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Immigration policy...

by Ron Holdraker
January 6, 2023

For decades we have been bantering about laws on immigration policy. But do you even know what the current policy is?

Immigration Policy...In a nutshell:

The body of law governing U.S. immigration policy is called the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA allows the United States to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigrant visas each year across various visa categories. On top of those 675,000 visas, the INA sets no limit on the annual admission of U.S. citizens’ spouses, parents, and children under the age of 21. In addition, each year the president is required to consult with Congress and set an annual number of refugees to be admitted to the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.

Once a person obtains an immigrant visa and comes to the United States, they become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). In some circumstances, noncitizens already inside the United States can obtain LPR status through a process known as “adjustment of status.”

LPRs are eligible to apply for nearly all jobs (i.e., jobs not legitimately restricted to U.S. citizens) and can remain in the country permanently, even if they are unemployed. After residing in the United States for five years (or three years in some circumstances), LPRs are eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. It is impossible to apply for citizenship through the normal process without first becoming an LPR.

Each year the United States also admits a variety of noncitizens on a temporary basis. Such “non-immigrant” visas are granted to everyone from tourists to foreign students to temporary workers permitted to remain in the country for years. While certain employment-based visas are subject to annual caps, other non-immigrant visas (including tourist and student visas) have no numerical limits.

Family unification is an important principle governing U.S. immigration policy. The family-based immigration system allows U.S. citizens and LPRs to bring certain family members to the United States. Family-based immigrants are admitted either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.

An unlimited number of visas are available every year for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Prospective immigrants in this category must meet standard eligibility criteria, and petitioners must meet certain age and financial requirements...then there are the temporary visas...

1990 was also the last time the U.S. Congress took action to truly revise our entire immigration system. The Immigration Act of 1990 came at a time when one party controlled the presidency while the other controlled Congress. And like now, it was a long time coming, aiming to finally upgrade our immigration system by revising the Immigration Act of 1965. The 1990 Act created new visas for highly skilled temporary workers to support our rapidly changing economy and country, providing opportunities to diversify where people were immigrating from and helping to increase the number of people able to immigrate.

All this mumbo jumbo sounds perfect in a perfect world but, alas...we don’t live in a perfect world. Immigration to the U.S. was and still is the golden ticket for refugees throughout the world. As immigration and the reasons for it changed, the U.S. failed to keep pace with reality.

Political unrest in South America, with various leadership and government changes led to massive deaths and violence. People, families, to survive, had to migrate away from ongoing brutality.

This, of course, was pushed along with climate charge and total loss of generations of normality. Violence beget more uncertainty and more violence and more immigration.

This also occurred in Central America and a host of Caribbean islands, including Cuba, Haiti, etc. 

To make up some of the crop losses and poor economies, drug production became a sure fire cash crop to an eager U.S. taste.

In an effort to thwart northern migration to the U.S., our government poured billions of “foreign aid” into often shaky regimes and causes. Yeah, that failed miserably.

The answer? Simply build a wall at the U.S. border. Surely that will keep the stream of desperate migrants out. It has never worked in all of history and why some politicians bought inTo it still amazes me.

Then came the rush from other third world countries, the Middle East, Europe and to a smaller degree Africa. Pretty much economics caused by political strife and severe climate change has made current U.S. immigration law a joke.

Unfortunately, U.S. political parties are either afraid to address the current situations, or willing to use it in one-up manship for party gains. We, the public, eat immigration up as part of our political strategy for who to vote for.

Here are some thoughts on immigration. The public has come to hate migrants, especially non-white, non English speaking varieties. 

We should be placing that uneasiness, hate on the forces that have created the current immigration polices, but it is easier to hate the individual, families, we see on the news.

Is the U.S. running out of land, jobs for those wishing to migrate here? Absolutely not, but we have run out of patience.

We are up in arms over daily, monthly, yearly immigration figures, media coverage, especially from the south.

 Here are some immigration figures to gnaw through:

In the fiscal year of 2020, 604 refugees from Afghanistan had been admitted into the United States. As of July 31, another 494 Afghan refugees were admitted into the country in the 2021 fiscal year. The fiscal year of 2016 saw the largest number of Afghan refugees admitted, at 2,737.

The decades long Afghanistan war showed the U.S. felt bad about abandoning these refugees, but not too bad.

The United States is welcoming up to 100,000 Ukrainians and others fleeing Russia’s aggression, a senior administration official announced Thursday. This is just the tip of the Ukrainian migration.

“To meet this commitment, we are considering the full range of legal pathways to the United States,” the official said, which includes US refugee admissions program, parole and immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

Again we are willing to take in more  Eastern European migrants, even at the souther border, but howl bloody murder when they seem to be Hispanic, Black, poor, whatever.

Yes, we have to address the current migrant, immigration laws and problems, but are we willing to see, understand the reasons they are reaching for the golden ticket?

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