“The bill addresses the issue of families who have been separated through deportation. Undocumented immigrants who had been deported for non-criminal reasons but who had been in the U.S. before the end of 2011 can reapply to re-enter and apply for RPI status, if they are the spouse of or parent to a child who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident, or a Dreamer eligible for the DREAM Act.” THIS MEANS MY FAMILY CAN ONCE AND FOR ALL BE REUNITED, I COULD CRY.

The unmaking of “illegal” immigrants-Ngai

Americans became increasingly believed that deportation, initially imagined for the despised and dangerous classes, was undemocratic and unjust when applied to ordinary immigrants with homes and families in the United States.

"Hence, during the 1930’s and early 1940’s statutory and administrative reforms attempted to ease the tension between sovereignty and democracy that immigration policy created”

Family values and environmentalist views of morality paved the way for reform…” 

Can you imagine coming home and not finding mom or dad? Not knowing when you’re going to see them again, or why they “left” you?

If the idea of how much we, as a country, are hurting our children, the future of America, doesn’t evoke action…then what will? #not1more

Can you imagine coming home and not finding mom or dad? Not knowing when you’re going to see them again, or why they “left” you?

If the idea of how much we, as a country, are hurting our children, the future of America, doesn’t evoke action…then what will? #not1more

And while it’s very nice that we’re seeing the first progress on the issue since 2007, it’s a little unsettling that the senators are okay with treating immigrants a way they’d never treat their voters. Major elements of the agreement include:

Raise taxes on lower-income people. The deal would require illegal immigrants to pay a fine. This is like a tax on citizenship. Republicans are opposed to any new tax increases. Democrats want to raise taxes and close loopholes only for people making more than a middle-class salary, which congressional Democrats have defined as making more than $500,000 a year. The proposal would also require illegal immigrants to file federal income taxes for their time in the U.S. But many illegal immigrants already pay payroll taxes, and some file federal income tax returns. This resulted in a mini-scandal, because some of those illegal immigrants made so little money they qualified for the child tax credit and got a refund. In February, House Republicans passed a bill that would prevent illegal immigrants from getting the child tax credit. This means they’re raising their taxes.

I just met Jose Antonio Vargas. One of my biggest inspirations. I am still in awe—but unfortunately I’ve to return to reality and do my homework. 

There were just so many things that he mentioned that I fell in love with, perhaps because they touched on so many personal issues. Mixed status families. I guess I had never realized that I belonged to a mixed status family. About community. About opportunity and dreams. This is what America is about. This is what I am about. This is how I define American, with my story, my dreams, and my family. We are America. 

Aqui se respira lucha. 

It’s no longer until God do us part—its until the INS does us part.

1) “Contingent upon our success in securing our borders and addressing visa overstays.”

2) “Our legislation also recognizes that the circumstances and the conduct of people without lawful status are not the same, and cannot be addressed identically.”

3) “Our new immigration system must be more focused on recognizing the important characteristics which will help build the American economy and strengthen American families.”

4) “Our immigration proposal will award a green card to immigrants who have received a PhD or Master’s degree in science, technology, engineering  or math from an American university.”

5) “Our proposal will provide businesses with the ability to hire lower-skilled workers in a timely manner when Americans are unavailable or unwilling to fill those jobs.”

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immigration laws. Among other things, that would include an eventual path to citizenship for most of the nation’s undocumented immigrants.

So how many people would that affect? At the moment, there are roughly 11.1 million undocumented immigrants residing in the United States. Yet it’s worth noting that this number has dropped sharply during the recession, as this chart from Pew Research Center shows:

‎”Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.
"-President Obama 1/21/13

“The policy is, I guess, intended to weigh in on illegal immigration and I’m against illegal immigration as well, but I don’t see this furthering the cause in any way whatsoever,” Vander Linden says. “On the other hand, it’s potentially putting unlicensed, uninsured drivers on the road and I don’t understand the motivation from the Department of Transportation.”

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For too long Washington has pushed immigration reform off until the next election. Too often, the issue is punted to the next Congress. Now is the time for us to say enough is enough. When we reform our broken immigration system, we will not only restore the most basic of American covenants, we will give this economy a much needed shot in the arm.

When the head of a household becomes a citizen, family income rises almost 14 percent on average. For the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. that would generate over $1.5 trillion in the next decade. And for the federal government that would mean $4.5 billion in new tax revenue over the next three years alone.

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President Obama and leaders in Congress are vowing to pass immigration reform in 2013, but getting a bill to pass the House and Senate will be extremely difficult.

Tuesday’s election has significantly improved the prospects of immigration reform, which hasn’t come close to becoming law since George W. Bush’s administration.

The following is The Hill’s list of 10 players to watch on immigration reform.

President Obama. Even before he was elected to a second term, Obama had already been laying the groundwork for immigration reform. Over the summer, he issued a new directive protecting immigrants who came to the country illegally from being deported provided they meet certain criteria. After failing to pass a bill in his first four years, Obama said that immigration reform would be one of the highest priorities of his second term. But will he push a comprehensive approach, or a scaled-down version of the measure, such as the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act?

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Goodlatte is considered the favorite to be the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction on immigration. In 2011, he introduced legislation to get rid of the immigrant visa lottery program. He has been a vocal critic of the DREAM Act. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) this week has opened the door to passing immigration reform, attracting criticism from conservatives.

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Recognizing the inevitable, Speaker of the House John Boehner endorsed comprehensive immigration reform on Thursday noting “I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others, can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”

Speaker Boehner is not alone, as conservative politicians and strategists acknowledge what has been evident for a long, long time—the failure to address immigration reform has broken out of its political box,  becoming a litmus test for compassion among many key voting demographics—Latinos, women, young people.  Columnist George Will attributed Mitt Romney’s defeat to his embrace of self-deportation, and many commentators firmly opposed to immigration reform for years are finally getting religion on the subject.  Fox News Commentator Sean Hannitysaid, after the election, that he has “evolved” on immigration and supports a “pathway to citizenship.”

What does it all mean?

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In 2011, Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed 396,906 people from the United States, the highest number in the agency’s history. In 2007, the figure was 291,070, for example.

There are an estimated 11 million people believed to be in the U.S. illegally. U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have said they have only enough manpower and resources to remove about 400,000 each year, and they have prioritized their work to focus resources on removing people with criminal records.

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