National Immigration Law Center
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Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

Senate Immigration Reform Bill


In the days and weeks after the bill’s introduction, check back here regularly for summaries and analysis of provisions in the bill that will impact people of low income, and for the latest developments related to the bill.


Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744)

Summaries and analysis of Titles I, II, and III of S. 744; a table that breaks the provisions out into "the good" and "the bad"; and other resources.

NILC welcomes S. 744 as a positive first step in moving toward a commonsense immigration system that meets the needs of all aspiring citizens. The bill would provide a road to citizenship for several million unauthorized immigrants and overhaul the family immigration system. It also would create stringent new border enforcement and deportation measures, and it would mandate that employers use an electronic employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify). As we assess the possible impact of this proposed legislation, NILC will continue to advocate for a reformed immigration process that is fair and accessible for low-income immigrants.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about S. 744

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Senate immigration reform bill’s provisions and how they might affect low-income immigrants.

The Financial Barrier to Citizenship

Under the Senate bill, most unauthorized immigrants will face a waiting period of 13 years or more before they become citizens; a criminal background check; work requirements; documentation demands; English-language and citizenship exams; and employment eligibility verification. In addition, they will be required to pay significant fees and penalties that could total more than a month’s worth of their gross yearly income. Immigrants who can satisfy these conditions will be denied access to safety-net services, including basic health care and nutrition assistance — even after they secure a lawful status. Taken together, will these financial demands and other requirements price people out of getting on the road to citizenship? Will these mandates block them from integrating fully into the U.S. and thus undermine the reform’s success?

NILC Statement Submitted for a Hearing on Comprehensive Reform Legislation (PDF) (Senate Judiciary Committee, 4/19/13)

This bill introduction is merely the first act of what will undoubtedly be a long political play. NILC looks forward to working with members of this committee to finally bring our immigration laws in line with our values for fairness, equality, and justice. Current and aspiring citizens deserve nothing less, and our country can and must do better than the status quo.


Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) (from GPO website)

The bill as passed by the Senate on June 27, 2013. Last action date listed: June 27, 2013. Bill version: Engrossed in Senate (ES). The vote was 68 to 32.

Earlier versions of the bill: