A comprehensive immigration reform bill was recently approved by the US Senate by a vote of 68-32. This legislation includes a provision that would initially grant legal status and then US citizenship for the people who are now living in America illegally. This bill includes stricter border security provisions. This bill would benefit the unauthorized residents who have already become a part of the United States.
According to the legalization plan included in the Senate bill, undocumented immigrants could apply for legal status soon after the bill is passed. But this would be a temporary status and immigrants in this temporary status would be required to wait for ten long years to obtain Green Cards. They need to wait for three more years to become US citizens.
There are around 11 million undocumented immigrants in America and all the 11 million immigrants may not become eligible to enter this legalization process. According to the Congressional Budget Office, only 8 million undocumented immigrants would initially become eligible for legal status, under the Senate bill.
Pew Research Center conducted a survey in 2012 and found that nine-in-ten Hispanic immigrants were interested in becoming US citizens. This includes both permanent residents and the undocumented immigrants.
According to the bill that the Senate has passed, unauthorized residents in temporary status, need to wait for a decade to apply for Green Cards. Moreover, they would be granted authorization to apply for Green Cards only after the border security goals are met. Followed by that, they could move on towards US citizenship, but they need to wait for three more years to file applications for US citizenship.
Pew Research Center says that the naturalization rate is low among the Mexicans and that only 36% of Mexicans have so far applied for naturalization and have become US citizens. According to the research, many do not apply for US citizenship as they are not good in English. Some are unable to afford it and they need to pay $680 to apply for US citizenship.