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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

White House Bill Would Allow Green Card Applications After Eight Years

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

USA Today's Alan Gomez has seen the White House's bill language for certain sections of their comprehensive immigration bill. He doesn't tell us a lot about the specifics except that individuals will intially apply for something called a "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visa. And permanent residency could come within eight years. From the report:



According to the White House draft, people would need to pass a
criminal background check, submit biometric information and pay fees to
qualify for the new visa. If approved, they would be allowed to legally
reside in the U.S., work and leave the country for short periods of
time.


They could then apply for legal permanent residence,
commonly known as a green card, within eight years if they learn English
and "the history and government of the United States" and pay back
taxes. That would then clear the path for them to apply for U.S.
citizenship.


A major requirement for many Republicans is enhanced
border security. The bill calls for an unspecified increase in the
Border Patrol, allows the Department of Homeland Security to expand
technological improvements along the border and adds 140 new immigration
judges to process the heavy flow of people who violate immigration
laws.


The draft also expands the E-Verify program that checks the
immigration status of people seeking new jobs. Businesses with more than
1,000 employees must begin using the system within two years,
businesses with more than 250 employees within three years and all
businesses within four years.




There's not a lot that's really shocking here. We knew the White House was not buying in to the concept of triggers. The bill will have strong enforcement measures, but it won't tie gaining permanent residency to achieving specific enforcement benchmarks. We also knew mandatory E-Verify was coming. That was in the reform bills from 2006 and 2007 and is a key Republican demand.


There's going to be a battle over the path to permanent status for immigrants under the bill. That's become obvious in recent weeks based on comments from Republicans who are considered moderates on the issue. I would only remind readers on the Hill that there is another option. Allow applicants to apply for green cards through conventional green card categories - family, employment, investment, etc. Make sure there are enough visas available to absorb the new pool, of course. And allow for waivers of the reentry bars based on paying a fine (current law only provides for one kind of penalty - waiting outside the US for a lengthy period of time) Under current immigration law, applicants for green cards get a "priority date" that automatically puts them at the back of the line in the chosen green card category.


This solution ensures that everyone currently waiting on green cards would be processed first. It also provides no special path to citizenship and requires applicants to prove the same kind of things that other immigrants prove - possession of a special skill set that's in demand, having a close relative who is a citizen or permanent resident, etc. Those who don't qualify could continue to have a lawful status, but to get to citizenship, you go through the same process as everyone else. The key point, again, is that,we have to make adequate green card numbers available to absorb these folks (perhaps under the proviso that the numbers don't kick in until after a few years so it's clear that a penalty is being exacted).

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Comments

  1. NANCY MERVIN's Avatar
    More such opportunities would only encourage immigrants to take the legal path to enter US and would definitely reduce illegal immigration and in a way bring solution to problems thereafter.
  2. Given Up's Avatar
    Really Nancy? Have you ever checked the EB-3 or any of the other FB categories on the visa bulletins? It takes much more than 8 years for these folks to be to apply for AOS and most EB-3 folks are already inteh country. Hopefully they do something about these folks as well
  3. Jack's Avatar
    "they could then apply for the same provisional legal status for their spouse or children living outside the country"

    So the entire family of an unlawfully present migrant by himself here would all get instant immigrant visas. Could have been here a single day, as long as he's here by the cutoff date. Meanwhile, a lawfully present H-2A or H-2B gets what? Laughed at for missing out on the giveaway?

    So every visa overstay, whether a decade or a day, doesn't just get to stay forever and a "pathway to citizenship" but can bring in their families right away for the same deal. We do not know how many of those potential anchors are here, let alone the size of their families. Not that this is a concern to those pushing these bills. If anything, the attitude of the mass legalization pushers is the more, the better. I'm sure they'll be very up front about how many millions might get these family "Lawful Prospective Immigrant" visas since higher immigration is so popular with the public.

    This is so convenient for potential illegal entrants/overstays! They might have thought to get an amnesty for their whole family that they would have to get them all into and residing in the U.S. That might have deterred them. Now, they know that all they need is to have one family member here at all times holding their place. Better hurry up--Obama is in a hurry to "get this done" in the next few months.
  4. Tobias Nojob's Avatar
    Hilarious: President Obama is a Constitutional Lawyer by profession, and he's very skilful enacting executive orders giving green light to attack (and overthrow as well) regimes in the Middle East that are opposed to US Foreign Policy; however, when it comes to a senseless issue such as immigration, he doesn't have the courage to solve once and for all this nonsense by issuing an executive order (the blueprint is there and DHS has already implemented some of these directives on its own)...welcome to the reality show called "Comprehensive Immigration Reform." Better legalize as much immigrants as possible because this country will need lots of manpower to fight the upcoming wars against Iran, China and Russia (and also to help paying the astronomical costs related to the care of retirees and the disabled)
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    If we follow Jack we will go to hell in a hanbasket as far as the economy is concerned. Although Tobias is a bit extreme as well, he makes more sense than Jack does!
  6. voteCIR's Avatar
    Plans don't get leaked just by chance. Whats the reason behind this "leak"?
  7. S's Avatar
    WH proposal is a disaster for legal immigration. They want to continue the status quo on backlogs , they are not proposing anything to reduce the wait times for family or EB immigrants already in the line. They just want to exempt illegals from all country caps and numerical limitations.
  8. USC's Avatar
    "WH proposal is a disaster for legal immigration. They want to continue the status quo on backlogs , they are not proposing anything to reduce the wait times for family or EB immigrants already in the line. They just want to exempt illegals from all country caps and numerical limitations."

    The WH proposal intends for the backlog for all EB/FB categories (including heavily backed up categories like EB3) to be cleared within 8 years or less.
  9. Ram's Avatar
    I do not get it. Why is it that legal immigrants are getting the short end of the stick. Why does comprehensive immigration reform not talk about legal immigrants who have been waiting in line (legally) for more than 8 years (like me). Am I to assume that I will get my green card soon since I have already been on the list for 8+ years now?
  10. S's Avatar
    "The WH proposal intends for the backlog for all EB/FB categories (including heavily backed up categories like EB3) to be cleared within 8 years or less. "

    I have not come across anything that clears the existing backlog in 8 years in the leaked legislation.
  11. Jack's Avatar
    Whats the reason behind this "leak"?

    it's a Double Kabuki play: 1) The President gets to posture as the tough guy demanding a deal (or else he'll unleash his draft!). Meanwhile the Hispanic caucus and the amnesty lobby can gnaw on all the pro-illegal statutory tweaks they would like to see in the "path to citizenship," etc. But more important 2) Republicans like Rubio and Paul Ryan get to posture by denouncing the President's draft (Rubio: "Dead on Arrival" Ryan: "the wrong direction") thereby earning themselves seeming-tough-on-illegals street cred that might serve them well when they sell out by endorsing an instant-legalization compromise (as, in fact, Rubio has already done). Any relatively unimportant differences with Obama's plan will seem like concessions wrung from the President by these determined conservatives.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/18/immigration-double-kabuki/#ixzz2LhTnN0aP

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/02/18/immigration-double-kabuki/
  12. USC's Avatar
    "Whats the reason behind this "leak"?"

    Obviously, it is to defang the antis.
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