It’s not great but it’s a start. A group of 8 senators has cobbled together a mish-mosh of immigration plans. Think of a mashup of the Dream Act, the Achieve Act, a guestworker plan, and then everyone else and you’ll see where this is headed.
Probably the two dumbest parts of the proposal are:
1) A commission that must determine when the borders are “secure” before the green card process for those here unlawfully and not part of the Dream Act or “unskilled/temp” worker pool can begin. Before that point people are basically here with permission but no great status.
2) The “back of the line” provision: The “line” starts way back at 1989. So AFTER the commission determines that the border is secure everyone else waits behind 4th preference petitions from the Philippines.
These two things really create an unworkable plan. It’s clearly not well thought out and seems unlikely to pass anyway.
Here is the complete text of the framework of the proposal:
Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Senators Schumer, McCain, Durbin, Graham, Menendez, Rubio, Bennet, and Flake
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.
Four Basic Legislative Pillars:
o Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently
living in the United States that is contingent upon securing our borders and
tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when required;
o Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of
characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen
o Create an effective employment verification system that will prevent identity theft
and end the hiring of future unauthorized workers; and,
Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s
workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers.
Creating a Path to Citizenship for Unauthorized Immigrants Already Here
that is Contingent Upon Securing the Border and Combating Visa Overstays
Our legislation will provide a tough, fair, and practical roadmap to address the status of
unauthorized immigrants in the United States that is contingent upon our success in securing
our borders and addressing visa overstays.
To fulfill the basic governmental function of securing our borders, we will continue the
increased efforts of the Border Patrol by providing them with the latest technology,
infrastructure, and personnel needed to prevent, detect, and apprehend every unauthorized
Additionally, our legislation will increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles and
surveillance equipment, improve radio interoperability and increase the number of agents at
and between ports of entry. The purpose is to substantially lower the number of successful
illegal border crossings while continuing to facilitate commerce.
We will strengthen prohibitions against racial profiling and inappropriate use of force,
enhance the training of border patrol agents, increase oversight, and create a mechanism to
ensure a meaningful opportunity for border communities to share input, including critiques.
Our legislation will require the completion of an entry-exit system that tracks whether all
persons entering the United States on temporary visas via airports and seaports have left the
country as required by law.
We recognize that Americans living along the Southwest border are key to recognizing and
understanding when the border is truly secure. Our legislation will create a commission
comprised of governors, attorneys general, and community leaders living along the
Southwest border to monitor the progress of securing our border and to make a
recommendation regarding when the bill’s security measures outlined in the legislation are
While these security measures are being put into place, we will simultaneously require those
who came or remained in the United States without our permission to register with the
government. This will include passing a background check and settling their debt to society
by paying a fine and back taxes, in order to earn probationary legal status, which will allow
them to live and work legally in the United States. Individuals with a serious criminal
background or others who pose a threat to our national security will be ineligible for legal
status and subject to deportation. Illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes
face immediate deportation.
We will demonstrate our commitment to securing our borders and combating visa overstays
by requiring our proposed enforcement measures be complete before any immigrant on
probationary status can earn a green card
Current restrictions preventing non-immigrants from accessing federal public benefits will
also apply to lawful probationary immigrants.
Once the enforcement measures have been completed, individuals with probationary legal
status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants, pass an
additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of
work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to
earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency. Those individuals who
successfully complete these requirements can eventually earn a green card.
Individuals who are present without lawful status – not including people within the two
categories identified below – will only receive a green card after every individual who is
already waiting in line for a green card, at the time this legislation is enacted, has received
their green card. Our purpose is to ensure that no one who has violated America’s
immigration laws will receive preferential treatment as they relate to those individuals who
have complied with the law.
Our legislation also recognizes that the circumstances and the conduct of people without
lawful status are not the same, and cannot be addressed identically.
o For instance, individuals who entered the United States as minor children did not
knowingly choose to violate any immigration laws. Consequently, under our
proposal these individuals will not face the same requirements as other
individuals in order to earn a path to citizenship.
o Similarly, individuals who have been working without legal status in the United
States agricultural industry have been performing very important and difficult
work to maintain America’s food supply while earning subsistence wages. Due
to the utmost importance in our nation maintaining the safety of its food supply,
agricultural workers who commit to the long term stability of our nation’s
agricultural industries will be treated differently than the rest of the
undocumented population because of the role they play in ensuring that
Americans have safe and secure agricultural products to sell and consume. These
individuals will earn a path to citizenship through a different process under our
new agricultural worker program.
Improving our Legal Immigration System and Attracting the World’s Best
The development of a rational legal immigration system is essential to ensuring America’s
future economic prosperity. Our failure to act is perpetuating a broken system which sadly
discourages the world’s best and brightest citizens from coming to the United States and
remaining in our country to contribute to our economy. This failure makes a legal path to
entry in the United States insurmountably difficult for well-meaning immigrants. This
unarguably discourages innovation and economic growth. It has also created substantial visa
backlogs which force families to live apart, which incentivizes illegal immigration.
Our new immigration system must be more focused on recognizing the important
characteristics which will help build the American economy and strengthen American
families. Additionally, we must reduce backlogs in the family and employment visa
categories so that future immigrants view our future legal immigration system as the
exclusive means for entry into the United States.
The United States must do a better job of attracting and keeping the world’s best and
brightest. As such, our immigration proposal will award a green card to immigrants who
have received a PhD or Master’s degree in science, technology, engineering, or math from an
American university. It makes no sense to educate the world’s future innovators and
entrepreneurs only to ultimately force them to leave our country at the moment they are most
able to contribute to our economy.
Strong Employment Verification
We recognize that undocumented immigrants come to the United States almost exclusively
for jobs. As such, dramatically reducing future illegal immigration can only be achieved by
developing a tough, fair, effective and mandatory employment verification system. An
employment verification system must hold employers accountable for knowingly hiring
undocumented workers and make it more difficult for unauthorized immigrants to falsify
documents to obtain employment. Employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers
must face stiff fines and criminal penalties for egregious offenses.
We believe the federal government must provide U.S. employers with a fast and reliable
method to confirm whether new hires are legally authorized to work in the United States.
This is essential to ensure the effective enforcement of immigration laws.
Our proposal will create an effective employment verification system which prevents identity
theft and ends the hiring of future unauthorized workers. We believe requiring prospective
workers to demonstrate both legal status and identity, through non-forgeable electronic
means prior to obtaining employment, is essential to an employee verification system; and,
The employee verification system in our proposal will be crafted with procedural safeguards
to protect American workers, prevent identity theft, and provide due process protections.
Admitting New Workers and Protecting Workers’ Rights
The overwhelming majority of the 327,000 illegal entrants apprehended by CBP in FY2011
were seeking employment in the United States. We recognize that to prevent future waves of
illegal immigration a humane and effective system needs to be created for these immigrant
workers to enter the country and find employment without seeking the aid of human
traffickers or drug cartels.
Our proposal will provide businesses with the ability to hire lower-skilled workers in a timely
manner when Americans are unavailable or unwilling to fill those jobs.
Our legislation would:
o Allow employers to hire immigrants if it can be demonstrated that they were
unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position and the hiring of
an immigrant will not displace American workers;
o Create a workable program to meet the needs of America’s agricultural industry,
including dairy to find agricultural workers when American workers are not
available to fill open positions;
o Allow more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating
jobs, and fewer when our economy is not creating jobs;
o Protect workers by ensuring strong labor protections; and,
Permit workers who have succeeded in the workplace and contributed to their
communities over many years to earn green cards.
The Illinois Senate passed SB0957 which if passed by the House and signed into law by Governor Quinn would give allow drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants. The bill passed by a 47-14 margin with mostly Republicans voting no. Though a couple of idiot Dems, Edward Maloney of the 18th district near Oak Lawn (his constituents should call and complain) and William Haine from Alton (guess the only shock is that he’s a Democrat) also voted against it.
You can see how each senator voted here.
The GOP controlled House passed AKA the Stem Jobs Act which would do away with the Diversity Visa (too many brown people win it for the GOP I’m sure) and treating immigration as a zero-sum game takes those 55K and gives them to a very select group of STEM advanced degree holders. So it’s classist for sure but probably racist since – well – it’s a GOP bill.
Instead of doing all that all they had to do was raise the cap on the EB2 and waive the labor cert requirement other than the SWA posting and – they really want to be cool – allow self-petitions. But they can’t stand all those Africans coming in on the diversity visa is my guess.
Yeah it’s stupid but from the party of “self-deportation” that’s not a shock.
The GOP (bless their hearts) has introduced an “immigration bill”.
Though it’s not really an immigration bill. It’s a non-immigration bill. Meaning that if it were to pass and someone was to take advantage of it they would have no path to residency through this law. They would be non-immigrants as long as they could maintain their status.
ACHIEVE stands for “Assisting Children and Helping them Improve their Educational Value for Employment Act”.
Sounds like it’s designed to create a worker class who have few rights. I’m sure I’m wrong about that. The GOP is all about workers and immigrants rights.
The bill creates three categories (W-1, W-2, & W-3):
The W-1 is for:
ALL THAT AND YOU STILL AREN’T AN IMMIGRANT!
If you complied with all the provisions of the W-1 in the prior 6 years, got yourself a degree or served in the military, you can get a 4 year work permission or permission to go to grad school.
If you did what you’re supposed to do on the W-1 and W-2 you can get 4 year extensions with no path to residency.
The Act also amends 8 U.S.C. 1184 to include a section “S” which, among other things, makes it clear that though you can fight and die for America you can’t bring your kids here. No derivative status for your kids as you die in a desert somewhere. Sorry:( And if your wife helped you into the US or helped you while you where here (paid some bills perhaps) no status for her either. #sadface
Oh and if you’re single and marry a US citizen you can’t adjust your status. Nor can you change your status to any non “W” category.
This is a bill looking for a problem to solve. It’d be easier to get rid of the 3/10 year bar and the prohibition from changing your status when you’re out of status and let the undocumented apply for student visas or non-immigrant work visas.
It’s a common issue arising in the area of immigration law. A US citizen marries someone in the United States who is here unlawfully and because they entered without a visa they must return to their home country if they want to obtain a green card. In most instances that means that the foreign spouse would be subject to at least a 3 year bar to re-entry and possibly a 10 year bar based on the length of their unlawful presence in the United States. There is an application process through with the 3 or 10 year bar can be waived but it’s lengthy and requires the foreign national spouse to be outside of the United States for a prolonged time, sometimes many years.
That can mean serious hardship to the family, both financially and emotionally, and many simply choose to live in the shadows.
However, circumstances may be changing enough that some people may now choose to come forward.
As reported in today’s New York Times, the Obama administration is proposing a rule changes that would allow a provisional waiver to be granted while the foreign spouse is still inside the United States and also streamline the consular process so that the green card is granted in a matter of weeks rather than months.
“Citizenship and Immigration Services proposes to allow the immigrants to obtain a provisional waiver in the United States, before they leave for their countries to pick up their visas. Having the waiver in hand will allow them to depart knowing that they will almost certainly be able to return, officials said. The agency is also seeking to sharply streamline the process to cut down the wait times for visas to a few weeks at most.
“The goal is to substantially reduce the time that the U.S. citizen is separated from the spouse or child when that separation would yield an extreme hardship,” said Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of the immigration agency.“
This is a developing story and I’ll update it as new information comes in.
In the adjudications context: The USCIS has provided internal guidance that filings based on same-sex marriages are to be held in abeyance rather than rejected pending the outcome of the DOMA activity. What that means is that even if the I-485 isn’t adjudicated right away it’s possible to get employment authorization and proof of the right to be in the United States while the issues are worked out.
In the removal context: Manhattan Immigration Judge, Terry A. Bain, and the DHS trial attorney agreed to halt the removal of Monica Alcota, who was married to Cristina Ojeda, a US citizen, Connecticut in 2010, based on the argument that their same-sex marriage should be recognized for the purposes of immigration benefits.
Recently the Obama administration decided that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. The Defense of Marriage Act states that federal policy is that marriage is between one man and one woman. Therefore, despite a general USCIS policy that states that marriages which are valid in the jurisdiction in which they took place, same-sex marriages are not recognized even if they’re legal where they took place.
All of that could change if the US Supreme Court rules that the DOMA is unconstitutional, which is likely as the government will no longer be defending the law. Should that happen, or should it be repealed, same-sex marriages should be recognized by the USCIS for the purposes of family based petitions.
records to out “illegal immigrants” which included posting due dates of pregnant women.
“Two employees with the Department of Workforce Services have been put on leave after an investigation revealed that they apparently accessed records on hundreds of Utah residents to compile a list of 1,300 names of people purportedly in the country illegally.
A handful of other DWS workers also may have been part of the effort and are the subject of an ongoing probe.”
Deplorable xenophobia that could only be worse if violence occurred. Which isn’t too hard to imagine these days.
Undocumented immigration is a problem. It’s not a problem that people are migrating here. That’s normal. It’s a problem because it’s a sign that the system is not responding quickly enough to migrants and economic forces.
Right-wingers think it’s a problem because the undocumented are terrorists, job stealers, drug pushers, welfare cheats, or some other kind of “evil doer”.
And they scream about it. Loudly. They complain about the dilution of our “culture”. They buy guns and roam around the border threatening to shoot people. They profile and lock away.
They demand that the government do something.
So the government proposes an ID card for Americans which will show work authorization.
What do the right-wingers do?
Be careful what you wish for.