07 May 2007

Modeled on the Canadian and Australian Immigration Systems, Applicants Would Have to Accumulate Points Demonstrating Positive Attributes, Such as Investment, Contribution and Assimilation into the United States.

On May 1, 2007 Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, introduced ?The Immigration Accountability Act of 2007?, as a compromise to be incorporated into the comprehensive immigration reform legislation to be considered by the Senate this month.

Hagel’s plan would create a merit-based point system for legalization of those undocumented aliens who have been in the U.S.A. since before January 7, 2004. Modeled on the Canadian and Australian immigration systems, applicants who pass criminal and national background checks; demonstrate proficiency in the English language and U.S. History; pay back federal and state income taxes; register for Selective Service; and pay a $2000.00 penalty, may be able to apply for legalization.

In sum, in order to qualify for IAA 2007, undocumented aliens would have to earn points in categories that show positive attributes, such as investment, contribution and assimilation into the United States.

Specifically, under The IAA 2007, points would be assigned for certain characteristics, and an alien would have to earn at least 65% of available basic points to qualify for legalization. The categories listed include Military service, Advanced English proficiency, Civic engagement such as religious or secular contributions with a clean criminal record and timely payment of taxes, Business and/or home ownership, work history, educational level, Length of time in the United States, and U.S. Citizen/Permanent Resident spouse or minor child. Each category is comprised of a range of potential points for which the alien may qualify based upon the facts specific to his or her case.

However, if, after the application is filed and the penalty paid, the alien is unable to garner enough points to qualify for the program, he or she would have to leave or would be be deported.

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