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Immigration reform bill introduced in House

J.G. Azarcon, ESQ.By J.G. Azarcon, ESQ.
On December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009. This is the first attempt in either chamber to push for an overhaul of the immigration system.
The following is a summary of key provisions prepared by The Immigration Policy Center:
- A legalization program for qualified undocumented immigrants (and their spouses and children) who would first receive a conditional nonimmigrant visa which is valid for six years, after which they could apply for legal permanent residence and eventually become U.S. citizens. The DREAM Act and AgJOBS are also included.
- Promotion of family unity through measures designed to keep U.S. families together. The bill contains several measures designed to reduce long backlogs in family and employment immigrants and nonimmigrant visa processing as well as other measures prevent families from being separated.
- Reforming the legal immigration system and creating new legal channels through the Prevent Unauthorized Migration Visa (PUM Visa) that seeks to provide for safe, humanitarian migration. A new Labor Commission would also be crated to make recommendations on future legal immigration flows. The bill reform temporary worker programs and includes measures to protect U.S. workers.
- Reforming enforcement activities by seeking to ensure due process, judicial review, and other protections during enforcement activities. Repeals the 287 (g) program.
- Border security provisions which seek to enhance border security and achieve effective immigration enforcement in close collaboration with border communities.
- Improving conditions of detention provisions which seek to improve detention conditions, and to protect U.S. citizens, LPRs, and vulnerable populations.
- Improving the naturalization process and integration to encourage citizenship among immigrant communities by providing for uniform administration of the naturalization exam, creating incentives for English language acquisition programs and requiring timely response on background checks and evaluating their efficiency.

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