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Can Chicago Benefit from Immigration Reform?

In spring of 2013, a group of senators drafted Senate Immigration Bill S.744.  This important bill addresses all aspects of the immigration process from border and enforcement issues to legal immigration reforms.  A Guide to S.744: Understanding the 2013 Senate Immigration Bill, Immigration Policy Center (July 10, 2013).  If enacted, the bill would provide for the following:

  • Allow DHS the opportunity to reduce extensive backlogs that have built up for family and employment-based visa categories for immigrants due to a lack of available visa numbers.
  • Put into place critical due-process protections “including authorizing access to counsel for certain vulnerable populations, giving immigration judges more opportunity to make case-by-case determinations on removal decisions and streamlining the asylum program.”
  • Allow undocumented immigrants to register for the new Registered Provision Immigrant (RPI) program, which consists of the Dream Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act) and AgJobs (Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act), and put in place a more rapid route to obtaining legal permanent residency status for applicants who qualify under the provisions.

The population is usually quick to think of the negative consequences of easing the immigration process. However, immigration reforms such as the above mentioned bill bring positive effects that often get lost in political debate. Here are some basic economic and quality of life-issues that should not be overlooked:

  1. School & Infrastructure improvements– The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan agency that calculates how laws impact the federal budget, estimates that Senate Bill 744 would decrease deficits by more than $200 billion over 10 years. Chicago schools and infrastructure receive federal funding and could be improved by investing just a fraction of those savings.
  2. Increase in the number of jobs– The U.S. Chamber of Commerce holds the position that immigrant entrepreneurs are strengthening the economy by creating jobs. A metropolis like Chicago that has historically been home to many immigrants could help immigrant businesses thrive.
  3. Improved investment market– Research conducted by the Immigration Policy Center’s researchers found that Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers already add billions of dollars to the Illinois economy. Most people want to ultimately buy a home and plan for their children’s higher education and their own secure retirements. These investments would fuel even more growth and stability across the state.

For additional details, read the article by Stephen Bouman, How Immigration Reform Would Help Chicago, Chicago Sun-Times (October 31, 2013).

If you have questions about the impact of immigration law and immigration reform on your life, please contact The Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. We are Chicago-based immigration attorneys and we are here to help.

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