The United States Government’s Proposals Concerning Immigration

By Michael Spychalski

The United States government has come up with several proposals to try to solve the country’s immigration issues.  Proposals are not bills, they are simply starting points.  However, a number of the proposals do target key immigration issues.

One proposal would allow an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants to get residency through a registration program.  This program would give these undocumented immigrants work authorization and an ability to travel abroad.  The purpose of this proposal is to free up family backlogs.  Currently, many immigrants’ family members have to wait many years for a visa.  The proposal would allow spouses and minor children of permanent residents an immediate visa, but it does not specify exactly what the procedures for these visas will be.

Immigrant workers have always been a problem under the current immigration law.  This proposal would increase the number of special temporary, three-year visas for non-seasonal, nonagricultural workers from just the 5,000 per year the limit is currently set at.  Residency would be an option, and this visa would be renewable one time.  High-skilled workers would also have the opportunity to become permanent residents.  The program would offer permanent residence to foreign students who graduate from U.S. universities and would eliminate per-country visa caps for employment-based immigrants.

Most of this new proposal deals with a new biometric Social Security card.  The card will contain a photograph and another biometric identifier, and will be used to identify the individual without an employer having to access a central database.  The identifiers would not be stored in a central database.  Use of the card for anything other than employment would be prohibited.

Individuals would also have various remedies, including court remedies, should they be wrongly denied work authorization due to faulty data.  Within five years after the date of enactment, the new biometric Social Security card will be the only document accepted to prove work authorization.  This proposal would also require the establishment of a national birth and death registration system.  No timetable has been set to come up with a bill, although Congress is working hard to address these immigration issues.

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