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Immigration Reform Plans

Ranking Senators Edward Kennedy, Democrat, and John McCain, Republican, of the Senate subcommittee on Immigration recently emphasized the need for the U.S. to modernize its immigration laws for century twenty first. Both Senators agreed that illegal aliens are trapped inside the U.S. that creates extreme hardship for them in that if they leave the U.S. to visit their families abroad, they have no assurance of being able to return to the U.S.

The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico recently testified before the subcommittee, stating that in February 2001 the U.S. and Mexico agreed to a bilateral agreement but this was not enacted because of the World Trade Center terrorist attack. Now these issues are again before the Congress. He stated that the economic draw for Mexicans to come to the U.S. is great, given the lack of work in Mexico, and that as a result, the immigration enforcement system is bankrupt, in that it is unable to control the borders. The Ambassador recommended comprehensive reform. The subcommittee is seriously discussing these immigration issues in hopes they will be presented to the full Senate soon.


Our clients have from time to time experienced variations in the administration of the naturalization examination, depending on the immigration office and the examiner. The Department of Homeland Security has recently announced a revamping of these procedures to assure greater uniformity.

English and history questions are often given without clear instructions on the test to evaluate the ability to speak, read, and write English. Some examiners slur their words, or speak too rapidly and even threaten some of the applicants. Often some examiners are prejudiced or have attitudes against various national groups. Factors such as age, education, length of residence in the U.S., race, religion, or national group or occupational or economic circumstances are given too much weight by examiners, without proper guidance or supervision.

The Department of Justice has confirmed that often adjudicators are inconsistent in applying a proper standard for appraising a proper level of ability to read, speak and write and also for knowledge of U.S. history and government. Specialized educational firms have been retained to restructure the procedures and practices for these tests to assure the fairness of the tests, and to develop plans for a clear, transparent and accountable process. The target date for completion and implementation is January 2007.


Children under INA section 320 who did not obtain citizenship at birth through an American citizen parent because the parent had not lived in the U.S. for the required period of residence may enter the U.S. lawfully through the requisite residency of a grandparent and upon entry are entitled to U.S. citizenship. Residence is defined under the Immigration Act as a “place of general abode”, the principal, actual dwelling place, and the domicile. Even though the U.S. citizen parent lives outside the U.S. the child beneficiary may be presumed to have a U.S. residence.

A child who is not able to enter the U.S., may still qualify for expeditions naturalization if the parent or grandparent has been physically present in the U.S. for 5 years or more, of which 2 or more years were under the age of 14, and the child is under the age of 18 and the child is living abroad in the physical and legal custody of the parent. The child may come to the U.S. as a visitor, take the oath of allegiance and obtain U.S. citizenship.

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 This is an unbelievable gift for the Holidays! I am actually driving to Mexico now to spend the New Year with my wife and I am taking her a car that I bought for her...when I saw this mail my heart was pounding and I had to stop the car...thank you Romina and Jennifer I 

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