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Every law, passed by the legislature has an impact in everyone’s life. But many times we do not realize the importance of popular involvement, and how the law makers and politicians can be influenced one way or the other. The Immigration Reform Law, titled “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act” is one of those laws that will have a direct impact in many of our communities.

On June 27, 2013 the U.S. Senate passed the final version of the immigration bill labeled. S. 744. This bill aims at border investment and protection, enforcement of immigration law, and improvements of the immigration system. The most hoped for portion awaited by the immigrant community pertains to the legalization of more than 11 million undocumented people.

The Senate proposal outlines that individuals who arrived before Jan 1 2012, that have a relatively clean record and have paid their taxes may be eligible for the new Temporal Immigrant Status, and after 10 years in that status the individuals may apply for Residency, and 3 years after for Citizenship.

The path to citizenship, which may take about 13 years in the current proposal, is also conditional on the “triggers” or conditions by which legalization may take place. Namely, securing the border and ensuring no future overflow of undocumented people by spending in border security.

For immigration reform to move forward is important to continue voicing your concerns with members of congress. The Speaker of the House, Mr. Boehner, insisted that reform would not advance unless “the majority, of the majority” or the majority of the republicans supports the proposals. Following a meeting of the republican members of congress, there was no conclusion as to the prospects of reform.

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It is also important to create awareness, and ensure that the community be careful with potential frauds. Since no reform has taken place, no one should be offering an immigration benefit without being an attorney or an accredited representative.

The House of Representatives remains as an obstacle. The Speaker of the House John Boehner explained that he will “do everything [he] can to facilitate the process for solving this problem”

About the Author: Oscar Barbosa is an immigration attorney from Allentown, PA, with offices in New Jersey and Virginia. He can be reached at, 1800-919-9280 or through his Web site at For immigration news and updates, text the word “Diaspora” to 96362.