Congress is currently debating immigration reform. The Senate recently passed a bill that would grant a path to citizenship for immigrants without legal status, but the bill would also increase border enforcement.
South Carolinians seem to support the proposed legislation. A poll by the Partnership for a New American Economy reported that 62 percent of those surveyed supported the bill passed by the Senate.
The Senate bill also addresses the H-1b visa, which grants temporary work visas to highly specialized and educated workers. It would increase the number of visaas granted but add certain conditions, such as that employers would have to pay more for workers who are in the U.S. on an H-1b visa.
The bill, crafted by senators known as the "Gang of Eight," include South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. However, the bill faces much more uncertainty in the House of Representatives than in the Senate, as many in the House will not support any bill that grants a path to citizenship to people here without papers.
The House is currently debating its own measure and will likely vote on some kind of legislation this year.
Nearly 70 percent of South Carolinians polled believe something should be done, whether it be amnesty, increased border enforcement or citizenship for "undocumented workers" after a 10-year wait period.
Hispanic workers in South Carolina without papers generate roughly $7 billion for the state economy, many of whom work in South Carolina's burgeoning tourist and service industry.
Workers without legal status who are worried about removal from the U.S. should contact a skilled immigration attorney to discuss their options, such as cancelling removal or withholding deportation.