Alan Lee, an immigration lawyer, writes that “from an amalgamation of sources including The New York Times and the American Immigration Lawyers spring conference, the following appears to be some of the more interesting aspects of the Senate bill that will likely be introduced on Tuesday, April 16th. The Senate bill will be approximately 1000 – 1500 pages long.
“There will be no “special” path to citizenship for the approximate 11.5 million undocumented immigrants, who will have to wait 10 years before beginning to apply with other groups for green cards, after which they can obtain citizenship in 3 years. They will be eligible for merit green cards if they remain in good standing, have learned English and passed other requirements, and remain employed for 10 years.
“The New York Times reports that at the end of 10 years, 138,000 merit-based visas every year would be given to them along with high skilled foreigners in technology and science, employees with the middle range of white-collar skills, and low-wage workers. For the undocumented, there will be more requirements at the renewal stage and even more at the time of green card adjustment of status such as learning English, work requirements and the payment of taxes.
“The cutoff date for undocumented immigrants to benefit from the Senate bill will be entry to the U.S. by December 31, 2011. Anyone entering after that date will not be eligible and hundreds of thousands are estimated as being in this group.”