As those in Miami who’ve been following the recent federal immigration debate already know, there is concern in Washington that the proposed legislation that was approved by the Senate last year would not be put on the current legislative agenda for the House. Worries have even surfaced that the bill itself has lost all previous momentum. A major part of the proposed legislation was to offer a path to permanent U.S. residency to undocumented farm workers. Those hoping for more movement on that front do, however, have something to be excited about.
Last June, the House Judiciary Committee granted approval to the Agricultural Guestworker Act, which would replace the current H-2A program. This would allow up to half a million agricultural workers temporary residency in the U.S. per year.
Regarding permanent residency for those workers, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has announced her intention to push a discharge position through the House that would send a reform proposal to the floor for a vote. To succeed in winning a vote, the petition would require 218 signatures. While House Democrats seem to be firmly behind the measure, they would still need the support of handful of GOP representatives.
When the impact of these potential changes will be felt by those actually going through the process of getting a green card is still unknown. However, the groundswell of support for change is there. Time will tell what new opportunities those changes bring to potential immigrants. In the interim, those looking to initiate the process of gaining legal residency status for themselves or loved ones may wish to consult with in immigration attorney.
Source: Agri-Pulse “Pelosi, Democrats trying to force vote on immigration reform” Derrick Cain, Mar. 26, 2014