Yahoo News asked for readers' reactions to the immigration plan unveiled by a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday. Here's one reader's perspective.
COMMENTARY| LOS ANGELES -- Eight senators have taken up President Barack Obama's call for bipartisan immigration reform and submitted their blueprint. Billed as being "tough but fair," this new plan would offer an amnesty to more than three times the number of illegal immigrants who benefitted from the 1986 amnesty signed into law by former President Ronald Regan.
Having gone through the immigration process myself, I can appreciate the fears and uncertainties associated with living in a country that takes a long time to adjudicate an applicant's fitness to stay. Another worrisome issue is the steep cost associated with becoming a citizen. The latest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service G-1055 fee schedule shows that filing fees for common applications start at $300. Other forms carry $500 and even higher price tags. Filing appeals is another expense some would-be immigrants must bear.
Although the senators are vague on the actual dollar figures in their blueprint, I question the reality of having illegal immigrants pay high filing fees on top of mandatory fines for breaking federal law in the first place. It is also questionable how the senators will assess the back taxes owed by this group, which are going to be another hurdle for those who would become legalized.
Then there is the condition of border security. As noted by the senators, "a commission comprised of governors, attorneys general, and community leaders living along the Southwest border" will be in charge of certifying satisfactory federal border security measures before the undocumented can start the green card process. I foresee infighting and partisan bickering among the various officials and commission members, which will create a sub-class in the American immigration system: limbo immigrants. Not in the process of achieving a green card but also no longer technically as illegal as the undocumented immigrants who manage to still penetrate the borders, their future legal status remains questionable.
- Politics & Government
- Immigration Issues
- President Barack Obama
- illegal immigrants