If you entered the United States on a visa but overstayed, you're TNT. If you entered the United States illegally-came across the Mexican or Canadian Borders-you're TNT. But, you have something to hope for. Styled as the "Roots Plan", immigration legislation that will positively affect those with established roots in the community is almost here. While there is still work to be done, the Senate will likely forward the bill to the House of Representatives. And, once enacted, the law will likely allow TNT's to become LPR'S ("green card" holders) and eventually a USC ("citizen").
Although the Immigration Reform Bill has not been finalized by the Senate, the following appears to be the substance of what will be presented to the House of Representatives:
- TNT's in the United States who have been here for less than 2 years will be required to leave immediately. If you don't and you're caught, you'll be charged with a misdemeanor. Second time around, you'll be charged with a felony;
- TNT's in the States between 2-5 years will be required to present themselves at one of 16 designated ports of entry in the U.S. Upon doing so, you will no longer be TNT as you will have been given a visa immediately and allowed to "re-enter" the United States as though you have never left;
- TNT's here 5 years or more would be "given" guest worker status and be on the path to eligibility to apply for citizenship.
As noted above, the bill hasn't been finalized yet, but when it is, it will likely contain some of the provisions noted above. In the meantime, please be careful which "lawyers" and "paralegals" you talk to. Also, please stay away from those that advise you to commit fraud for it will likely forever bar you from relief under the new legislation. This is your big chance! Take advantage of it!