What Can We Expect from Immigration Reform?
Immigration reform in the United States has been a hot topic for quite some time. Over the years, there have been various proposals and changes in immigration policies, but the promise of comprehensive reform is still on the horizon.
In recent years, we’ve heard about efforts to revamp immigration laws, which, in essence, would allow illegal immigrants to enter the United States, along with a potential path to legalization for those already living in the country.
Currently, there’s anticipation surrounding the implementation of a new immigration reform aimed at legalizing the vast majority of the 12 million undocumented individuals residing in the country, some for decades according to studies by the Pew Research Center. This group accounts for approximately 3.2% to 3.6% of the total population of the United States.
You Are Eligible for the Immigration Reform if:
You are a parent of a U.S citizen or Green Card holder and are able to prove your identity and direct relationship
You did not enter the U.S. territory illegally during the past year and have been in the U.S. for 5 years or more
You do not hold a criminal record or have terrorist affiliations
You can pass a background check to avoid eligibility fraud
A New Era for Immigration Reform: ‘Dignity Act’
On May 23, 2023, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the United States introduced a new immigration reform proposal called the ‘Dignity Act,’ aiming to decrease the arrival of migrants at the southern border while offering pathways to legal status for the 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country
This law would establish ‘stricter measures and higher penalties’ for irregular migration with the intent to ‘bring undocumented individuals out of the shadows.’ Notably, it wouldn’t impose costs on taxpayers, as it includes a system where migrants must contribute to access their legal status, including:
- Legal status for undocumented individuals.
- Work and travel authorization.
- A seven-year validity with the possibility of renewal.
Opportunities and Requirements:
To participate in the ‘Dignity Act’ program, immigrants would need to pay $700 annually to the government, totaling $5,000 over the validity period. Additionally, they would undergo criminal background checks and fulfill their tax obligations.
This would limit access to public services like hospitals and schools, encouraging individuals to finance their own health insurance or private education while complying with their legal status.
It’s important to recognize that any immigration reform will have a significant impact on many individuals. This includes not only undocumented immigrants already in the United States but also those hoping to immigrate to the country in the future.
New York City, with its diversity and sizable immigrant population, stands at the heart of this dynamic. Recent data suggests that over 60,000 immigrants are under the city’s care, and since last spring, more than 116,000 immigrants have arrived from the border between the United States and Mexico.
Despite the challenges, there’s an opportunity to improve the current system, existing policies, and services. With a careful and considerate approach, achieving a reform that’s fair for everyone—immigrants seeking a better life, U.S. citizens, and the country as a whole—might be possible.
You’re not alone in this process; our legal team, led by immigration attorney Alice Antonovsky, is here to provide guidance. We can assist you in pursuing your immigration goals amid these challenges and opportunities.
As legal professionals, we understand that everyone has a unique story to tell. Our team gives absolute attention to each client to streamline their immigration case. We know the law and advocate for your rights, keeping you informed at every step of the process.
• Visa Waivers
• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
• Citizenship and Naturalization
• Special Programs and Treaties
• Political Asylum
• Permanent Residency through Employment
• Family-based Immigration
• Family Reunification
No deadline or cap has been announced yet, which means that 4.9 million people are expected to apply
All cases will be evaluated individually, according to the eligibility criteria and required proof
Not every illegal immigrant is eligible, only those who can meet the requirements
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is expected to release official applications 90 days after the announcement for DACA beneficiaries and 180 days after the announcement for American citizens and Green Card holder parents
Applicants will be subject to background checks to avoid fraud
As a reform requirement, only those with 5 years or more in the United States at the time of the Presidential announcement will be eligible for a three-year work permit. Please note that this means 5 years of continuous residency, without a criminal record and with a direct U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative. Every requirement should be met in order to register, which means that you will need sufficient proof to show the immigration authorities you are a valid candidate. This particular action is meant to slow down deportations, not necessarily to streamline other visa processes. We strongly encourage you to ask a licensed lawyer for an assessment of your situation before taking any further steps.
This information is not yet available. Up until now, immigrants could go back to an illegal status once the three-year work permit expires. It is also important to clarify that the benefit is not automatically granted to an illegal immigrant who fits all requirements. There will be an application and registry process available once USCIS makes it public. Even though no submission date or cap has been announced, you can start getting ready by gathering proof of identity and proof of direct family relation to an American citizen. Official forms and instructions will be issued by USCIS, which is the immigration authority to trust. Stay away from non-attorneys trying to charge you exorbitant fees, as they may be trying to take advantage of your situation.
As an illegal immigrant you are infringing on the law and at permanent risk of deportation. The immigration reform offers a three-year work permit to illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S. for 5 years or more. Eligible individuals will no longer live in fear of immediate removal and will become lawful taxpayers. What that means for an undocumented immigrant is that they do not have to live in hiding and are capable of applying for a broader range of employment options. Further actions may be announced in the future, but for the time being, it is best to seek legal advice before submitting any information.
The ‘Dignity Act’ introduces stricter measures and higher penalties for irregular migration. Additionally, it establishes pathways to grant legal status to undocumented immigrants, along with work and travel authorization, initially valid for seven years with the possibility of renewal. Understanding the specific details of these measures is crucial to grasp their impact.
To join the program, immigrants must pay $700 annually to the government, undergo background checks, and fulfill tax obligations, limiting their access to public services.
As an immigration attorney, Alice Antonovsky is often seen zealously representing her clients in Immigration Court throughout the
tri-state area. Alice takes an approach that “honesty is the best policy”. She advises her clients honestly about their particular situation and the outcome they can expect. Her law practice was built on her dedication to honesty, thorough preparation, and professionalism. Alice is known for providing personal care and attention to the needs of each client, whether it is an individual or a large multi-million dollar corporation. Alice Antonovsky is a member of Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, New York State Bar Association, and American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Immigrants seeking legal status can rest assured that Alice Antonovsky and her staff of legal professionals will help secure their future. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Alice Antonovsky received her J.D. with distinction from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2005. Since then, the Law Offices of Alice Antonovsky’s multilingual staff has served clients of all nationalities in the Tri-state-area on their journey toward gaining citizenship.