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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Goodlatte Endorses Conventional Path to Citizenship Rather Than a Special One

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A few days back I noted that Bob Goodlatte, the House Judiciary Chairman, hinted that he might support a conventional path to citizenship rather than a special path for the millions of people who would legalize under comprehensive immigration reform. He got more specific yesterday. What's the difference? In short, to qualify for a green card, legalized individuals would need to apply under existing green card categories like those available to close relatives of US citizens and individuals working in jobs employers cannot find Americans to do. A special path would allow legalized individuals to apply simply by waiting until a certain period of time has passed or enforcement benchmarks are met.


I personally prefer the conventional path approach as it makes clear that those who have been waiting it out get the highest priority and we also first reward individuals who meet American priorities like family reunification and filling unmet labor needs. The approach would require a massive expansion of green card numbers or people could face 50 year waits given how miniscule the current quota system is compared to the population we're talking about. But if we did expand overall numbers, using the conventional approach, legalized individuals would still need to get to the back of the line.


There might still be a way after a long period of time has passed for individuals who can't qualify in the conventional categories to still secure a green card. But I think the Goodlatte approach is worth further discussing as the potential basis for a plan..


Hat tip to reader George Chell for the link.

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Comments

  1. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    I do like the conventional approach for the fact that brings attention to how out of proportion low current quotes are - and the need to abolish them altogether for some categories. The second thing it will bring attention to is how out of this world difficult it is to qualify for any of the categories, and I am wishful this is changed, too. On the other side, being realistic, it will probably lead to a worse result for both those being legalized and future regular immigrants. It is also a less attractive option politically.
  2. George Chell's Avatar
    I never thought Goodlate was a racist or a bigot unlike the clowns are CIS or FAIR.
  3. CuriousGuy's Avatar
    I didn't know that Republicans are smart enough to come up with such a brilliant plan. But then, Goodlatte is/was an immigration attorney.

    I think that plan would be perfect if it is combined with a provision like..."if the federal government has successfully deployed a specific amount of resources on border security after X (X > 5) years, then all former undocumented immigrants' status would automatically be converted to a permanent resident status".
  4. S's Avatar
    Would Mr. Rubio end special pathway to citizenship for Cubans?
  5. Hill2013's Avatar
    The notion that legalized aliens would only be able to apply for LPR status through existing channels, as modified by other parts of the CIR bill, is not new; it has been around for years. The White House and key Democratic CIR champions will never, ever accept this, though.
  6. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "Would Mr. Rubio end special pathway to citizenship for Cubans?"

    You mean, now they would not be able to sneak into the country and automatically be eligible for a green card with virtually no conditions and little wait time? Ha-ha-ha!!!
  7. S's Avatar
    "You mean, now they would not be able to sneak into the country and automatically be eligible for a green card with virtually no conditions and little wait time? Ha-ha-ha!!!"

    Don't you think it is special pathway ?
  8. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    S, it was sarcasm. Yes, I think it is quite special to be able to qualify for inadmissibility waiver AND eligibility for a green card over nothing but your birthplace, especially, given that is almost impossible to qualify for either if you are a regular poor working grunt from any other country.
  9. Amused's Avatar
    But LNLW will also tell you that its ok to wait 10 years in line when those like you are walking into a green card in EB, despite applying after you - over nothing but your birth place! So much more consistency, can anyone spell hypocrisy? :-)
  10. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Amused, you don't know the history well, please re-read. I never said it was OK, however, the proposed legislation was doing more harm than good. If you want to push for immigration legislation, you need to obey the principle of "do no harm to others", otherwise, it would lead to in-fighting, which will do no good for everyone. We saw the prime example.
  11. S's Avatar
    "

    Amused, you don't know the history well, please re-read. I never said it was OK, however, the proposed legislation was doing more harm than good. If you want to push for immigration legislation, you need to obey the principle of "do no harm to others", otherwise, it would lead to in-fighting, which will do no good for everyone. We saw the prime example.
    "

    Going by "Do No harm to others" rule , Ending special treatment of Cubans will harm Cubans . Ending Lottery green cards to eliminate family and employment backlogs will harm prospective lottery winners.

    Adding 11 to 20 million to legalization channels without USCIS being prepared to handle these many applications will harm all the other applicants.
  12. RR's Avatar
    @LNLW

    You can't have a legislative change without some group being effected. If we take your dictum, nothing would be done, ever.

    Can you give a few examples of legislation that conformed to "do no harm"? Because no matter how innocuous or laudable a law is, there is always someone who gets negatively effected.
  13. Amused's Avatar
    I think LNLW is mostly concerned about negative effects on white Europeans. Under all that high sounding banter, ultimately it's me first. Yes to "fairness" as long as me and mine get theirs first. I did read the thread. It was quite clear that while LNLW payed some lip service to ending country limits but backed off any solution that could actually pass. Sure we can wait for the holy grail of getting everyone a GC, but the fact is that option was completely untenable these last few years. I hope that has changed, but the extra years of waiting for those that have spent a decade here already cannot be justified by the "extra suffering" that ROW endures by waiting an extra year or so. Or as Paul and Limbo and co. would say, "their life plans would be shattered" by another year's wait. It it wasn't so deeply offensive, it would be funny. So continuing a deeply unfair policy is ok until those with the consequent privilege can be appropriately served? I think someone like LNLW that claims to take the high road on immigration really needs to rethink this whole idea. Either country quotas are wrong and they need to be ended or not. Can't have it both ways. You can fight IV's effort all you want, and I can't claim its perfect and without it's mis steps (who is?), but the fact is that without IV and 3012, the end of country quotas would not today be an established, widely accepted and bipartisan idea that appears in every version of immigration reform. It's not like LNLW, JoeF, Limbo, Paul and their ROW ilk were ever going to help promote it, given their built in advantage in the system. So when seen in the balance, I think IV achieved a very important objective to restore fairness and I hope we will see the results soon. By the way, while I am summarizing my knowledge of the "history" of this discussion, I noticed that LNLW staked some reputation on EB2 India being current by mid 2012 or so. Given that it has been in 2004 for quite a while now, perhaps time to eat some humble pie and reassess understanding of what's really happening with EB numbers? Yeah right! :-)
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