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How an Immigration Bill Becomes a Law


As Immigration Bills are being introduced by volumes to solve various immigration concerns, it may be helpful to understand how a bill becomes law. It is also important to know that the introduction of a bill does not mean that a law will actually place. Many of our clients, potential clients and radio fans worry about various “ideas” or “bills” that will lead to immigration changes. For the most part, these bills are meaningless until they become law. For that reason, it would be a good idea for those concerned to understand the steps a “bill” must go before it becomes a law.

How a Bill Becomes Law: These are the various steps for the bill to become law:

1. The Bill is drafted, by the author;

2. The Bill is introduced, if no objection heard, bill is considered read twice, and referred to the appropriate committee;

3. The Bill is entered on the Senate Journal;

4. The Bill is given a number;

5. The Bill is entered into the Ledgers and Legislative Information System and mark up for printing;

6. Bill is delivered to the government printing office;

7. Printed Bill is made available in Senate and House documents rooms, and electronically on the Legislative Information System and on;

8. Printed bill is delivered to the appropriate committee;

9. Committee Action;

10. Bill is placed on the Legislative calendar;

11. Unanimous consent requested to lay bill before Senate;

12. If consent is granted, the Presiding Officer instructs the Legislative Clerk to report the title;

13. Bill is debated and amendments are proposed;

14. The Presiding Officer instructs the Legislative Clerk to read title a third and final time;

15. Call for a vote;

16. Bill voted by roll call, voice vote, unanimous consent, or division;

17. If passed, final copy is prepared;

18. Engrossed Bill is signed;

19. Bill is delivered to the House of Representative;

20. House Action;

21. Bill is passed by the House of Representative and delivered to the Senate;

22. If not amended by House, Bill is enrolled in the Senate;

23. Enrolled bill is signed by the Speaker of the House, and Vice President (who is the President of the Senate);

24. Bill is delivered to the White House;

25. Bill is signed into law or vetoed by the President;

26. If bill is signed by the President within 10 days (excluding Sundays), it becomes law. If not acted upon within 10 days, the Bill becomes law of Congress without the President’s approval, provided Congress is in session at the time. Otherwise, it does not become law. However, both houses of Congress can later override the President’s veto by a two-third majority.