Letter to the Editor-Smith

What is broken about it? Let’s have a conversation.

I am an Immigrant and remember it took my family quite some time to be admitted into the USA back around 1960. Two years if I recall correctly.

It took a Sponsor (so we wouldn’t become part of the Welfare State)

There were medical checks (so we wouldn’t infect the country with an age old disease or new one)

Background Checks

Speak and Read the English Language

Eligibility and many more back in 1960. I was born in Canada and it still took all that and more to get here.

So really, what is broken?

 

Here is a link to the current Immigration policy that I can find (Google makes it tuff to find) Dah

 

https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/apply-citizenship

 

I hate that term “Broken Immigration Policy” just like if I hear anybody say “Comprehensive”.

 

Al Smith

Comments

  1. Lizzy Jones says:

    Here is some additional information that sheds light on the issue for immigrants becoming legal – copies from an article by an immigration lawyer in Colorado, Eric Pavri. It’s not as simple as you think. “To become a U.S. citizen (other than by birth), one must first become a Lawful Permanent Resident (“green card” holder). Only after five years as a Permanent Resident can you apply to become a citizen. Thus, the obvious next question: how does a person become a Permanent Resident? There are three primary options to do so:

    1) Family-based petitions. This means that a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident parent, spouse, adult child, or sibling files a “petition” for you. Depending on the category that you fall into, the wait will be anywhere from 1 – 22 years (yep) before you can use that petition to take the next step – applying to become a Permanent Resident (background checks, medical exam, more fees, etc.). That works for people living outside the U.S., but for those who have been here, it may not be possible if they entered the U.S. illegally, even if they were minor children when they did so.

    2) Employment-based petitions. A U.S. employer can similarly sponsor you, but generally only if you are in a profession requiring an advanced degree or unique skills (doctors, software engineers, world-class athletes to coach professional sports teams, etc.). Even then, the potential employer must generally also prove that they made good-faith efforts to hire a U.S. citizen for the position, but no qualified applicants applied.

    3) Diversity visa lottery. Every year, the U.S. government selects 50,000 people worldwide who enter a lottery and pass background checks to come to the U.S. as Permanent Residents. This lottery, however, is only available to people from countries that traditionally send few people to the US – so, for example, people from countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, China, Guatemala, India, El Salvador, and other countries that send larger numbers of immigrants to the U.S. do not have this option.

    Extra note: The current Administration has actively sought to eliminate or dramatically limit Options #1 and #3. The new term being used in the attempted re-branding of Option #1, family-based immigration, which has been the basic principle of U.S. immigration law for over a century, is “chain migration”. If those two options are in fact eliminated or curtailed, legal immigration to the U.S. will be significantly reduced.

    The KEY POINT to all of the above: If you do not qualify for one of these 3 options, then there is no “line” to get into to legally become a Permanent Resident and eventually a U.S. citizen.”

    • Al Smith says:

      Thank you Lizzy for that information and your perspective, I think Immigration law was written that way for a reason. It’s a Privilege to be accepted to these here Great United States and not everyone is welcome under the law. We did have family here and I’m sure that played a roll in getting accepted. I think we got the term “chain migration” instead of “family-based immigration” from the Amnesty’s dolled out by the U.S.government starting with Reagan and things went downhill from there.
      Thanks again.
      Al

  2. Terry Donnelly says:

    Mr. Smith, I agree that the immigration system isn’t “broken.” We have sound laws that deal with any number of facets of immigration. How to apply for one of the million to legally enter each year is clear. In my most recent column, I laid out more information like what you provided that deals with refugees. They are a completely different classification, but well codified in the INA, the United Nations Refugee Treaty of which we are a confirmed (67 Senate votes) member, and even the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution dealing with due process. Circumstances change and the laws need to reflect those changes. Years ago temporary work visas were made difficult to get because we needed to put people here to work. That isn’t the case now and farmers’ crops are rotting in the fields due to lack of labor. Now is the time to take advantage of our fluid law-making processes and change that so a well vetted pool of migrant workers can be hired to fill those jobs then be tracked to be sure they don’t abuse the system. The broken part of our immigration system isn’t the laws, but following them. Most of the illegals in this country came here in some sort of legal way through a visa or permit, not by simply walking across the border, and have stayed because the U.S. does not have an adequate way to monitor who is here and who isn’t. The government has contributed to the numbers of illegals in the country through neglect, not inadequate laws. Making harsh policy with little or no preplanning or consideration of consequences doesn’t help the situation either. Zero tolerance policies have caused a lot of problems in the past, just as they are now. Even though we are spatting with each other, I hope you are pleased with your adopted country. Making you and all others feel welcome is something we value.

    • Al Smith says:

      Wow Terry that was a mouthful, hope you don’t mind if I break it up so I can get to answer ever issue you brought up.

      Mr. Smith, I agree that the immigration system isn’t “broken.” We have sound laws that deal with any number of facets of immigration. How to apply for one of the million to legally enter each year is clear.

      I agree Terry.

      In my most recent column, I laid out more information like what you provided that deals with refugees. They are a completely different classification, but well codified in the INA, the United Nations Refugee Treaty of which we are a confirmed (67 Senate votes) member, and even the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution dealing with due process.

      I want to stick to the so called “Broken immigration Policy” topic in this thread.
      We can get to Refugee’s later Terry.

      Circumstances change and the laws need to reflect those changes.

      I agree Terry.

      Years ago temporary work visas were made difficult to get because we needed to put people here to work. That isn’t the case now and farmers’ crops are rotting in the fields due to lack of labor. Now is the time to take advantage of our fluid law-making processes and change that so a well vetted pool of migrant workers can be hired to fill those jobs then be tracked to be sure they don’t abuse the system.

      I don’t think we have a “fluid law-making processes” or a “well vetted pool of migrant workers” at this point and if we couldn’t track them then, how are we going to track them now Terry?

      The broken part of our immigration system isn’t the laws, but following them.

      I agree Terry and when we do all hell breaks lose.

      Most of the illegals in this country came here in some sort of legal way through a visa or permit, not by simply walking across the border, and have stayed because the U.S. does not have an adequate way to monitor who is here and who isn’t. The government has contributed to the numbers of illegals in the country through neglect, not inadequate laws.

      I don’t know how you can make this statement Terry after saying “the U.S. does not have an adequate way to monitor who is here and who isn’t. I agree it’s government

      Making harsh policy with little or no preplanning or consideration of consequences doesn’t help the situation either. Zero tolerance policies have caused a lot of problems in the past, just as they are now.
      I agree, like zero tolerance policies on cannabis but the law is the law. There are no shades of grey in the Law Terry.

      Even though we are spatting with each other, I hope you are pleased with your adopted country. Making you and all others feel welcome is something we value.

      We are not spatting Terry we are carrying on an intelligent conversation about important issues and I value everyone’s comments.
      I wan’t welcome when I first went to the U.S. schools as a young boy but soon got the title of “The Canada Kid”
      Seems like we agree on a lot of this issue.

      Thanks Terry.
      Al

      • Terry Donnelly says:

        AL, We don’t have that “well vetted pool” of workers or a sound way of tracking them. I’m offering suggestions here–trying to add solutions to the conversation. I’d love to have you read my column. If you did, you’d know that my saying that we are “spatting” is just me trying, and often failing, to be clever and glib.

        • Al Smith says:

          Thank you for pointing that out Terry.
          You are right, I did misread that statement.
          But I stand by my answer
          “I don’t think we have a “fluid law-making processes” or a “well vetted pool of migrant workers” at this point and if we couldn’t track them then, how are we going to track them now”,

          and don’t see that changing any time soon.

          More government and more laws are not the answer in my opinion.

          *We could open up a whole new can of worms with that statement.*

          Thanks for the correction
          Al

  3. Janice Laliberte says:

    Dear Mr.Smith,

    I am appalled that you compare your journey to US citizenship to those currently seeking asylum. 58 years ago you chose to leave Canada. You did not have to claim dislike of cold, fear of moose or an allergy to maple syrup. You left. Found a sponsor. Done deal. No one was separating you from your children, questioning your religion,or looking at your skin colour. Pretty sure you are a white male.
    When you have lived through the terror these refugees have, then I will take your words into consideration. Until then you remain part of the problem.

    Janice Laliberte

    • Amy Marshall says:

      Thank you, Janice–well said!

    • Al Smith says:

      Thank You Janice for your comment. But 58 years ago I wasn’t making those kind of choices, My parents were and later found out it was due to the cold. (Fact) Remember waking up to 11 foot snow drifts in the winter and had to walk to school uphill both ways. We ate are Moose with maple syrup only after we had are beer and glazed donuts. Think that’s a law in Canada now but I’m not sure. We didn’t find a sponsor we had family in what is now referred to as the socialist republic of California. (turn off sarc) We were separated….. by my parents (large family) most went with my older sister by train but me and one other brother had to ride by car with my parents cause we were born trouble makers. Saw a lot of the country and loved it.
      This letter wasn’t about asylum… it was about what is Broken with our Immigration Policy..
      That you here every time you read a talking head articular about immigration.
      Thanks again Janice and have a wonderful rest of your life.

      Al

      P.S good guess on the white male thingy…….. I’m from Canada back in the 60’s Dah

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