Approximately 1.5 million individuals in California and across the United States that came here as immigrant children and reportedly do not have the paperwork to be considered legal residents. One such individual is now studying for a journalism degree in Los Angeles, and he has lived in the United States without the proper paperwork since he was 7-years old.
The new U.S. Senate version of the immigration bill would clear obstacles for individuals such as this to become citizens of the United States. Under ideal circumstances, the bill would allow for students to fill out applications for green cards after a five year waiting period, and citizenship would then hopefully be granted shortly after the green card was approved.
There apparently are a significant number of so-called undocumented students across the Southern California area. However, even if the proposal was passed other family members of immigrant students could still face waits of ten years or even longer because of so many undocumented immigrants already living here.
Immigration attorneys understand the circumstances of individuals seeking citizenship and will do what they can to make sure the citizenship process goes smoothly. This will include dealing with the paperwork, advising clients about the appropriate laws, and attending administrative hearings concerning citizenship issues.
Citizenship issues are often made more complicated because of family matters. As immigrants generally cannot avail themselves of government support programs in the United States that are only geared towards U.S. citizens, immigrants often have to depend upon family members for all of their financial support. Without a comprehensive plan that also includes family members, many of the reform measures will have no beneficial value.
Source: KPCC, "US Senate immigration reform bill would expedite citizenship for undocumented students known as 'Dreamers'," by Charles Castaldi, April 17, 2013
- Visit our U.S. Citizenship website for answers to legal questions regarding the path to citizenship.