Breaking News: 7-Year Amnesty/Registry Introduced In Congress

Breaking News: 7-Year Amnesty/Registry Introduced In Congress

I have some breaking news which could offer new hope for the millions of noncitizens who are living in the U.S. and are out of status. On July 20, 2022, several members of Congress introduced a proposed law, called “Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929”. It basically allows people who have been living in the U.S. for at least seven years to be able to obtain their green card through “registry.”

I want to first emphasize that this is a proposed law. It is not yet law. It will have to pass both the House and Senate and be signed by the President. Therefore, at the present time, there is nothing to apply for. But this proposal does offer a quick, easy fix or pathway to legalization by simply changing the date of eligibility on an existing law.

By way of background, according to a press release from one of the authors of this bill, Adriano Espaillat, since 1929, immigration law has long allowed DHS (or INS) the discretion to register certain individuals for lawful permanent resident status if they had been in the country since a certain date and meet other requirements. At present, only those who have been continuously present in the U.S. since January 1, 1972 are eligible. But that was over 50 years ago! How many people have been in the U.S. since 1972, and have still not found a way to legalize their status? So, this is not a well-known or much used avenue for legalization.

But since registry was enacted in 1929, Congress has modified it several times by moving forward the date of registry. But the last time that was done was in 1986, during the Reagan Administration.

What this proposed law would do would “update the registry provision by moving the eligibility cutoff date so that an immigrant may qualify if they have been in the U.S. for at least seven years.” This would be a tremendous benefit to the millions of people in the U.S. who are out of status, and under this proposal, rather than having to have been in the U.S. since a specific date, people can be eligible for registry after they have been in the U.S. for seven years, and meeting other eligibility requirements.

And what is heartening is that many members of Congress have recognized the tremendous contribution that non-citizens have made to our country:

  • “Immigrants built our nation – those who came to the United States years ago in search of a better life and have set down roots here deserve a chance at permanent residence – full stop.”
  • “For decades, immigrants who contribute significantly to our communities and our economy, have been relegated to a legal limbo.”
  • “I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to provide these immigrants with the stability and certainty they and their families deserve.”
  • “Our country relies on immigrants, both documented and undocumented alike.”
  • “The renewing immigration provisions of the immigration act of 1929 would provide an estimated 7-8 million immigrants – that have been residing in the U.S. for at least seven years – a chance to obtain lawful permanent status through registry.”
  • “This bill makes a simple update to the registry law that would expand the number of immigrants who may qualify to file an application for a green card and make permanent legal status an attainable reality for millions of immigrants moving forward.”
  • “An update to the registry will restore basic rights, safety, and dignity for many”.

I again want to emphasize this is a proposal at the present time, but it is really not a radical proposal. It is simply taking an existing law that has been around since 1929, and updating it for the first time in about 50 years. We will continue to follow the progress of this proposal and keep you updated in this column, as well as my YouTube Channel, US Immigration TV, so make sure to like, share, and subscribe to my channel.

In addition, I have already posted a very informative video on US Immigration TV, which I would recommend that you watch that deals with preparing for any proposed amnesty. In that video I offer several tips and suggestions which could help you now prepare for any future amnesty or change in law.


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