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Some fear family immigration may be overlooked by reform

When it comes to federal immigration reform efforts, there continues to be more questions than answers at this point. Hopes and concerns raised over the passage of the U.S. Senate’s reform bill may be squashed and/or validated once the House of Representatives decides on such issues, and all the while countless Florida families wait to see how their families may be effected by impending changes. In fact, the topic of family immigration has many confused and concerned at the moment, as it seems proposed legislation is severely divided on the issue.

Between 2010 and 2012, it is estimated that more than 200,000 parents of children with U.S. citizenship status were deported. However, that number doesn’t account for the full number of families in this country broken up by other immigration issues. 

The U.S. House of Representatives is currently debating how to address family immigration and other topics in its own effort to tackle reform efforts. And while some Republican representatives have noted that they would support granting a path to citizenship for undocumented child immigrants currently living in the country, many do not believe in offering such assistance to undocumented immigrant parents. That distinction recently made by a leader in the House Judiciary Committee highlights a problem so many families face: being divided by immigration status and deportation.

The Senate’s reform bill includes more than one provision addressing family issues. For instance, it would ease the process of petitioning for the citizenship of deported family members. However, the likelihood of such measures passing through the House is in question. And the lack of support shown by some conservative leaders like Jeb Bush may influence the process.

Until some kind of decision is made, immigration advocates acknowledge how families continue to worry and wait.

Source: Reuters, “Hopes of family reunification dashed in immigration reform debate,” Saundra Amrhein, July 24, 2013

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