The Bill promised to give individuals in unlawful status the legal status of Registered Provisional Immigrant Status (RPI), which would allow them to legally work and travel outside of the U.S. There would be a penalty fee of $500 plus any application fee that the government might set out. The bill would also set an eligibility list, which would exclude mostly unlawful immigrants with a criminal background. But after 10 years, aliens in RPI status would be able to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) Status, that is, green card holders, through a Merit Based system the Act would create. The individual on LPR status would then be able to apply to become a U.S. citizen when the time comes. The signed Bill would also benefit DREAMERs, which are individuals who among other things were brought to the U.S. as children. People in the DREAMER act Status would get their green cards after 5 years and they would be eligible for citizenship immediately after getting their green card.
Although the Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, the House of Representative has still to vote on it. Since August of 2013, the immigrant community, and immigration activists have been waiting for the big moment, but with everything going on in the world, the Bill has been pushed back. Lately, however, the House has put the immigration Bill back on the table for discussion. Indeed, the House speaker John Boehner, is expected to soon outline which pieces of the reform may win support from the Majority Republicans at the House. It is anticipated that the House may consider a series of immigration Bills rather than one comprehensive legislation as it was passed by the Senate. There are also some rumors that Republicans do not want to set a path to citizenship, but to legalization. According to some political news, some Republicans have proposed a Bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to gain legal status, but they would need a family member or U.S. employers to sponsor them for citizenship. Other Republicans would like to bar citizenship for the undocumented immigrants who are benefited from the Immigration Reform. However, some republicans like Rep. Raul Rrijalva said that he would not vote for a Bill that allows undocumented immigrants to gain legal status but prohibits them from becoming U.S. citizens, saying: “barring legalized immigrants from ever becoming citizens would set a troubling precedent.” Indeed, this would create a second class status to our society. Nonetheless, we all want a comprehensive immigration reform to pass; thus if we will have a Bill that includes a path to legalization, but does not refer to citizenship, as long as it doesn’t bans it, so be it.