Should I wait for Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

by | Jan 31, 2013 | Firm News |

Recently, you will have heard that President Obama hopes for Congress to enact Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) sometime within the next six months. With the excitement of the President’s announcement and his efforts to get the process going quickly, many noncitizens who are currently eligible for immigration benefits are wondering what exactly they should do. Should you wait for the new law to take effect, or should you proceed with your case?

Of course, the answer depends entirely on the specifics of each individual case, but there are some realities for you to consider:

CIR may fail.

Although there is a great amount of support for CIR, there is also still very strong opposition. Efforts towards overhauling the immigration laws of this country have been made various times in recent years, and yet Congress has not been able to pass any new laws. While the current administration has made great strides and CIR feels closer than ever, there is still no guarantee that CIR will actually pass.

If CIR does pass, it may take years to implement.

While President Obama’s intentions are good and we certainly hope Congress can deliver, an entire overhaul of the immigration system within six months is an extremely ambitious plan. History tells us that implementing a comprehensive change in the law, especially immigration laws, can take years.

Once CIR is implemented, it could cause backlogs for years.

If the Senate version of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform proposal becomes law, that means that up to 11 million people or more will be filing for benefits with the Department of Homeland Security. This enormous increase in applications and activity will delay processing times by many months, if not years, which means that your application will take much longer to be adjudicated than it would if you filed your application now. Therefore, if you are eligible for benefits now, you may want to consider filing now, before CIR is passed, to avoid increased processing times.

The details of CIR are still unclear.

We still do not know what the details of the final law will look like, and who exactly will benefit. Not every noncitizen will qualify for benefits under the new law, depending on each person’s specific criminal and immigration history. Without those details, it is impossible to say at this point in time whether an individual will qualify or not.

Moreover, although the details are still undetermined, the current version of the Senate plan does not allow for applicants to gain residency immediately, but rather to wait in line with a temporary status until a visa becomes available. Currently, these lines are anywhere from three years to twenty years long. This means that if you are eligible to become a permanent resident within the next few years, you have access to benefits now that may be better than what CIR will have to offer.

CIR may not be an exclusive form of relief.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be eligible to apply for immigration benefits now, and still be eligible to apply for benefits after CIR is passed. Different forms of relief offer different benefits, and it could be that you are eligible for some benefits now, and even more benefits after CIR. For example, if you qualify for a benefit now that grants you work authorization, but not the ability to travel, it could be in your interest to file both now and after CIR passes such that you have both work and travel authorization.

CIR may be expensive.

It appears that whatever form CIR takes, it will be expensive. Applicants will likely have to pay some sort of penalty fee for unlawful status, as well as pay back-taxes. Applicants will have to consider whether financially they are able to afford both filing for benefits now and potentially filing for benefits after CIR.


Considering these realities, if you are eligible for immigration relief now and you know you have a strong case, you probably should not wait for the new law to go into effect. Of course, it is important to truly understand the risks of going forward with your case, and what the best strategy is for you. Make sure you speak to an attorney to weigh your options.

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Big News- Firm Merger and Consolidation to Oakland!

Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor has formed Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

San Francisco Office has Moved to Join Oakland Office

We are thrilled to announce the merger of Bean + Lloyd, LLP and Park & Taylor, two highly respected Bay Area immigration law firms, which took place in April 2021. The new firm, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combines decades of immigration experience in the subfields of family-based immigration, removal defense, asylum, humanitarian visas, and criminal immigration.

Additionally, the former Park & Taylor office in San Francisco has moved to join the Oakland office at 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. While the office is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, our staff is still available by phone, email, and text message, and all consultations and client appointments will continue by phone or video. We look forward to physically reopening our expanded and improved Oakland office when it is safe to do so.

Partners Jesse Lloyd and Anita Mukherji, both certified specialists in immigration and nationality law by the California State Bar, lead the firm. Karyn Taylor has joined as Of Counsel, and Angela Bean remains as partner and Anna von Herrmann as Of Counsel. The Park & Taylor staff have brought their two decades of experience to the team.

Please contact us at (510) 433-1900 or with any inquiries.

¡Anuncio importante- Unión y Consolidación de Dos Bufetes! Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor han Formado Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP

La oficina de Park & Taylor se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland

Estamos emocionados de anunciar la unión entre Bean + Lloyd, LLP y Park & Taylor, dos bufetes de inmigración muy respetados en el Área de la Bahía, lo cual ocurrió en abril del 2021. El bufete nuevo, Bean, Lloyd, Mukherji, & Taylor, LLP, combina décadas de experiencia en inmigración familiar, defensa de deportación, asilo, visas humanitarias, e inmigración criminal.

Además, la antigua oficina de Park & Taylor en San Francisco se ha mudado para unirse a la oficina de Oakland en 110 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Nuestra oficina está temporalmente cerrada al público debido a COVID-19. Nuestro personal seguirá estando disponible por teléfono, correo electrónico y texto. Todas las consultas y citas de clientes, continuarán por teléfono o videollamada. Estamos emocionados para reabrir físicamente nuestra ampliada y mejorada oficina de Oakland cuando sea seguro hacerlo.

Los socios Jesse Lloyd y Anita Mukherji, dos especialistas certificados en ley de inmigración y nacionalidad por la Barra del Estado de California, dirigen el bufete. Karyn Taylor es abogada retirada pero se ha unido al bufete, Angela Bean permanece como socia y Anna von Herrmann sigue siendo parte del bufete. El personal de Park & Taylor ha compartido sus dos décadas de experiencia con el equipo.

Por favor contáctenos al (510) 433-1900 o con sus preguntas.

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