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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

NYT: House Looking at Three Paths to Legal Status

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Here's a rundown from Ashley Parker at the NY Times:




In contrast to the Senate plan -- which would provide one clear, if
difficult, path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants
already in the country -- the House legislation will most likely offer
three distinct paths to legal status.



Young immigrants in the country without legal papers, who often call
themselves "Dreamers," and low-skilled agricultural workers would
qualify for an expedited road to legal status, people familiar with the
negotiations said. The Dreamers should not be punished for being brought
illegally to the country by their parents, House aides said, and the
members agreed that the agricultural workers perform crucial work for
the economy.



*****



The second group to receive a path to legal permanent residence would be
immigrants who have either a family or an employment relationship that
would allow them to apply for legal status, except that they have
already entered the country illegally. Currently, most of those
immigrants would have to return to their home country for either 3 or 10
years before they would be eligible to reapply.



The House bill would most likely relax or waive those barriers.
Immigrants would then have to return to their home country to apply for
legal status, aides said, but could do so only after completing a series
of hurdles including paying fines and back taxes and learning English,
aides said.



The remaining illegal immigrants could apply for "provisional legal
status" if they came forward and admitted breaking the law, paid fines
and back taxes, and learned English, much as they could under the Senate
plan, aides said. This status would allow them to live, work and travel
in the country legally, and they could then apply through regular
channels for a green card after 10 years and citizenship 5 years after
that.



Several House Republicans have been hinting that the second path - using conventional green card paths - would be given favor over one that was easier to qualify for. I've also commented that I think this makes sense as long as enough green cards are made available in those categories and the bars are not a barrier and as long as everyone eventually had a shot. This plan might meet those tests.

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Comments

  1. S's Avatar
    I thought the Senate proposal had special path for dreamers .
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