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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

HUTCHISON VOTING NO ON DREAM ACT BASED ON FALSE UNDERSTANDING OF THE BILL

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

This is a crying shame. My friend Paul Parsons, an excellent immigration lawyer in Austin, shared this exchange with me last night:



From: Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison [mailto:senator@hutchison.senate.gov]
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 5:50 PM
To: Paul Parsons
Subject: Constituent Response From Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison


Dear Friend:    


Thank you for contacting me regarding S. 3992, the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.  I welcome your thoughts and comments.
 
     On November 30, 2010, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced this bill, which would allow for a 10-year conditional non-immigrant visa that would lead to eventual citizenship. Once they become U.S. citizens, these individuals would by law be able to petition for family members to also gain citizenship.  This would therefore expand citizenship beyond the intended students.  Because of this, I am unable to support the current version of the DREAM Act.
 
     I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.
 
Sincerely,
Kay Bailey Hutchison



As I noted yesterday, parents are looking at 25+ years before they could enter on green cards and if this is chain migration, it's a pretty brittle chain.


Here is Paul's response to Senator Hutchison:



Senator Hutchison -
 
I am so disappointed that you intend to vote against the current (already watered down) version of the DREAM Act.   You indicate that they could later petition for some of their relatives to immigrate.    Please read why your objection is misguided.
 
These kids were brought here by their parents, and most of them do not even remember life in another country. They have been our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and classmates in our communities for ten, twenty, and in some cases thirty years.
 
The DREAM Act would allow them to proudly serve in our country's armed services (which really needs them) or to attend college for at least two years (which would also benefit our country).  They would only be granted a ten YEAR conditional non-immigrant (i.e. temporary status).    After ten long years, they could then apply for
permanent resident ("green card") status.   Only then could they wait three additional years before beginning the naturalization process (which is by no means automatic).
 
What happens if they earn naturalization after waiting for over thirteen long years?   If they have a mother or father who unlawfully entered the U.S, that parent would then be required under our immigration laws to return to his/her home country and face a TEN YEAR BAR for having been unlawfully present in the U.S.
There is no waiver available for an unlawful presence bar for a parent of a U.S. citizen.  That parent would need to wait outside the U.S. for a full ten full years before applying to lawfully return to the U.S.    I didn't make this up... these ten year bars were passed by our Congress in the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.  The result is that if the DREAM Act student qualifies over thirteen years later for U.S. citizenship, his/her parent would then need to leave the U.S. for another ten years before qualifying to immigrate as the parent of a naturalized citizen.
 
What if after over thirteen years a DREAM Act student becomes a U.S. citizen and files a petition for a brother or sister?    Right now if a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico had filed a petition for a sibling prior to December 22, 1995, (over 15 YEARS ago), a visa number would only be available today for that brother/sister to apply for a "green card."     If in the U.S. without permission, that applicant would then be required under our restrictive immigration laws to depart from the U.S. for ten more YEARS prior to seeking to any visa or "green card."    The waiting lists for siblings of U.S. citizens are incredibly backlogged, and do not advance one year each year.    Filing today, it would probably take more than thirty YEARS before a sibling's turn would be reached on the waiting list.  
 
A U.S. citizen CANNOT petition at all for a grandparent, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, or cousin under our immigration laws.     
 
Please reconsider your position.   You have spoken with many of these courageous DREAM Act students, and you know in your heart that they should be given this opportunity to serve our country.   You know they would become wonderful U.S. citizens and they are already willing to defend our proud country at home and abroad.   
 
I respectfully request that you do what's right and vote in favor of the DREAM Act.
 
Paul Parsons


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Comments

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Hutchinson pandering to the folks who would rather worship white skin (worried about a white minority in Texas) and perhaps in the distance result in what they fear most...the Sharia Law.
  2. Waiting patiently's Avatar
    So in 13 years the person gets naturalized. Legal Immigrants will take longer in say EB3 - I'm waiting for 7 yrs and based opn numbers given by INS it will take 5 more yrs for me to get permanent residency. Then for naturalisation - it will take me another 5 years. A total of 17 yrs for me through the legal process instead of this 13 yr wait for those in unlawful status. I've spent close to $25,000 for my family in filing and attorney fees and these guys only need to pay $2,525.

    Seems to me that highly skilled legal immigrants are being overlooked. How about treating legal immigrants better? Similar reductions in naturalisation should be given to legal immigrants that have been waiting for more than 5 years and some reduction in filing fee for travel documents to make their wait easier
  3. My 2 cents's Avatar
    It won't take 25 yrs to file for the parents. The parents would leave once the the son/daughter is a Dream beneficiary. It will take 13 yrs for the person to be USC. By the time the son/daughter has the citizenship the parents would be over the 10 yr reentry bar. They would have been out of the US for 12-13 yrs.
  4. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    The parents are likely going to stay until they have no choice but to leave. The reality is that most of the parents won't go home because being in the US illegally is better than being mired in poverty in their home country. So the kids will probably not bother applying at all for them since the only way to legally do it would be the parents to exit the US for a decade. I advise a lot of families in similar situations and unless the case for a hardship waiver is really compelling and I can tell them the chances are excellent for getting it, most don't take the chance of being separated for so many years.

    It's nice that you think splitting up with your family is just a casual decision and ten years apart from your kids is a trivial wait.
  5. USC's Avatar
    "It's nice that you think splitting up with your family is just a casual decision and ten years apart from your kids is a trivial wait."

    Nicely put!

  6. My 2 cents's Avatar
    Greg, I was just making a point that the wait is not 25 yrs as you posted in the blog. It could be between 10-25 yrs depending on what the parents want to do. Also once in the conditional non immigrant status, the children can go visit them every year for the next 10-13 yrs. So the 10-13 yr wait for reentry with annual visits from the children is a practical win win solution.
  7. Michael's Avatar
    If I were Senator Reid, I would change the legislation to address this objection and other objections to get the 60 votes to pass DREAM. It is not too hard to write in a provision to say these kids cannot be allowed to sponsor their parents and siblings.

    Hutchison and other moderates hold all the cards here. Without them DREAM is dead for the next few years at least.
  8. My 2 cents's Avatar
    "It's nice that you think splitting up with your family is just a casual decision and ten years apart from your kids is a trivial wait.

    It's not a casual decision but a calculated one & 10-12 yr is not trivial by no means but a meaningful & rewarding wait. That's my opinion.
  9. USC's Avatar
    "It is not too hard to write in a provision to say these kids cannot be allowed to sponsor their parents and siblings."

    I can see disallowing the parents so that the parents do not profit from the fruits of their crime but why siblings?

    Also such a prohibition would be unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.

    "So the 10-13 yr wait for reentry with annual visits from the children is a practical win win solution."

    Splitting families is not a good thing to do as a matter of public policy.



  10. Another Voice's Avatar
    My 2 cents you forgot to say "it's not fair"
  11. My 2 cents's Avatar
    "Splitting families is not a good thing to do as a matter of public policy"

    That's right, isn't that happening in the FB category? The reward of filing legally is separation from family for upto 30 yrs.
  12. AJ's Avatar
    I remember reading that this senator supports temporary non-immigrant status for DREAM beneficiaries. In which case, she may support it if the path to citizenship was stripped out altogether. In that case, kids of DREAM beneficiaries could eventually sponsor their parents (the DREAM beneficiaries), but even the restrictionist camp more or less agrees that the DREAM beneficiaries themselves were blameless. This can be improved upon later if political equations change.
  13. USC's Avatar
    "That's right, isn't that happening in the FB category? The reward of filing legally is separation from family for upto 30 yrs."

    You won't get any disagreement from me there. The FB system is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the US immigration. A son doesn't cease being a son simply because he turns 21 nor should you be required to snap ties with a sibling simply because you move to the US. Yet, while hypocritically recognizing the principal of family re-unification, our system subjects these categories of immigrants to delays running into the decades and if that wasn't bad enough adds insult to injury by making it harder for them to even receive a NIV to visit their relatives. I think the British Home Affairs Immigration website said it best with words to the effect:

    "Let's talk about immigration for your relatives for their wouldn't be any point in immigrating if you couldn't bring your relatives here."

    The FB folks who are going to end up in the USA sooner or later anyway. Why not let them in while they are young rather than old and infirm? What is the point in making them wait overseas? Does anyway benefit from such a policy? There shouldn't be a quota for FB immigrants.

    As regards, DREAM, there are two guilty parties. The US for not securing the Mexican border and the parents for crossing the border illegally. To subject an infant/child to the rigors of the Sonaran Desert is not a good parental decision but the kids did not have any say in the matter and should not be punished.

    The right thing to do is to give the kids the 13 year path to citizenship and explicitly bar the parents from being eligible from AOS. There shouldn't be restriction on sponsoring siblings as siblings are not the guilty parties.

    In the meantime, see below:

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/bloomberg-talks-immigration-with-business-titans/?hpw

    "Mr. Bloomberg called it the responsibility of the pinstriped titans gathered before him -- Rupert Murdoch, Lloyd C. Blankfein, Kenneth I. Chenault of American Express -- to bring common sense and economic experience to the immigration debate, which he called the most important issue facing the country."

    "You look at people who say, 'Oh, no, immigrants are going to kill us,' and you wonder -- they haven't read history," the mayor said. "They don't understand anything about business. And it's up to us educate them."




  14. George Chell's Avatar
    Coming back to reality rather than rhetoric, failure to reform skilled migration will lead to jobs moving abroad, lower tax revenues and perhaps larger debt or draconian cuts in spending! As far as international marriages and family issues go, most governments discourage international marriages. The worst situation is for Thais married to Brits. In Thailand it is almost impossible to get residency and in Britain the residency requirements are very stringent for Asian ethnic spouses. As a result, a country such as Singapore ends up benefitting especially if one or both the spouses have skills. Although the US is not as bad as Thailand or UK, there is room for improvement.
  15. Jack's Avatar
    Where is the falsity?

    On November 30, 2010, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) introduced this bill, which would allow for a 10-year conditional non-immigrant visa that would lead to eventual citizenship.

    TRUE.

    Once they become U.S. citizens, these individuals would by law be able to petition for family members to also gain citizenship.

    TRUE.

    This would therefore expand citizenship beyond the intended students.

    TRUE.




    "It is not too hard to write in a provision to say these kids cannot be allowed to sponsor their parents and siblings."

    Or for the direct beneficiaries themselves to vote. But not getting new Democratic voters out of an amnesty defeats that party's political purpose of it.

  16. My 2 cents's Avatar
    "The right thing to do is to give the kids the 13 year path to citizenship and explicitly bar the parents from being eligible from AOS. There shouldn't be restriction on sponsoring siblings as siblings are not the guilty parties."

    I agree with that. If the Dems add this to the current bill, it shouldn't have trouble to get the 60 votes. But that's not going to happen from the Dems. The primary aim of this bill is only for long term political gain for the Dems.

    "But not getting new Democratic voters out of an amnesty defeats that party's political purpose of it."

    Jack, you got it right, but I disagree on Dream Act being classified as amnesty.
  17. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    If the hold up for passage is sponsoring family members
    I think a deal is possible.
  18. My 2 cents's Avatar
    Greg, if the members of the Congress thought like the bloggers here, the immigration problem would have been solved decades ago.
  19. Deb's Avatar
    Shame Greg? What is shameful is legal immigrants: both highly skilled and would be family members have no one to bat for them. Not even from the so called sympathetic pro immigrant advocates. These folks are enduring years and years of painful wait with no relief in sight despite playing by the book.
  20. Jim's Avatar
    "If I were Senator Reid, I would change the legislation to address this objection and other objections to get the 60 votes to pass DREAM. It is not too hard to write in a provision to say these kids cannot be allowed to sponsor their parents and siblings.

    Hutchison and other moderates hold all the cards here. Without them DREAM is dead for the next few years at least."

    I agree. Compromise or bust!!
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