As of 2014, there an estimated 11 million “Undocumented Aliens” in the United States. Many of these people have called the U.S. home for a long time, work hard, pay taxes, and even have children who are U.S. born citizens. But their lack of papers means that they live in a state of constant fear of deportation and live without access to many essential services.
The U.S. government agrees that something must be done about this situation, but there is strong, bitter disagreement among the the different political parties about exactly what the changes should be. Some of the proposed changes are: increased border security, a bigger visa quota for skilled workers, streamlining the visa process, and a path to citizenship for undocumented aliens. This path to citizenship has been the most controversial of all, and continues to delay the reform that is badly needed.
There are many undocumented people who are anxiously waiting for reform, since the existing law does not allow them to gain lawful status. However, there are also many clients who mistakenly believe that there is no hope for them, when in fact there is some exception in the law that allows them to get lawful status NOW, without waiting for any reform. If you are uncertain at all about your situation, you should speak with an immigration attorney as soon as possible to explore all of your options.