The deeper we get into 2009 the more I think that the President’s team as past administrations wants to be overly ambitious in changing our immigration system.
Here are some simple repairs to our existing system that can probably be passed today with little opposition:
1. Pass the Dream Act. Let’s get the unlawful kids who are into their young adulthood on a pathway toward acquiring citizenship.
2. Get rid of the three year and 10 year bars for unlawful presence. If you’ve got an immediate visa number available let’s reduce the out of country penalty to zero or to a period of 18 months or so. The 10 year bar is absolutely idiotic. It gives no incentive for someone unlawfully present in the United States to leave for the purposes of getting legal.
3. Let’s get rid of the other idiotic bar which is the so-called permanent bar. That one arises after more than one unlawful entry into the United States. Again, the incentive by this law is to stay in the United States illegally. If we want legal immigration, then let’s have laws which advance that goal.
Let’s try the above. Let’s see how it goes. If all goes well, then let’s try for 245i becoming active again which allows foreign nationals to adjust status without leaving the United States. Here, rather than paying a time penalty out of country, we charge a money penalty for the privilege of adjusting status.
I’d also like to see the Secretary of Homeland Security make USCIS and ICE into kinder, gentler agencies which respect human dignity. Let’s see those agencies actually put into effect supposedly enunciated policies by the President. If the President states that family unification is a public policy, then let’s see the agencies and their personnel reflect that stated policy through action.