summary of the uphill battle for immigration reform

This article in the Washington Post today contains a decent summary of both the White House backed (ie. buy yourself a green card) plan, and the House STRIVE proposal currently in play.

Just an FYI, neither of these plans would change the situation that Fermin and I (and thousands of other U.S. Citizen spouses) are going through with their formerly undocumented spouse. In fact, the White House plan gets rid of a lot of family-based immigration. I’m not sure how I feel about this issue. Certainly, I would say spouses and children need to be an exception, but I’m not sure it should be a priority to let people who immigrate here then petition for their brothers and sisters and step-children. These petitions currently take many years to process, and add to a lot of the immigration backlog.

But I also think it’s ludicrous that we would expect people who we are essentially allowing into the country to do a lot of low-pay, laborious work: seasonal agriculture, restaurant jobs, janitorial, etc, to pay $3500 per year to have a work permit and then $10,000 for their green card. In my opinion, this situation will create a situation where immigrants are putting the money they once sent home to help their families in Mexico into the pockets of the government. Personally, I’d rather see it go to Mexico, but I’m biased.

Here’s an interesting analysis from The Mex Files, on recent immigration news.

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3 Responses to summary of the uphill battle for immigration reform

  1. Came across your blog and was wondering if you’d be interested in a link exchange with Immigration Orange. I hope all is well and good luck.

  2. Arnold says:

    Just came across your blog by chance via Immigration Orange.

    Quite a lot of the hassles that you get in the US re foreign born spouses just doesn’t happen here in Europe. I heard recently of one American/French couple who ended up effectively being forced to live in France where the spouse pretty much automatically gets a visa & residence permit (which includes the right to work) because they just couldn’t manage it in the US.

    Oddly enough, although the American immigration people made it next to impossible for them to live together in the US, the American tax people will continue to follow her, most likely for the rest of her life! That’s also the reverse of the situation here – leave and, after at most a year, you’re out of the tax system.

    As an aside, would you be interested in an exchange of links?

  3. laurafern says:

    Wow am I popular this morning… Thank you both for the link offers. Absolutely yes and yes. Immigration orange is a great site. I used to read it, and I’m not sure why I stopped… maybe it was sort of dormant for a while?? Anyway, I added it back to my links along with foreign perspectives.

    Arnold — the story about the French/American couple does not surprise me. It is very possible that the end of this process will leave my husband and I with no option but to move to Mexico or some other third party nation. Unfortunately, that will also leave us with significant financial stress and debt (student loans in particular) that will be nearly impossible to pay off on a Mexican salary.

    I understand in one sense that the government wants to “punish” people who have spent time in the country illegally, but it is certainly ironic that we probably could have lived with little hassle or risk of consequences had we just left Fermin with no status for many years. If no immigration reform passes this year, it will leave the vast majority of the millions of undocumented workers in our country, while my husband, who has no criminal record whatsoever, could be banned because we tried to “do it the legal way.”

    I’m not saying the other workers should be forced to leave either, but I can’t count the number of people who have expressed sheer shock at the idea that he would receive a 10-year-ban for the illegal presence considering he is married to an equally law-abiding U.S. Citizen.

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