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What is the Immigration Reform bill?

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Quick Answer

The Immigration Reform bill is a set of proposals intended to amend the U.S. immigration system, explains the American Immigration Council. The bill is also known as S.744, or the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.

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Full Answer

The Immigration Reform bill is the brainchild of a bipartisan group of eight senators colloquially referred to as the "Gang of Eight," states the American Immigration Council. Senators Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Richard Durbin and John McCain crafted the draft law in 2013.

Among other measures, the bill contains proposals to correct several weaknesses in the immigration system, explains the American Immigration Council. The draft law seeks to refine the asylum system, grant certain groups access to legal counsel and give immigration judges improved legal authority to determine certain removal cases. Additionally, the bill seeks to enhance immigrant integration and make it harder for individuals with certain criminal records to obtain legal residency.

If enacted, some proposals in the bill would go into effect very quickly, notes the American Immigration Council. For instance, undocumented aliens would be immediately eligible for the Registered Provisional Immigrant program, while residence applications for certain groups of people would be expedited.

However, some measures, such as proposals to amend employment-based and family immigration categories, would be gradually implemented, explains the American Immigration Council.

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