Under President Obama’s leaked immigration reform plan, undocumented immigrants would have to wait nearly 13 years for citizenship. The proposed process for becoming a citizen has various steps, including first applying for “lawful prospective immigrant status,” the completion of paperwork processing and then eligiblity for citizenship. This may not be the most ideal proposal with a long waiting line and some getting priority over others.
Undocumented immigrants will automatically be placed at the back of the line for citizenship because the government wants to reward those who have already applied for citizenship and been waiting for their paperwork to be processed. The down side of this is that “the back of the line never moves” for some immigrants. An example of this is a Pakistani family who have been trying to sponsor a 12-year-old relative for many years. Under the current system, by the time she is granted the right to come to the U.S. she will probably be in her fifties. A new question arises over who should be placed in the back of the line, and how long will they have to stay there?
Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are returning back to the drawing boards for the immigration reform. McCain faced a huge backlash from his constituents and Congress while trying to compromise to avoid a plan that a significant number legislators do not want to be implemented. A constituent was recently filmed yelling, “‘you said ‘build the dang fence’ – where’s the fence?” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida released a statement referring to the President’s immigration plan calling out “major differences” from border security goals to tying a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Legislators are having difficulty agreeing what should be included in the immigration proposal so who will be given priority to gain citizenship will most likely not be another uniting factor for the bipartisan Congress.
Time will tell.
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