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Immigration Reform Bill debate by full Senate to begin June 10th

Immigration Reform Bill to be debated by full Senate beginning June 10th

Immigration Reform Bill to be debated by full Senate beginning June 10th

On Monday, the full Senate will take up the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). This immigration reform bill would make many important changes to all facets of U.S. immigration law including criminal, national security, business & employment issues, border security, and family. Today, I want to talk about family issues.

In its present form, S. 744 makes several improvements to our family immigration system by reducing the existing backlogs in the family system and allowing some family members to immigrate sooner. This is a good step. The bill would eliminate the current family visa backlogs within a decade and would "fix" the problem of parents of U.S. citizens not being allowed to bring their minor children with them when they immigrate.

However, the bill would have a severe negative impact on some family reunification. It would eliminate the category for brother and sisters of U.S. citizens. It would also eliminate the category for adult married sons and daughters (over the age of 31) of U.S. citizens. Instead, the bill would institute a new merit system that would shift emphasis to those with higher education and formal job skills. This merit system would have individuals compete annually for a limited number of visas and would function alongside the family and employment based systems. Points would be awarded for meeting criteria, such as length of employment, skill level, education, English language, and age. Points would also be given for being a sibling or a married son or daughter over 31 years-old.

We at Miley & Brown, P.C. (, would encourage Congress to retain family unification as one of our core immigration values. Family values and the strong ties between siblings, elderly parents and their adult children should continue to be highly valued in America. These family values, where families take care of families, have been central to our culture and should be encouraged.

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  • Rated By Super Lawyers Sarah Z. Brown
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