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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Report: House GOP Bill Could Legalize 4.4 to 6.5 Million

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Stuart Anderson at the National Foundation for American Policy has crunched the numbers and determined that millions of people would succeed in getting legalized under proposals being talked about among House Republicans, but fewer would get green cards, at least for a while. The NFAP estimates that 3 to 4 million people would get green cards using regular paths to citizenship which is important since the House approach is likely to exclude any "special" path to a green card like that contemplated in the Senate bill (S.744). As many as five million would have no obvious path to a green card. Democrats and pro-immigration advocates are probably going to have to make a tough choice - do they demand a solution for everyone up front. Or take a deal that partially helps most, but doesn't offer everyone a permanent solution.

The Report, entitled "A Path to an Agreement?: Analyzing Plans for Legalizing the Unauthorized Immigrant Population" happens to quote me on page 10:

How many people could gain lawful permanent resident status (a green card) under the Goodlatte approach? Without legislative language it is difficult to estimate with precision. However, it is possible a reasonable number of those in the country in unlawful status could eventually gain a green card under the approach. Here is why:

First, inherent in the approach is eliminating or waiving the “3 and 10 year bars” and related impediments that now prevent unauthorized immigrants from immigrating through the legal immigration system. This could be accompanied by a fine or fee, notes immigration attorney Greg Siskind. Every unauthorized immigrant covered would, in Rep. Goodlatte’s words, “be legally present in the United States, able to work anywhere you wanted . . . [and] travel to your home country . . .” Once unauthorized immigrants are “legally present” they could immigrate through the legal immigration system if they fit into a category.

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Comments

  1. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Two questions: First, can we be sure that the eventual House GOP proposals, if any, will not contain enforcement related poison pills in the form of a) impossible to achieve enforcement "triggers" before legalization can take effect (in contrast to S 744 which has such triggers for green card applications, but few if any for legalization); b) putting Sheriff Joe back in business by overturning Arizona v. US and giving state and local officials power over immigration enforcement; c) tying the president's hands on executive/administrative power over immigration enforcement;, or d) all of the above?

    Second, what happens to the 5 to 6 million or more people in provisional legal status who would not be able to find green card sponsors after 6 years through existing channels? Do they get deported?

    As I read the Politico article, I see lots of GOP poison pills, land mines, whatever one wants to call them, right up ahead. Can we assume that they will all miraculously fade away in the final versions of the Republican "principles" or "piecemeal bills?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 01-17-2014 at 08:29 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  2. GSiskind's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigrationLawBlogs
    Two questions: First, can we be sure that the eventual House GOP proposals, if any, will not contain enforcement related poison pills in the form of a) impossible to achieve enforcement "triggers" before legalization can take effect (in contrast to S 744 which has such triggers for green card applications, but few if any for legalization); b) putting Sheriff Joe back in business by overturning Arizona v. US and giving state and local officials power over immigration enforcement; c) tying the president's hands on executive/administrative power over immigration enforcement;, or d) all of the above?

    Second, what happens to the 5 to 6 million or more people in provisional legal status who would not be able to find green card sponsors after 6 years through existing channels? Do they get deported?

    As I read the Politico article, I see lots of GOP poison pills, land mines, whatever one wants to call them, right up ahead. Can we assume that they will all miraculously fade away in the final versions of the Republican "principles" or "piecemeal bills?

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Roger - I think these are legitimate questions, but ultimately advocates need to ask themselves whether they would rather pass on any deal rather than take what may be only a temporary solution. After all the negotiating is done, I think the pro-immigration folks need to see if the final package would on balance be better than the status quo. If it is, then you take the deal and work for something better later. Greg
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