SO 206 week 3 Assignment – Legislation on Immigration

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Legislation on Immigration






Legislation on Immigration

The number of immigrants into the United States of America has greatly increased over the years. Both legal and illegal means of immigration are a great contributor to this increase, and has led to the development of legislation to govern the immigration of foreigners into the country. Conflict between various political, social and economic groups has led to development of various proposals on immigration reform. There are several bills that have been proposed and some passed by the senate and state legislature in an attempt to provide policies for immigration restriction and governance. This legislation began as early as 1790 in the colonial period up to recently in 2013.

The latest bill on immigration is an act passed by the 113th congress in June 2013 which is an act to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes. This bill was proposed and passed for various reasons. These include to provide comprehensive immigration reform by helping undocumented immigrants with a pathway for citizenship and lawful residence. It enables them to apply for registered provisional immigrant status (RPI) as they wait to apply for full citizenship. This act also attends to the situation of undocumented immigrants who immigrated into the United States as children and special program for the legalization of the residence of immigrant workers who are in the United States illegally. (S.744)

This act of 2013 will solve the problem of backlog in the immigration sector by enabling immigrants who migrated into the United States a long time ago and have their legalization delayed to get their RPI status which will lay a foundation for the legalization of their residence in the United States. This act also enables the reunification of families who live in different countries from their relatives who live and work in the United States because of the problem of obtaining permanent citizenship in the country. This act also addresses backlogs in the applications made through employment based immigration. This will grant legal residence to workers who make the majority of laborers in various sectors including industry and agriculture. (S.744)

Race and ethnicity are addressed in this bill, especially in employment based immigration whereby previously, immigrants from China and India had a limit for the number of immigrants whose residence in the United States can be legalized. In this bill, these limits are eliminated providing for equal access to available employment based visas. This legislation seems to assume the myths about immigration, especially those that describe immigrants as being in the country illegally. This is because it states that there are about eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States. Also, the bill assumes that undocumented immigrants take part in crime and criminal related activities in the country as it requires immigrants to be cleared of any criminal activity before they gain RPI status and denies individuals involved in crime from gaining RPI status and therefore denies them legal residence. It also assumes that immigrants are not proficient in English and requires them to take a proficiency test or a course in English upon being legalized as citizens (IPC, 2013).

The legislation will help individuals gain lawful residence in the United States and reduce the hassle of getting legal immigration status in terms of finances and time. Also, it will help to reunite families and relatives due to the family based immigration system and even through the employment based immigration. Communities will benefit from this legislation as there will be a different view of the immigrants in terms of the myths of immigration. The legislation addresses the employment based immigration and the local industry will therefore benefit because their workers will gain legal immigration status and residence therefore enabling them focus on their work and lead to increased productivity of the industry. The industry will also be able to hire workers who are legal residents and therefore enable the industry to comply with the labor laws of the country (IPC, 2013).

In conclusion, legislation on immigration reform is necessary and the proposal of suitable and favorable reforms has been long overdue. The bill passed by the senate of the United States in June 2013 has taken bold strides in addressing immigration at an angle that has never been used before and has brought time for great change in terms of immigration. The value of each of the statements regarding immigration in this act cannot be understated. The implementation of this legislation will see to it that millions of immigrants into the United States are finally granted legal residence.


113TH Congress 1st Session S.744: An Act to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes.

Immigration Policy Center (IPC): A Guide to S.744 Understanding the 2013 Senate Immigration Bill July 2013

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