Remittance and Immigration Reform: One Lawyer’s Perspective

I find as an immigration lawyer that the issue of immigration reform, next to health care reform, creates heated debate. Many feel that it’s an economic issue and that undocumented immigrants put a strain on our economy. But for many lawmakers and leaders in this country, it’s become clear that something has to happen and that deporting those who are undocumented is impractical and could be detrimental to the nation.

There are approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants in this country. A large number of those people have been here for years and many of them are contributing members of society who live under the radar. Additionally, many of these immigrants send remittances back to their families who still live in their native land. A remittance is simply money that is sent by an immigrant to their family members who still live in their land of origin. Certainly, those of us who work as immigration lawyers work on a daily basis with people who are supporting families they left behind.

It’s estimated that migrant workers alone sent back a total of $240 billion to their homelands. There’s approximately $46 billion per year sent back to Latin American countries with Mexico receiving about $24 billion. The thought is that curbing the flow of remittances, retaining that money and spending it in this country can have a positive economic impact.

The way to do that would be to document those immigrants who are presently undocumented and to make it easier for both documented and undocumented immigrants to bring family members to come to this country. These are points that lawmakers will carry with them as they attempt to reform the immigration system.

We could see major reforms this year, which will certainly affect my immigration law practice and could affect how those I work with in the San Francisco, California Bay Area area and throughout the fifty states.  I will be updating this with news related to the movement towards immigration reform and with pieces focusing on explaining aspects of the present law.

If you have any questions regarding immigration and various aspects of the law, please contact the Ranchod Law Group with offices in San Francisco, Santa Clara Bay Area, and Sacramento California. To schedule a consultation contact us at 415-986-6186 or at

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