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New immigration laws may bring together torn-apart loved ones

In Florida, family members who have immigrated to the United States may be able to find relief under pending federal immigration laws. Lawmakers in the House recently introduced legislation that would seek to bring together family members who were torn apart by past immigration law violations. A representative from Texas and one from New Mexico have put forth the legislation in the House. If the immigration law gains approval, then it may provide for greater unity among Democrats and Republicans.

Currently, there are about 11 million people who lack the legal status to be considered citizens of the United States. The legislation may enable some of these people to gain citizenship. Individual cases in which family members have been torn apart under existing immigration laws will be able to be considered on an individual basis. If the new laws are passed, then immigration officials will be able to use discretion and provide waivers for those who have American spouses or other family members.

There are thousands of immigrants who have been unable to qualify for citizenship status due to minor violations of immigration laws. Some of these individuals may have been brought to the United States when they were minors. Other individuals may have made false statements when they entered the United States. Individuals who are found to be in violation of U.S. immigration laws face deportation or must wait several years before re-applying for citizenship.

The legislation has yet to be passed due to divisions in Republican factions. If the law is passed, then more individuals in American families may be brought together and reunited. An immigration attorney could help individuals who are currently impacted by immigration laws in regaining citizenship within the United States by filing the correct paperwork in a timely manner.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Immigration compromise would unite torn-apart families", Lisa Mascaro, November 01, 2013

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