HILG Immigration Articles

Immigration and the Leaked Memo: An Unlikely Solution

Heller Immigration Law

It has now been revealed that the USCIS, formerly known as the Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS), has indeed been thinking about changes to our immigration laws that can be made absent Congressional action.

The internal ‘discussion’ was never meant to become public, certainly not prematurely, and has evoked outrage from Immigration restrictionists and those opposed to any reform until the borders are closed and “sealed”. Many would like to see the 12+ million here illegally deported before any ‘reform’ takes place.

Of course, that day will never realistically come; any more than Israel, to use a good example, can truly stop suicide bombers from entering their country.

Yes, we can do a better job, but sealing the border means turning off the magnet, the lure that brings economic migrants, or drugs to users, to this side of the border.

Here are my thoughts about a comprehensive solution:

  • Having a National Work or Identity Card. Essentially a ‘smart card’ issued to U.S. citizen and legal and undocumented immigrants (as well as future visitors).
  • A guest worker program
  • An immigration system that grants ‘green card’ status quickly to those we want to attract on the employment and investment/entrepreneurial side; on the family side, the issue is a system that brings families together promptly without year after year of waiting time.
  • Employer sanctions – severe penalties and even jail time for hiring illegal aliens once a system is established; of course, with a guest worker program and more efficient immigration, employers won’t be desperate to look for undocumented workers.
  • Document those that are illegally living here but who are otherwise obeying the law. These individuals must arrange to pay all back taxes owed (penalties waived), learn English, be gainfully employed, no welfare or public assistance to any family members for 10 years, and must find a way to immigrate within 10 years; if one has a relative who has or will be eligible to file a petition, the 10 year requirement will be lifted (until permanent residency is granted). But everyone will be at the end of the line, if they can get in line, regardless. This is not ‘amnesty’.
  • The period of time or window to ‘register’ for the above will be determined by Congress, with a proof of residence requirement as of the day of Enactment.
  • Criminal aliens will undoubtedly not ‘register’ and will be isolated, detected by authorities in due course and removed (with or without family members).
  • For those individuals who try to register under the law who are not eligible, i.e., they came to the country post enactment, they will be fingerprinted and have a permanent bar to future immigration, or any of the newly enacted programs, including the guest worker program.

MENTIONED IN THE ‘LEAKED’ MEMO: A PIECEMEAL SOLUTION AT BEST

  • Work Permits for some non-immigrant dependents
  • Expand ‘dual intent’, useful for TN visa holders
  • Create a grace period for non-immigrants when one loses or leaves a jobs
  • Eliminate unlawful presence bar (3/10 years) for adjustment of status applicants – allowing one to travel freely while case is pending
  • Expand premium processing to all cases
  • Change the eb5 program to become more expansive
  • Automatic extension of work authorization when an extension is filed
  • Use of ‘deferred action’ to give relief to those here illegally

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