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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy


Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The National Foundation for American Policy has put out a number of excellent reports on the state of American immigration and now they have two more. 

Family Immigration: The Long Wait to Immigrate

Family immigration quotas are inadequate and result in separation and long waits for Americans, lawful permanent residents and close family members. Approximately 4 million people are waiting in family immigration backlogs, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.

The wait time for a U.S. citizen petitioning for a brother or sister from the Philippines exceeds 20 years. A U.S. citizen petitioning for either a married (3rd preference) or unmarried (1st preference) son or daughter (21 years or older) can expect to wait 6 to 17 years, depending on the country or origin. Research shows legal immigrants experience faster wage growth than natives, are more likely to start businesses and have higher median years of schooling. Raising family immigration quotas would serve both the humanitarian and economic interests of the United States.

Death at the Border

The absence of a way to enter the United States legally to work has contributed to more than 4,000 men, women, and children dying while attempting to cross to America since 1998. Alarmingly, immigrant deaths increased in 2009 at a time when illegal entry fell significantly. This death toll - an average of about one person a day - has occurred in the context of great pressure from Congress and executive branch officials to "control the border." The loss of life will almost certainly continue unless more paths are open to work legally in the United States. The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers. Strong evidence exists that the current "enforcement-only" policy has strengthened criminal gangs, providing a profitable line of business for Mexican criminal enterprises. If Mexican and Central American workers could come to America on a legal visa or work permit they would have no need to employ the services of a coyote or criminal enterprise.

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  1. Adi's Avatar
    Only becuase legal system is broken, that people are having to take these desperate measures to enter this country. If legal system is fixed then resources can be directed to actually hunting for drug dealers and other criminals. If allowed to enter legally, border monitoring can be just focused on actual criminals rather than people wanting to earn a living.

  2. Jack's Avatar
    "The only plausible way to eliminate immigrant deaths at the border, as well as reduce illegal immigration in the long term, is to institute a new program of temporary visas or portable work permits for foreign workers."

    And then when those temporary visas expire, they'll all go home and not increase the number of illegal aliens. Anyone who believes that is living in a fool's paradise.
  3. waiting and waiting's Avatar

    House passed (262 - 150) America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 on 5/28/10, any idea when will Senate Pick this up? and/or possibility of adding EB based fixed (visa recapture/Nurse Relief etc)?

  4. Simple Guy's Avatar
    can anyone explain the benefit of America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, if it is passed in senate too. Will a candidate with a Masters in STEM major from US university actually get a green card?
  5. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Adi, I think we are finally on exactly the same page.

    Jack, is not it completely natural that after a few years in a country one may want to stay there and buld a life? This is why the immigration system should allow for legal ways to enter AND for legal ways to stay (that's the two parts of this story). I am very much aware that this is not what you want - more legal immigrants. That's why we call you Jack-the-anti - in a loving way, though, as every good pro-immigrant forum should have a resident anti.
  6. Brat Garz's Avatar
    Last time I checked, the US were taking in 1.1mio GC a year, major part family reunions and 1Mio new citizens. That seems quite enough, thank you - diversity is good too. So delaying zillions from some countries to make room for hundreds from 75 other countries seem alright to me. Can we also speak of reciprocity ? there are some places in Mexico where one could want to leave freely too.
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