Monday, February 27, 2006

Senate Counter-Proposal on Immigration Reform

FROM Nancy Morawetz NYU School of Law

The news this weekend was full of articles about Senator Specter's "mark" of the immigration reform bills.  The official mark up in the Senate Judiciary Committee begins this Thursday.  The bill may change as amendments are offered from both sides of the aisle.

Here is a section by section analysis of the proposed bill. In addition to the new work visa provisions (about which I am sure others are more expert), the bill contains many sections on enforcement, naturalization, bars to relief, due process, and judicial review. Here are some highlights: it includes the much reported treatment of unlawful presence as a crime, punishable by up to six months on the first conviction; it changes voluntary departure to make it an "agreement" that is voided if the individual files an appeal; it expands the aggravated felony definition; it creates new rules authorizing indefinite detention; it creates new address rules that will make it much more difficult to challenge an in absentia order when the agency has failed to process an address change; and it places all immigration matters (review of removal orders and
review of district court decisions in detention habes actions) in the federal circuit, and then creates a single judge system for certifying appealability in which an appeal is automatically denied if it is not acted on within a specified time period.  Download SectionBySectionSummaryOfSpecterChairmansMark.doc


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