June 27, 2013, Louisville, KY- Shouts of “Yes We Can” rang out in the visitor gallery Senate Thursday afternoon as lawmakers passed the comprehensive immigration reform bill, pushing it one step closer to becoming law. The bill’s passage in the Senate along with a ruling from Supreme Court will make it much easier for millions of immigrants to obtain visas and eventual citizenship.

immigration attorney Louisville

All 52 Democrats and 14 Republican voted “yes” to the bill, giving the bill a 68-32 vote, though it fell short of the 70 votes Democrats had hoped for. After clearing this major hurdle the bill now heads to the House where Speaker Boehner said it is dead on arrival.

The final draft of the bill includes a 13 year pathway to citizenship, and added $45 billion to secure the Southern Border, an employment verification system, increase employment visas, and an entry and exit system so customs can determine when immigrants have overstayed their visas. The bill also allows DREAMer to apply for green cards within five years.

But Republicans in the House have repeatedly said they will not approve the bill and insists they draft their own “that reflects the majority.” The majority of lawmakers in the House are especially reticent of the pathway to citizenship often decrying the measure as amnesty.

In a statement, President Obama praised the Senate, “Today, the Senate did its job. It’s now up to the House to do the same.”

The Mexican Foreign Minister also applauded the legislation, saying that it “has the potential to improve the lives of millions of Mexicans living in the United States today.”

Even though the new employment verification system, enhanced border security, and exit-entry system will come at an initial cost, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will help reduce the federal deficit $900 on the next decade.

Another pivotal decision made this week that will have a huge impact of hundreds of thousands of immigrants was the Supreme Court decision which overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

By overturning DOMA, the Supreme Court Justices ruled that the federal government could no longer discriminate against or deny same-sex married couples the same rights that traditional married couples enjoy, which include special immigration privileges.

Current immigration law allows married couples to sponsor their spouses for green cards and defers the deportation of undocumented spouses who can prove their removal would cause undue hardship on their spouse.

Shortly, following the Supreme Court decision a New York immigration court suspended the deportation of Colombian men who is legally married to Sean Brooks, an American citizen. That will set a precedent for other immigration courts to defer deportation for numerous other lawfully married same-same sex immigrants in Kentucky and the rest of the nation.

Immigration law is intricate, and most immigrants find they must have assistance with a wide-range of issues. Louisville immigration attorney Rusty O’Brien can assist a hopeful immigrant with all their immigration needs from simply filing out the necessary visa applications to building a deportation defense.


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