On Tuesday, May 21, 2013 the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill. The 13-5 vote by the Judiciary panel now sends the measure to the Senate floor for consideration. If this plan is ultimately approved it would be the first overhaul on the nation’s immigration policy since 1986.
The reform as passed includes a 15-year path to citizenship for most of the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. It will also strengthen border security, raise the cap on visas for high skilled workers, and establish a new visa program for low skilled workers on America’s farms.
However, the one amendment that was defeated was the federal support for bi-national same-sex relationships. Specifically, the proposal for allowing a U.S. citizen to sponsor his or her same-sex foreign national for a green card was voted against. While this was one defeat in the reform legislation, it might be moot anyway. The possible upcoming ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) could eliminate DOMA and impose federal regulations on same gender marriages.
In a statement by President Obama, he stated, “[n]one of the Committee members got everything they wanted, and neither did I, but in the end, we all owe it to the American people to get the best possible result over the finish line.”
While no immigration reform changes are finalized yet, Berardi Immigration Law is committed to staying on top of the recent immigration news. Please contact us today for any of your immigration questions.