Risk vs. Reward: Immigration Debate Pt. II
Since I’m an overeducated schlep working below my station (“Grande latte coming up!”), I’m regularly tardy (“lazy”) keeping up with my postings. A few days ago I wrote about the need for real immigration reform for the large number of undocumented aliens working “in the shadows” of our esteemed economy. Unfortunately, after much research, my worst fears were realized with regards to the piece of Elephant (no pun intended) dung proposed by the administration and congress to deal with the issue.
If I understand the proposed bill correctly, we’re asking illegal immigrants to come forward, pay anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 in fines, plus an additional $2,000 in processing fees, and return to their country of origin to solicit a visa that will most likely be refused because the applicant was found to have lived illegally in the US (this, according to the ‘intending immigrant” clause of the Immigration and Nationality Act. As in, if you’re found to be unworthy by a visa-adjudicating officer overseas then you can’t receive a pass to the
I know this bill sounds extremely enticing to most (note sarcasm here), but should we realistically expect anyone to go through this process? After all, they’re already here. Besides, where and to whom do these fees go to anyway?
Of course, creating a new work visa classification (in this case a “Z visa”) does nothing but add another layer into an already complicated immigration system. Why not build on already existing visa categories and better separate those seeking to immigrate (the “amnesty” option), from those seeking to work here for short periods of time in the "service” or “seasonal laborer” area of the economy (assuming the latter category would most likely affect/be more effective for first-time applicants from outside the US)? I'm unclear how, in the current form of the bill, one issue has been separated from the other.
Examples already exist that demonstrate the effectiveness of visa classifications for temporary workers not choosing to immigrate, especially with regards to those from poorer countries who receive numerous D-1 and D-2 visas granted each year to work on cruise ships. I’m sure if we checked out the facts, the numbers would most likely indicate these seasonal laborers (with visas granted from 6 months to a year at a time) have in very few cases immigrated illegally to the
So, what to do? Ensure the bill in its current form doesn’t see the light of day. Write to your schlep in Congress about it and suggest they and W put together something that actually addresses and not create more problems.