Tag Archives: deportation

US Immigration Reform: Obama Ignores Legal Immigrants & Embraces Illegal Immigration

On Friday June 15, 2012 via Homeland Security Security Janet Napolitano and then by President Obama himself, a new policy directive was announced that the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of the USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Services) would no longer deport many illegal immigrants originally brought into the country as children.

Essentially effective immediately children brought into the US under the age of 16 at the time of entry by illegal immigrant parents who are currently enrolled or graduated in High School,  College or Certificate level program or whom have served in the Military as well as now under the age of 30 with no criminal record would no longer be actively deported. Additionally they will be issued renewable 2 year work permits which essentially gives almost the same rights as a Green Card holder. It is estimated that this would cover around 800,000 kids mainly of Latino descent.

Now while it is clearly not these kids fault that they came into the country illegally and something should be done in this vein to resolve their status given they are actively and positively contributing to their local communities, it is a shame that again the legal immigrants have been ignored.

Legal Immigrants who have been working for many years on US working visas, some of which also have long standing Green Card PERM applications where they have been on waiting lists for years not only don’t benefit from this but quite possibly will have their own cases delayed with processing and longer waiting lists. Many residents of India, China and Mexico have waiting list times of 10 years and more, and those residents from all nations coming under the EB-3 visa (Green Card) classification have been on waiting lists for years, following the rules, paying extraordinary financial and legal costs related to immigration, paying thousands in taxes with no benefit and yet again they have to endure the bad end of the situation.

It is quite obvious the Obama Administration with the 2012 Presidential Election ahead in November are looking to shore up their large lead among Latino Voters and encourage that base to come out and vote with this directive that preempts a potential Republican led DREAM Act bill. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (a Cuban American) a potential running mate of presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney  is soon to submit a different version of the DREAM Act to the Democratic version which has been on the Congressional agenda since 2000 that is very similar to this directive from the President which bypasses Congress.

Again it is not that we believe this directive is misguided and is probably a good step to ensuring ever more Immigrant Americans can help US Prosperity and the US Economy as they are already doing in disproportionate numbers today. It is the fact that the legal immigrants who have followed the rules again get nothing and no reward from the doing the right thing and taking the much harder road of getting Permanent Residency and potentially US Citizenship.

To give you an idea apart from the huge costs and massively years long waiting list, legal immigrants to get to permanency in the US often have to endure;

The message to legal immigrants is that you may as well break the rules because what have you got to lose and you may stand to gain from policy directives like this.

Let’s hope that Legal Immigrants don’t continue to be ignored because for once Republican political talking points are spot on, this creates completely the wrong Incentive system for foreigners all over the world wanting to move to the US.


US Immigration Reform: Dream Act 2.0 – Is It Worth It?

The DREAM Act is one of the many controversial and politically charged US Immigration debates that exist today and even moreso during 2012 being a Presidential Election year. Read the link to get more in depth information about the proposed legislation but in short it a bill designed to give children born in the US to illegal immigrant parents (some refer to these kids as anchor babies) to have a legal path to US citizenship. In short this will allow these kids;

– to go to College legally
– access student loans and in state tuition rates
– apply for a social security number
– work legally
– access social support benefits
– and of course after becoming a citizen, vote in state and federal elections

In general, Democrats have been supportive of the most well known and proposed legislation that has existed as pending legislation in various forms for over 10 years. From a political standpoint this has largely lined up with their base being more supportive of the Hispanic demographic, the poor, minorities, being more supportive of a social safety nets and otherwise more all encompassing immigration policies.

However with Hispanic voters being both the largest minority voting block and the fast growing by far of all ethnic groups in the US, Republican politically candidates across the US including the Presidential candidates like Mitt Romney are acutely aware of not alienating this large bloc. It has profound consequences for many both many states today in deciding the Presidency in 2012 but also for future elections. Aware how as a party after the Civil Rights movements in the 60s, when Republicans lost the majority of the African American vote to Democrats, never to return to date, they desperately do not want to lose the majority of another ethinic group predicted to be 40% of the entire US population in 2050.

Enter Dream Act 2.0 as it has been dubbed by many, authored by Republican Florida Senator and Cuban American, Marco Rubio. This takes the original intention of the Dream Act and scales it back without criminalizing these kids of illegal immigrant parents. Essentially instead of providing a direct path to US citizenship, it provides an indirect and uncertain path to US citizenship for all groups except for ones who join the military who will receive a green card after serving.

All others will essentially be eligible for non-immigrant status which is really a fancy (and many say demeaning) way of saying they are eligible for work visas like the H-1B and student visas like F-1 which are the same visas that foreigners can apply for to come to the US. Then from that point via either relevant employer based applications, marriage to a US citizen or legal resident family sponsorship they could get access to a green card albeit with no guarantees and waits of up to 10 years or more.

So is it a good thing if you are a child of illegal immigrant parents?

Well the reality is anything is better than the current situation where they can’t attend college, work legally, travel outside the US, get legal IDs, access to many forms of private healthcare or have any path to normal sort of life with a constant threat of deportation. However you only have to talk to current foreigners to realize how bad and unfair the current Immigration System, Green Card opportunities and Wait Times are.

For example Mexican nationals after going through the 12-18 month green card application process under a status like EB-3 (which is common for professionals with a Bachelors Degree and less than 5 years of experience) will have a waiting period of over 10 years by current wait times before being eligible for a Green Card. (to note; the H-1B length is 6 years for regular maximum).

Ultimately while Democrats have for years for political reasons pandered to the Hispanic voting bloc, the so-called Dream Act 2.0 is a poor imitation of the original designed to curry a little favor to Republicans from the same group. However make no mistake, non-immigration status in many ways is only a small notch above illegal status with constant uncertainty and no clear path to permanency. Additionally adding a whole new bloc of people to the already long waiting queues for Green Card status will only increase wait times for everybody.