Broken Immigration System Keeps the Productive Out

By Santiago J. Valenzuela

Republicans wish to focus on "illegal immigrants" as a talking point for a very good reason; if the conversation ever switches to actual US immigration policy, they would quickly lose their argument.

Utah seems to be a center for good thoughts on immigration, and this story about how long it takes to immigrate here legally is a good example:

So we started doing some checking," said Jones, a naturalized U.S. citizen. "We found out that Filipinos who were then getting those visas had first applied in 1987" or 22 years earlier. Because of tight quotas on visas, Jones discovered that legal immigration for Guerra might require another 16 years or so of waiting.

This story repeats itself many times, in various nationalities. If you are Mexican and are a low-skilled laborer, you have virtually no chance to immigrate legally. Even if you are a skilled laborer, the wait is tremendous:

Legal versus illegal immigration » An out-of-work Mexican could come illegally and arrive immediately - or do it legally, and wait. And wait. And wait. Some Mexicans arriving legally now first applied 18 years ago, according to the State Department.

The idea that someone should simply wait in line - for almost 20 years - is ridiculous. To fix illegal immigration, what is required is not "strict enforcement" of bad laws, but the instatement of a guest worker program allowing for eventual paths to legal residency and then citizenship for those who wish to stay.

Comments (2)

Yes, it is completely ridiculous that people have to wait for 20 years. Here is what makes it even worse:

One way to break down the process is:
- time to become a legal "Permanent Resident" (aka Greencard holder);and,
- time to go from Greencard to citizenship

Typically, the second step is a fixed 5 year period that has no quota restrictions.

So, the real bottle neck is simply to get the right to stay and work "permanently".

I chased over from the O-list and agree with your viewpoint. here is what I said on a facebook page discussing the same thing.

Garret Seinen
‎"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Frank, America became great because there was an open arms policy in place for anyone striving for a better life. It was not then a welfare state looking at each and every soul as another mouth to suck the wealth out of the productive. To lock down the borders will not solve the problem.

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