In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), all consultations will be conducted by phone or Skype until further notice. We are open and fully operational for servicing our clients and conducting consultations, but our office will be closed to the public. Please contact the firm for more information.

Achieve Your Immigration Goals in The U.S. Trust your case to the honest & caring attorneys at Milla & Associates.

Immigration Reform - Key Players and Plans

March 22, 2013. Trying to keep pace with the news on immigration reform is not easy. It's tough enough reading all of the articles and reports, not to mention following Twitter feeds and of course consulting the blogosphere. And let's not forget actually watching the news or listening to the radio. While the information is invaluable, the process can get overwhelming (albeit, addicting) very quickly. With this post, I have tried to provide a reliable launching point for learning about the key players and plans in immigration reform discussions; a veritable who's who of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). Inevitably, there are some noteworthy people making headlines who are not found below. However, by clicking on the links provided, you are certain to find those other movers and shakers.

Ready, begin.

The Gang of 8

  • Bipartisan Senate group comprised of 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans
    • Democrats
      • Michael Bennet (CO): chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
      • Dick Durbin (IL): author of original DREAM Act, which failed to pass; Senate Majority Whip
      • Robert Menendez (NJ): member of Congressional Hispanic Caucus; history as CIR advocate; introduced his own bill in 2010
      • Chuck Schumer (NY): chairman of the Refugees and Border Security subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee; recently stated that the Gang will have a bill drafted by the end of this month
    • Republicans
      • Jeff Flake (AZ): believes CIR is " doable"; history of pro-immigration stance, having worked with Luis Gutierrez (R-IL) on a guest worker program; however, since he hails from Arizona, border security a primary component for CIR
      • Lindsey Graham (SC): has pushed for immigration reform in the past, facing heat from anti-reform groups and those opposing expanding immigration; criticized Jeb Bush for leaving pathway to citizenship off the books in his book detailing his proposed immigration plan, Immigration Wars
      • John McCain (AZ): once a staunch advocate of immigration reform, flipped in 2008 election, flopped back over to lead charge in crafting bill with the Gang; now facing anti-immigrant constituents in his own backyard
      • Marco Rubio (FL): a rising star and popular pick for a presidential run in 2016; has criticized at least one aspect of Obama plan; stated he disfavors a special pathway to a green card or citizenship, but believes there should be a means for undocumented immigrants to receive legal status and perhaps more if no special treatment
    • Plan Details: not officially released yet, but sources have disclosed details; expected by the end of March, but prior deadlines have not been met
      • Believed will include: 13-year plan
        • 1) a probationary status that allows to live and work legally in the U.S.
        • 2) after 10 years in probationary status, eligible to apply for green card
        • 3) after 3 years of green card status, eligible to apply for citizenship
      • Requirements: background check, pay a penalty, file back taxes, learn English
      • Also: the Gang is expected to address employment-based visas - making more visas available to foreign high-tech workers, as well as creating a guest worker program focused on blue-collar employment in which worker visas would be released in accordance with demand (e.g., increase visa numbers when American industries’ demand is high and unemployment low, and decrease numbers when unemployment is high)

The Secretive 8

  • Bipartisan group of House members consisting of 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans
    • Democrats
      • Xavier Becerra (CA): chairman of the House Democratic Caucus; "a key negotiator on immigration reform"
      • Luis V. Gutierrez (IL): member of the House Judiciary Committee, the panel that oversees immigration issues and has the power to kill immigration legislation; longtime advocate of immigration reform; was approached to work on an immigration reform bill by former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan after the November loss
      • Zoe Lofgren (CA): member of the House Judiciary Committee
      • John Yarmouth (KY)
    • Republicans
    • Plan Details: I didn’t label this group the Secretive 8 for nothing; no details released, but according to some sources the representatives are close to an agreement in principle
      • It was believed that the details would be released after the Easter recess, but in light of Rep. Labrador’s recent comments, the Secretive 8′s efforts to draft an agreeable bill may have taken a hit

The Commander & Chief

  • The White House
  • Barack Obama: supports the Gang’s effort to create a bill, but has pledged to push his own CIR bill through Congress this year if the senators' efforts stall
  • Plan Details: 13-year plan
    • Released earlier this year, the CIR Plan grants:
      • 1) probationary immigration status to live and work legally in the U.S. (sound familiar? psst, see Gang of 8, Step 1)
      • 2) after 8 years of probationary status, eligible for green card (compare to Gang’s 10-year probationary period)
      • 3) after five years of green card status, eligible for citizenship in 5 years (compare to Gang’s 3-year wait for citizenship)
  • Requirements: background check, pay a penalty, file back taxes, learn English (yes I know, see Gang above)

The People:

  • Obama received 71% of the Latino vote to win reelection
  • Romney's "self-deportation" debacle in the 2012 presidential election caused the Republican party to regroup and rethink
  • Majority of Americans support CIR, including those of religious faith

U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO

  • The Chamber and the AFL-CIO reached an important understanding in February, recognizing the need for reform
  • Stumbling block: cannot agree on the number of temporary worker visas available under the new program
    • The Chamber wants a high number (mid-six figures) that is driven by need of its members (Businesses/Employers)
    • AFL-CIO wants a lower number (low-five figures) to protect U.S. workers from the potential influx of foreign workers flooding the market

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

  • Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is…remember? (It’s the panel that oversees immigration issues and has the power to kill immigration legislation. Good job.)
  • Has worn two hats: Was an immigration attorney for 13 years before entering Congress; he opposed 1986 immigration reform (legalization) legislation, but handled some such cases as an attorney
  • Initially viewed as anti-immigrant by immigration reform lobbyists, but has shown a willingness to receive balanced testimony on CIR at judiciary committee hearings
  • Remains non-committal on issue of pathway to citizenship, one way or the other; but said will not refuse to support legislation that provides for one

Jeb Bush

  • Former governor of Florida; popular opinion says he’s a potential 2016 presidential candidate, just don’t ask him!
  • His stance on CIR, in particular a pathway to citizenship, depends on which source you consult
  • Flip Flop March 2013:
    • His book Immigration Wars: against a path to citizenship; proposed only a path to permanent legal status
    • Interviews now: open to concept of path to citizenship
    • How to reconcile?: Bush explains now that his book was written at a time when the immigration debate was drastically different, when supporters of CIR could not openly voice support. (Unfortunately for Jeb the Rubios of the Republican party didn’t publish an outdated book and instead learned lessons from November 2012 about what the voters want.)

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

  • Another potential 2016 presidential candidate, tea party favorite
  • Said recently he would allow a probationary status similar to Obama's Step 1, but would not provide a special pathway for citizenship; but unlike Jeb’s book, would not necessarily bar citizenship

Representative John Boehner (R-OH)

  • Speaker of the House
  • Hinted that the Secretive 8 have reached an agreement in principle
  • Has reiterated the importance of bipartisan cooperation in crafting a reform bill
  • As House Speaker, has the power to stop a bill from reaching a vote
  • Much to the dismay of anti-reform groups, Boehner refuses to say that he would stop a CIR bill that GOP members oppose

If you made it all the way through, congratulations. Now go read all those tweets you just missed!

*Originally published by Robert C. Milla on March 22, 2013 in The Immigration Pages.

If you have questions about immigration law, please contact Robert C. Milla for a consultation.

  • As of today I am a proud and happy American citizen

    “After 4 years of anguish of what will happen with my case I almost had given up. I kept thinking I had ruined it for my kids and we might have to go back. I met Robert when I was almost burned out from all the worries. It felt like meeting an old friend and we had a talk and went through options. He leaves the big words when he works to get the case done, not to show you that he is a great lawyer. But if you trust your heart you will see that you just got lucky stumbling on him. No false promises, I knew all the time where my case was standing and the risks I could face. He thinks ahead and covers all the gaps to get the case done. Later I learned that he actually teaches immigration classes as well but even when he is busy he gets right back to you answering your questions and giving updates. I am very happy I had Robert by my side in my most difficult time and will always keep wishing him well. Thank you Robert you will always have a fond place in our hearts : )”

    Eli L.

  • Excellent Service Better Attorney

    “Robert made sure I understood everything that was going on ad answered all my questions to the best of his knowledge. Before going to Robert for my immigration status, I looked around but other attorneys were not nearly as insightful or helpful as Robert. Robert always made sure that I was prepared for everything that I was going to through. For the interview he prepared me so well that I was not nervous when talking to the officers. Robert made sure I was aware of all the possible outcomes when I acquired his services. Robert made sure that I had the best experience possible for the trials that I was going to face with the immigration process. Result: Form I-751 Petition with waiver of joint filing (good faith marriage that ended in divorce) approved”

    Anubis

  • One of the best Lawyer in Chicago

    “I heard about this lawyer from one of my classmate. He was saved from being deported by Mr. Milla and that's when I finalized him to handle my case of filing and getting papers through my spouse. Mr. Milla handled all the paperwork and all I had to do is just sign the papers and my filing was done with such an ease. He was there with us in our interview too and more than myself I trusted his decisions and instincts and I was correct. I was really lucky that my friend recommended him to me and I am sure you will feel the same ones u successfully finish your case with him. Result: Application for adjustment of status to permanent resident (“green card”) approved”

    Ishani

  • Best lawyer

    “As a client, i was very impressed by the level of profesionalism and knowledge demonstrated by Robert Milla and his staff. I feld confortable, and trusted his abilities to obtain positive outcomes for my immigration case. I highly recommend Robert Milla and his firm”

    Anonymous

  • Robert is extremely detail-oriented and personable

    “Robert handled our marriage based permanent residency case and it was successfully approved. When we had our consultation with him, he admitted to be a challenging case and was honest about the outcome being 50/50. Robert is very polite but firm in his communication. There's no room for misinterpretation and he gives clear instructions and recommendations as to what the next steps are, what documents to gather and in what format. He responds to emails very quickly, no matter what the question is. Our case was approved and we couldn't be more grateful for Robert's help. We highly recommend his services to anyone seeking legal advise as he is a trustworthy lawyer.”

    G. G.

  • Successful N-400 While Working Abroad

    “One cannot go wrong with Robert! He is a great listener, who understood my unique immigration situation very quickly and guided me throughout the process. He helped me apply for N-400 with some tricky background. Robert prepared me for the interview and gave me the confidence I needed for the interview, which resulted in a smooth approval of my N-400. I highly recommend him for all your immigration needs. I am now seeking his advice for my other family members.”

    Bhoopesh

  • Robert is the best immigration lawyer ever!

    “I just followed his instructions and guidance to prepare my file documents. He helped me out threw entire my case with no delay green card process. He knows all answer. He always replies my email on time. Thanks for help me out on each step.”

    Ronak

  • Excellent lawyer office

    “To all people...!!!! Take Robert to be your lawyer, you are not gonna be disappointed. Robert know what to do, he is nice person and professional. Thanks Robert!!!!”

    Ivan Bojovic

  • Definitely recommended!

    “Me and my wife are so happy to find Robert. Our case was literally approved next day. Everything went so smoothly and easy. Robert and his team are very professional and responsive. Definitely recommended!”

    Milos

  • THANK YOU doesn't quite cover it. - Exceptional, trustworthy ...

    “Result: DACA and employment authorization granted First let me start by saying THANK YOU doesn't quite cover it. Robert is an exceptional attorney! He pays attention to the details. We received no further request for evidence, & it was all over in 2 months. He made us feel very comfortable with the entire process and I was not as intimidated, as I had been in the past with other lawyers that I had worked with. He was always responsive by email or phone and kept us well-informed. Which helped manage any anxiety we might have otherwise had. For the first time in my 26 years in this country I have some normality to my life! With DACA secured, next I look forward to working with Robert on our marriage case and becoming a permanent resident! I know I can trust Robert to guide us through whatever is needed. I highly recommend Robert Milla to any one seeking an immigration attorney. I plan on passing his name along to any family, or friends who may need his services in the future! Thank you Robert!”

    Janeth