Immigration Reform is finally here… Yeah!!!
Eight bi-partisan U.S Senators (Democrats: Charles Schumer of New York, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Jeff Flake of Arizona) have taken the FIRST STEP.
“We recognize that our immigration system is broken. And while border security has improved significantly over the last two Administrations, we still don’t have a functioning immigration system. This has created a situation where up to 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the shadows.
Our legislation acknowledges these realities by finally committing the resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here. We will ensure that this is a successful permanent reform to our immigration system that will not need to be revisited.”
President Obama is already taking STEP TWO. He will lay out HIS vision for Immigration Reform in Nevada on Tuesday (1/29/2013) – and it is reportedly similar to the Senate version.
Undocumented Immigrants are looking for:
- A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER: Front burner with the flame on HIGH.
- A WORK PERMIT: Front burner with the flame on HIGH.
- GREEN CARD: Front burner with the flame on HIGH.
- CITIZENSHIP? Back burner – flame not even on!
The “Pathway to Citizenship” is clear and simple. CITIZENSHIP is a manufactured issue Republicans use to crush Immigration Reform. ANY failure to pass Immigration Reform must be laid at the Republican’s doorstep! And if they sabotage it THIS time, come next election, they will be made to understand that 100 seats in the House of Representatives does NOT move their agenda forward!
Fix it so Undocumented Immigrants can apply for a Social Security Number, a Work Permit and a Green Card. Then those who can meet the guidelines laid out for Citizenship will apply when the time comes – like everyone else! Not at the front of the line – or back of the line – or cutting in line. Just when they, like everyone else, can afford the fees, meet the requirements and feel they can pass the test…or feel that it is time! then they get a lawyer and start the process. Yes, just like that!
Guidelines state U.S Citizenship applicants (with a few exceptions for people with Armed Forces connections) MUST:
- Be 18 years and over.
- Be a Permanent Resident/Issued with a Green Card.
- Have lived CONTINUOUSLY in America for 5-years (3-years in some cases)
- Have NOT been out of the U.S. for 30 months or more.
- Have NOT traveled out of the country on trips longer than a year (during last 5-years (3-years in some cases).
- Resided in the State/District in which the applicant is applying for Citizenship
- Can read, write, speak basic English.
- Know the fundamentals of U.S History/Government. (In other words, applicant must PASS the Citizenship Test).
- Applicant must demonstrate Good Moral Character.
- Undocumented immigrants may run into issues HERE with adjusting of Status AND THIS MAY BE THE ONLY AREA THAT CONGRESS MAY NEED TO ADDRESS FOR UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS.
- Never deserted from the U.S. Army.
- Never received, from the U.S Army, an exemption/discharge for not being a citizen.
- Pledge to serve in the U.S military if it is mandated by law.
- Support the U.S. Constitution.
- Willing to take the Oath Of Allegiance to the U.S.
THAT’S IT. Where is the big ring-ding? Seems the ONLY area that needs some tweaking is #10 of the U.S. Citizenship REQUIREMENTS which deals with ADJUSTING the applicant’s status. Being in the U.S. illegally can interfere with applying for citizenship. Congress can address that easily by allowing Undocumented Immigrants who were in the country BEFORE THE DATE ANY IMMIGRATION REFORM LAW PASSES or whatever the cut-off point is – to easily apply for a waiver or whatever process they decide. END OF STORY.
The important part is LEGALIZING people so they can come out of the shadows and join the mainstream. This includes applying for Citizenship down the road, IF they meet the requirements.
Congress, President Obama – please DO NOT GET BOGGED DOWN IN A CITIZENSHIP QUAGMIRE. You won’t meet many Undocumented Immigrants who will GIVE UP the chance for Legalization because of a disagreement over Citizenship! People wan to work and live without fear – citizenship will come later.
Two-time Presidential candidate, Republican Newt Gingrich is blasting former rival Mitt Romney (his party’s nominee for the 2012 Presidential election) and the party’s overly conservative policies as the GOP’s 2012 curse.
“When I said as a candidate we’re not going to deport a grandmother if she’s been here 25 years, we had a nominee who said yes, we would, that she would self-deport…I think at that point we lost Asians, we lost Latinos. You can’t lose Asians, Latinos, African Americans and young people, and think you’re going to be competitive.“
Hard-line Tea Party obstructionists are no doubt girding their loins for battle. But obstructionists could not STOP blacks from getting their freedom, or STOP women from getting the vote, or STOP interracial marriages OR stop abortion rights or STOP gays from getting married or STOP blacks from joining the military or STOP women from joining the military or STOP gays from serving openly in the military – AND THEY WON’T STOP IMMIGRATION REFORM EITHER!
I suspect Hard-line Tea Party obstructionists in Congress and their supporters will not find the usual “loud mouthed” response from many of their former cheerleaders. They can hold on to their rigid ideology – but they will end up facing extinction in a Congress dominated by Democrats.
The “FOUR PILLARS” of Immigration Reform:
- Create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas.
- Reform the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university.
- Create an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants.
- Allow more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn’t recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.