill has four main components referred to as Titles, summarized below:

  • Title I -discusses Border Security.
  • Title II -has two parts (A) the Creation of the Resident Provisional Immigrant Status, and (B) Legal Immigration.
  • Title III -discusses Interior Enforcement; and
  • Title IV -Reforms to the Non-Immigrant Visa program.

Title I: Border Security

As the Title states, this section addresses the Southern Border and attempts to prevent future illegal entry.

• Border Plan: Stage one requires the DHS Secretary to develop a Comprehensive Border Security Strategy and Southern Border Fencing Strategy within six months before the registration period for Registered Provisional Immigrant Status (RPI) begins. These strategies must be designed to achieve persistent surveillance of the border and a 90% effectiveness rate for apprehensions and returns in high-risk border sectors. The bill appropriates $3 billion for this plan which will include technology, personnel, and other resources.

• Triggers: The Secretary’s border plan must be operational before any RPIs may apply for adjustment of status. The Secretary must develop and implement a fencing plan ($1.5 billion); E-Verify must be mandatory and operational, and a biographic entry-exit system at air and seaports must be implemented before RPIs may adjust to permanent residence.

• Southwest Governors Commission: After five years, if the specified goals of 90% effectiveness and persistent surveillance have not been met, a Southern Border Security Commission will be established to make further recommendations for achieving these goals. The Commission would recommend up to $2 billion in additional DHS spending that would be available to achieve the border security goals if they have not yet been met.

• Additional Resources: To further ensure completion of these targets, Customs and Border Patrol personnel and resources will be increased, additional funding for border prosecutions in the Tucson sector are funded, and the authority of the National Guard to assist in border security operations is codified.

• DHS Oversight: To protect the integrity of the system, additional resources and training will be devoted to implementing a DHS-wide use of force policy and associated training and appropriate use of force and the impact of federal operations on border communities. A Border Oversight Taskforce is established to take testimony and conduct hearings in order to review and recommend changes to existing border policies. The current duties of the USCIS Ombudsman’s office will be expanded to encompass all DHS immigration functions. DHS will be required to issue regulations on racial profiling that are based on a study analyzing individualized data on DHS officer’s enforcement activity.