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Let’s Talk About Amnesty

Let’s Talk About Amnesty

Definitions matter

Having spent years working in immigration law, the current immigration cluster is enough to make me want to neck punch the entire internet (except for commenters who like my posts, of course).

Of the many immigration rhetoric atrocities that make my blood boil, one of the worst is the lax use of terms like “amnesty” and “pathway to citizenship.” “Pathway to legalization” is also on that list. These poor, defenseless terms are tossed about without regard for their respective definitions. They’re used interchangeably, mischaracterized, and generally abused by armchair immigrationers and political reporters alike.

Words matter. Definitions matter. Not being an ignoramus? Also important.

So let’s talk about these terms, shall we?

The “A” Word

If you get nothing else from this post, let it be this — LEAVE THE WORD “AMNESTY” ALONE. Don’t touch it,  don’t point at it, don’t even look at it.

By no fault of its own, “amnesty” has been so perverted that it no longer holds any meaning of any kind other than, “quick, everyone FREAK OUT!”

Last month, the Washington Examiner explored the “A” word pox on the national immigration shouting match:

What qualifies as “amnesty?” A grant of citizenship? Permanent permission to work in the U.S.? Temporary permission? A special procedure for dealing with illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. that does anything besides deport them? A continued chance for permanent residency through existing processes, which amounts to forgiveness of the earlier illegal act of entering the U.S.? An expansion of legal immigration so as to obviate the enormous demand for illegal immigration? A policy of prioritizing certain deportations (of felons, for example) over others?

Literally every Republican candidate, including Donald Trump, supports at least one of the above. (And just three years ago, Trump suggested Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election because he was too hardline on immigration.)

What Rubio’s comments highlight is that every realistic immigration policy could in some way be described as an “amnesty.” All of the candidates are imperfect for that sliver of the GOP base that has not accepted that universal deportation is never going to happen.

There are but two instances of “amnesty” in recent history: President Reagan’s 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act and President Obama’s Executive Order Amnesty, which was halted by federal courts some months ago (you can thank Texas for that one).

“Amnesty” once meant taking someone with no legal status in the United States and granting them legal status. In fact, that’s its technical definition. But for reasons mentioned above, “pathway to citizenship” and “pathway to legalization” are almost always more accurate.

“Pathway to citizenship”

Strike this one from the word bank along with the “A” word. The only pathway to citizenship is naturalization.

One of the only exceptions is Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest or MAVNI for short. MAVNI allows individuals currently in legal status to fast track their citizenship. Why? Because they’ve joined the military and will be fighting for our country. You want to die for our country, we’re happy to let you be a citizen before you do.

Generally speaking though, no one is talking about a “pathway to citizenship” unless they’re ill-informed, misunderstood what they heard, or are trying to scare the bajeebus out of the easily trusting.

“Pathway to legalization”

This one is a winner.

In the broad context of the immigration wars, the distinction between legalization and citizenship is crucial.

A “pathway to legalization” typically means granting Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or a green card (also known as Lawful Permanent Resident or LPR status).

A few important facts here:

  • Green cards are not actually green (they used to be, hence the name). They have a greenish hue these days, but color aside, green cards are little driver’s license looking photo ID cards.
  • Despite the “permanent” part of the status they represent (note that status and an issued document are not one in the same), green cards are not indicative of indefinite legal status in the United States. They expire, some have conditions, and LPR status can be lost, forfeited, or revoked.
  • Obviously, green card holders are not able to legally vote in elections.
  • Also obvious, green card holders are NOT citizens, though by meeting certain conditions and completing the naturalization process (a minimum of five years in the making, three if they marry a U.S. citizen), they may become citizens.

Why is this distinction so important? Despite the Internet’s misgivings,  a “pathway to legalization” does not mean sweeping reform that magically creates millions of new American citizens. It means granting legal, trackable, taxable status.

And there you have it. You are now free from the burden of abusive immigration rhetoric.

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Comments

Nothing like a lecture from a know it all to start the day.

    Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | December 18, 2015 at 10:14 am

    The information…it BURNS…!!!

    I appreciate the guts Kemberlee is showing, knowing that many here religiously cling to their ignorance and misconceptions.

    The suckup is strong with the that one. Guess he’s jump ship over to Rubio.

      Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | December 18, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Ah, I see you are reverting to your true self again, honey.

      Calling people names, or insinuating lies about them, because they disagree. It’s just who you are.

      Me? I like information. I know it scares you shitless (which is a very BIG job). It’s one of those things that conservative are known for…liking information and rational thinking.

      And I’m still the rock-ribbed Cruz supporter I’ve been long since.

      What an ugly thing to say.
      Does this mean we’re not friends anymore?

      I don’t think I could bear it if we weren’t friends anymore. 🙁

      AAAAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

      There he goes again, right on que!

    2gandydancer in reply to VotingFemale. | December 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    ““Amnesty” once meant taking someone with no legal status in the United States and granting them legal status. In fact, that’s its technical definition. But for reasons mentioned above, “pathway to citizenship” and “pathway to legalization” are almost always more accurate.”

    No, they are almost always, as here, attempts to obfuscate. By the “technical definition” (not merely “once”, but RIGHT NOW) both “pathway to citizenship” and “pathway to legalization” are AMNESTY, but the people who use those terms are trying to prevent the “sliver of the GOP base that has not accepted that universal deportation is never going to happen” from recognizing what they intend. Of course, if it were really a “sliver” they wouldn’t bother with this nonsense.

This was the issue that the lying Bret Baier on fnc tried to smear Ted Cruz with. The played numerous videos showing Cruz saying that his amendment offered “Legalization” to illegals in the Gang of Eight bill. The Dems had said that they wanted to “Help” the illegals to come out of the shadows and not be afraid but when the Republicans balked at amnesty the Dems threatened to walk out. So Cruz designed this amendment to call their bluff by allowing the illegals to come out of the shadows but not have a path to citizenship. This meant that they would not be come Demorat voters so the Demorats under Chuck Schumer walked out. Cruz exposed the Demorat liars but now the msm including fnc are trying to make it look like he has the same policy as the amnesty seeking Rubio. I am crushed to see Bret Baier become nothing but a pawn of the cabal who hate Cruz and Trump and only promote Rubio since Jeb is dead. Go to hell fnc and take all of the “Conservatives” employees with you!

Good information, but doesn’t really deal with the issue.

By “amnesty”, most people mean “any policy that gives any legal status to anyone who is illegally present in the U.S.”

The reason “amnesty” is a problem – one reason – is that it simply isn’t fair. When there are thousands of people who are working to play by the rules – spending the time and paying many thousands of dollars in the process – letting people “jump the line” is just wrong.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to mumzieistired. | December 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

    One small example: in my state, a Mexican living here illegally gets in-state rates for college tuition while an American from Nevada pays out-of-state rates.

    How is that fair?

      It’s outrageous. A state or nation that allows this has departed the rails of justice.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to JimMtnViewCaUSA. | December 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      The Mexican was not living in Nevada. And he was, in fac, living in the state.

      If in-state tuition is a benefit conveyed to eligible voters in the last election, it might make sense to exclude the non-citizen, but it would not make sense to include the former (?) resident of Nevada. The person from Nevada also has some option, presumbably, to get in-satte tuitoon in Nevada.

      From a business perspective, the Nevadan will get federal grants and loans, and can affrord more, and must want that college in particular, while the Mexican does not have that aid, and is not choosing a more expensive alternative, so the price to him must be discounted, or there’s no sale.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to mumzieistired. | December 18, 2015 at 11:45 am

    By “amnesty”, most people mean “any policy that gives any legal status to anyone who is illegally present in the U.S.”

    That’s close.

    I would say they mean any policy that gives anyone any extra possibility of being or remaining legally in the United States, that ultimately stems from the fact that the person in question was present in the United States outside the law.

    (While amnesty might also be defined removal of special disabilities that would not apply to anyone who was never present illegally in the United States, I think they don’t care about that.)

    The public, then, would be very amenable to increasing legal immigration in a way that did not give any special legal advantage to anyone to had previously been in the United States illegally, but what gets in the way of that is the desire to restrict immigration.

    Very hard to do without vastly increasing legal immigration.

    I said legal advantages – practical advantages, like knowing English (which they might not know had they stayed in, say, Honudras< or level of education (which mnight not have happened in another country) or marriage to an American citizen (which might not have happened had they never been in the United States) don't bother people, but legal advantages do.

    Believe it or not, I don't think too many people would be bothered by removing any bar to immigration resulting from a deportation, while that would be very popular with Hispanics and other immigrant communities.

    Yes some forget the people who are most upset by this mess are the ones that followed the rules, endured the red tape bureaucrats, and waited their turn to become citizens.

    They know the value of citizenship even if the democrats do not.

Another increasingly strained effort to rescue Rubio from his transparent betrayal and glib evasions. It’s getting embarrassing.

“Rubio’s brazenly fraudulent campaign to paint Cruz as soft on illegal immigration is a flabbergasting attempt to distract from the Florida junior senator’s faithful allegiance to the open-borders donor class.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2015/12/17/open-borders-money-backs-marco-rubio/

I learned the truth of the green card expiration from a neighbor. His sister married an Israeli who got a green card thirty years ago, as a youth. Four years ago they went to live in Israel, and he didn’t realize that laws had changed and his status could expire. It did. They are now jumping through hoops to allow him to rejoin his wife and US-born children, who have moved back. Very irritating, the sister says, to see Arabs lining up for tourist visas, quickly granted, while her husband waits for an interview.

Kemberlee, could the law be changed to make it impossible, or at least a lot more difficult, for green card holders to be naturalized IF they got the green card after having lived illegally in this country?

    Kemberlee Kaye in reply to tarheelkate. | December 18, 2015 at 11:21 am

    It certainly could. One of my biggest beefs (security risks assumed) with the current immigration system is that it disproportionately punishes law abiding, harmless, legal immigrants. Your neighbor is a prime example of this. One legal status has lapsed or expired, it’s difficult to regain (or lengthy, anyway), and comes with all kinds of other complications.

    Another example of this is the F-1 student visa. Individuals in the U.S. for the sole purpose of of attending higher ed can lose their immigration status if they drop a class without first receiving permission from an immigration official. When that happens, they have to petition to regain their legal status in the U.S. and are flagged by DHS. Meanwhile, countless others traipse across the border and suffer no penalties.

    All of that said though, it is incumbent upon the foreign national to educate themselves about their particular immigration status and to maintain it. But that’s not always an easy feat.

      Kemberlee Kaye in reply to Kemberlee Kaye. | December 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Gah, hit enter too soon. To answer your question about green cards after living without legal status in the U.S. — this is already an issue individuals must overcome before naturalization. Those who’ve violated legal status for various reasons may be denied naturalization and flagged for removal. There are stories aplenty of people who did something relatively harmless like fail to renew their green card within six months, they apply for naturalization, their indiscretion discovered, and they’re then tossed into removal proceedings.

      Is it possible to pass a law saying green card holders who violated their LPR status may NEVER naturalize? Sure. But I see a world of unintended ramifications there that I’m not sure would ultimately benefit us in terms of “Americanizing” individuals.

Hi Kemberlee,

Here’s the overarching problem with your analysis: It’s too narrow. Amnesty, Pathway to Citizenship, Pathway to Legalization is only part of the problem.

You’re looking at it only from the immigration side of debate. There are a lot of other facets which the immigration portion touches against indirectly. Those, being driver’s / business licenses, holding government office, other status documents and ultimately voting.

Consider: Let us contemplate that the Federal Government creates and grants some form of legal status to those who entered the United States illegally, or overstayed their allowed visit in violation of law. Those individuals then use that new “legal status” to apply for full driver’s licenses (not merely some state-specific “drive only” document, but a standard license without any separate designation).

Motor-voter kicks in, and as part of that process, voter applications are provided. Now, either by ignorance, or worse, by knowing fraud, those applicants complete said documents and become part of the Voting public (registered), regardless of the fact that they are not legally allowed to vote. They then receive voter ID cards, and again, through confusion, or fraud, then then actually go and Vote (thus diluting the votes of the actual citizenry).

The mechanisms to prevent this are weak at best, and often do not exist at all, and the attendant fraud is a feature, not a bug, to the Democrat party. Attempts to “clean out” the voting rolls are met with HOWLS of protest from Democrat operatives as “voter suppression.”

Finally, and most importantly, what (other than open rebellion by the citizenry) is to stop Congress from granting some form of low-to-no background check legal status, and then simply providing a “fast-track” citizenship line for those who are here, with a form of “legal status?”

“Oh, you CLAIM you’ve lived here more than 5 years, you appear to not have been convicted of any illegal acts (under the name you provided), complete this special form and here’s your citizenship document.” (poof: 11 Million additional citizens). Just because MAVNI is the only way to fast-track citizenship NOW, doesn’t mean that Congress can’t change it by amending the INA.

LANGUAGE is important.

The entire focus of the “immigration debate” language has been to move the needle (or the Overton Window, if you prefer) in a manner that we’re no longer debating WHAT should be done with the 11 Million illegal aliens living within our national boarders, but HOW they should be assimilated and accommodated into society.

I, for one, reject the concept that we CAN’T deport all individuals here illegally. Now, that does not mean that we SHOULD. But the closing of an option, simply because (whiny voice) “its too hard” or “its too cruel to the children” (end whiny voice) shifts the debate in a manner which says that we’re not even going to CONSIDER a legal, and very, very possible option.

    Just because MAVNI is the only way to fast-track citizenship NOW, doesn’t mean that Congress can’t change it by amending the INA.

    We can trust the uniparty! j/k

    Kemberlee Kaye in reply to Chuck Skinner. | December 18, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Hi Chuck, thank you for your response.

    Regarding the driver’s license issue — I can only speak for how it works in Texas, but state issued IDs and driver’s licenses issued to visa holders expire when the individual’s lawful status expires. Before those IDs are approved, DPS runs the foreign national’s information through DHS’s Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements or SAVE program. If information provided doesn’t match, the application is flagged for further review and more documentation may be required for an ID can be issued.

    There are other verification checks in place when individuals register to vote.

    I completely understand your concern, but increasingly, states are working to ensure that exactly what you describe does not happen.

      AZ_Langer in reply to Kemberlee Kaye. | December 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm

      Given what I’ve read about problems with Texas trials because non-citizens have to be excused from jury duty, those checks on voter registration seem not to be working so well.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Chuck Skinner. | December 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Motor-voter kicks in, and as part of that process, voter applications are provided.

    Some people in this debate act as if there is no such thing as legal permanent residence status. Motor voters kicks in now.

    If states stop treating permanent residency the same way as citizenship it would not happen. These IDs are only proof of permanent residency, not of citizenship.

immigration reform buzzword translation:

Reform = amnesty.
comprehensive = amnesty.
broken immigration = amnesty.
outdated system = amnesty.
out of the shadows = amnesty.
the right thing to do = amnesty.
want to make a better life = amnesty.
boom to the economy = amnesty.
Do jobs Americans won’t = amnesty.

Any questions?

Amnesty may well apply to the immigration issue. If the immigrant entered this country illegally, he or she may have committed a criminal offense which entails a penalty of imprisonment, as well as mere deportation. If such is the case, then not prosecuting, without out express exigent circumstances, constitutes granting amnesty for the commission of those criminal acts. So, amnesty is applicable here.

The other two phrases merely signify an alternate path to citizenship which allows people who did not follow the immigrations laws of this country that effectively penalizes all those who DID follow the law.

All of these concepts are totally foreign to the principles upon which this country was conceived and founded.

Yawn. If your explanation doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker it will be lost on 99% of the public. One is reminded of Romney’s prevarication on ObamaCare vs RomneyCare.

“Why is this distinction so important? Despite the Internet’s misgivings, a “pathway to legalization” does not mean sweeping reform that magically creates millions of new American citizens. It means granting legal, trackable, taxable status.

And there you have it. You are now free from the burden of abusive immigration rhetoric.”

Yes, not being an ignoramus is important, thanks. Trying to preclude the non-legal use of the word “amnesty”, also demonstrates a lack of understanding. The pejorative broader usage is for those that never want the illegal masses voting away our republic. More pandering is not a solution. To scold people for using the term more generically is rather Orwellian, Obama-like.

Most of us here at least, have read the various pathways. But if those pathways lead to eventual citizenship, they are considered AMNESTY for those that lived here illegally and can continue the process while staying illegally, and having American kids. It makes those that use the legal process schmucks.

Your definitions don’t “free” us of anything, unless you can stop the word from being used in the broader context, by everyone that wants more deportation and few pathways to voting for the circumventers. The broader usage is a trademark for the “No Amnesty” crowd, and pedantically denouncing them won’t save Rubio.

It is the politicians crying “this is NOT amnesty”, that abuse the common usage of the word. Conservative America knows we are being invaded, and the invasion is happening by invitation of Democrats (and now RINOs) that see a voting block that would, in time, secure permanent Democrat/communist presidencies. Harry Reid denounced open borders then flipped as he realized they would soon overwhelm adult white America at the voting booth.

Trump is demonized for not saying how he would deport so many, others are praised for saying we will close the border and figure the rest out later. On such a critical issue of whether we will allow illegals to turn America into a third world country, I really want to know the details. Anything that allows 30-50 million invaders to stay, and vote within the next 20 years, I’ll continue to label as AMNESTY. Rubio made clear his real position with the Gang of Eight betrayal of his promises, so what he says now is worthless.

My position is we will have to identify the working illegals and give them a temporary status, but that will disqualify them from any permanent status ever. A fine is not enough. And we will have to change the anchor baby rule, and begin deporting at least the criminals, then the jobless, and make work without any status much more difficult.

We could even pay some a little to “self deport” as parts of Europe have done, and quit subsidizing them, demand e-verify, etc. My health insurance just went up another 20%, and I’m tired of subsidizing the illegal nannies and gardeners.

    Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | December 18, 2015 at 11:33 am

    A lot of what you suggest is sensible, at least.

    Where I do take exception is here…

    “My position is we will have to identify the working illegals and give them a temporary status, but that will disqualify them from any permanent status ever.”

    That could only be accomplished in law, and laws are too easily reversed. Given the craven example of the omnibus bill passed today in the House, I think reversal would be predictable.

    No, I maintain the only really sensible solution is the one I’ve flogged here many times: no jobs possible for illegals, and no welfare benefits.

    They will leave in short order, on their own, and after making whatever arrangements they can for any “anchor babies”.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Ragspierre. | December 18, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      OK, idk, but you have also mentioned to me the economic impact of suddenly moving out the illegals, iirc. That is my concern, that we can’t just strip these trained workers from every hotel and field. It will take a couple years at least, and some may be needed permanently. Letting them stay while agreeing to never citizenship seems simpler/better than “touchback amnesty”. I doubt most illegals care about voting, that’s a Democrat thing.

      Laws can be changed and changed back I guess, but my point is if they stay for years (or have stayed) there should be recourse rather than reward, that would discourage further illegal immigration. Why should those lawbreakers be anywhere in line for citizenship unless they at least do it from their home country?

      After eight years of Cruz (or Trump) we can revisit the standards.

        Ragspierre in reply to Midwest Rhino. | December 18, 2015 at 12:29 pm

        We’re not talking about “instantaneous” leaving.

        Under my scenario, it would take a year…perhaps two…to have illegals leave.

        It does not take much “training” to do housekeeping in the hotel/motel industry, or harvest celery or strawberries, though it WOULD likely cost us more for our food, which was my point. And I also stipulated that was fine by me, if that was a cost of getting control of our nation/borders back.

          AZ_Langer in reply to Ragspierre. | December 18, 2015 at 1:38 pm

          It shouldn’t be forgotten that the hospitality industry, that produce and much more are currently being subsidized by law-abiding taxpayers who have no say in the matter.

The conversation around this is mostly needlessly abstruse. It’s all and always about amnesty (or whatever word applies to illegal immigrants’ access to full benefits of citizenship) because it’s driven by two overwhelming compulsions: 1. the democrats need to enfranchise a new dependent (serf) class of voters in the wake of their hemorrhaging of white working class voters, and 2. the Republicans need to appease their donor class (along with their consuming fear of being labeled heartless by the all-powerful MSM).

No. It’s always about shoving more of the camel into the tent. Not just no, hell no. No ‘amnesty’, no criminals, no more invasion.

Lets Talk about Deportation how fast, how cheap, and how can we make them do it themselves.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to forksdad. | December 18, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I think that’s right.

    And here’s a thought-experiment for those of you who favor “Amnesty”. Rubio, if he wins the nomination, will lose the election. Because an enormous segment of the GOP base will not vote for someone who continues the current policies on illegals.
    So now what? Rally behind a more populist-oriented candidate? Or sit it out since the Media will demonize that candidate, perhaps hurting the GOP long-term?

There is one word that describes the true focus of this debate:

Voters

In short, the Democrat legislation will wind up giving the Democrat party 20 million new voters.

Conservatives oppose that for obvious reasons, one of which is it makes a mockery of existing law.

Establishment Republicans support it, for reasons that constantly boggle my mind, one of which seems to be that by supporting amnesty, they will somehow gain voters which now trend about 80% Democrat.

Cruz is getting hammered because in fairly simple terms he proved the hypocrisy of the left with all their calls for “the children” and “dreamers” by proposing an amendment to their Amnesty (calling it what it is) that would prevent anyone affected by the law from ever being able to vote in a US election.

It’s about the Dems wanting voters, no more, no less.

    pesanteur in reply to georgfelis. | December 18, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Quite right. Democrats look at America and do not see a nation to be loved and cared for. They see America as a parasite sees a host, or a virus a body — to be consumed. Call it “voters,” but it is really power, control and consumption.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to georgfelis. | December 18, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    In short, the Democrat legislation will wind up giving the Democrat party 20 million new voters.

    And whose fault is that?

    And now we have some Republicans coming out against borthriight citizenship because they don’t want new anti-Republican voters.

    Obviously, this will only get worse and worse. It’s not only the children of the illegal immigrants, it’s their friends, neighbors, fellow students, fellow church members, employers, and so on. No wonder so many young people say they are Democrats and not Republicans. The number of people affected by immigration law, and unhappy with it, keeps on growing.

    You know, when Democrats try to scare people about Medicare or social security being taken away, or Civil Rights being abolished, they are lying. But here it’s mostly true, and the Republican Party is shouting it from the rooftops.

    There needs to be some leadership here.

      Reverse compass, could you tell me which recent immigrant group votes Republican? Unicorn riding elves you say?

      All new immigrants come from countries that do not understand nor want a country that supports individual liberties. All of them vote Democrat and their children continue to do so.

I don’t care what it’s called, rewarding lawlessness is wrong and begets more wrongdoing. Politicians who would facilitate these wrongs to fill their pockets or voter roles are evil.

Why should anyone who proves his/her disdain for our laws and sovereignty on a daily basis expect to be rewarded? (For the record, I include anyone who knowingly hires illegally, even someone wanting domestic help subsidized by taxpayers.) We shouldn’t be required to provide anything beyond prison cells for scofflaws, but we’re being hit with major expenses to make life easy for people who have nothing but contempt for us.

“Generally speaking though, no one is talking about a “pathway to citizenship” unless they’re ill-informed, misunderstood what they heard, or are trying to scare the bajeebus out of the easily trusting.”
– Kemberlee Kaye

“We have to deal with the 11 million individuals who are here illegally. We all agree that these men and women should have to earn their way to citizenship. But for comprehensive immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship.”
– Barack Obama

Perhaps this is just too subtle for me. Or perhaps not.

You write: “Also obvious, green card holders are NOT citizens, though by meeting certain conditions and completing the naturalization process (a minimum of five years in the making, three if they marry a U.S. citizen), they may become citizens.”

So… under a “Pathway to Legalization” millions of people who are here illegally start a process which over the next five to ten years could result in many of them becoming citizens.

There are people in this country who object to that.

They *don’t* object to *some* legal status, necessarily, but they do object to the future citizenship of people who cheated and jumped in line and broke the law to get there.

They object to the existence of a route from illegal entry to citizenship that doesn’t go through lining up at the U.S. embassy in their home country.

As a shorthand, they say they object to a “Pathway to Citizenship.”

What’s ill-informed, misunderstanding, or scaremongering about that?

Is there any way to even express what they object to without using a synonym of ‘pathway’ — route, way, path, process, sequence of steps…?

Making up a straw-man definition of their term and then mocking them — how could that possibly be helpful? That’s just going to get us President Trump. Thanks a lot for that.

“Shut up,” she explained. — Never a good idea. Never.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to clintack. | December 18, 2015 at 11:54 am

    So… under a “Pathway to Legalization” millions of people who are here illegally start a process which over the next five to ten years could result in many of them becoming citizens.

    No, the term “Pathway to Legalization” is used as an alternative to “Pathway to Citizenship” and means such persons wll be precluded from being naturalized, until and unless Congress changes the law, as it probably will surely do eventually if this happens.

    The term “Pathway to Citizenship” is used to indicate that it might take longer and have more requirements than those for ordinary immigrants. Now, citizenship is not all that important to most people (although lack of citizenship does give people disabilities – from government jobs and some licenses and renders them vulnerable to deportation should they be covicted of a serious crime, or even not so serious crime, and also can cause them to lose the right to remain in the United States should they leave it for aperiod of over two years)

    Although all that is true this is a distinction that is important mainly to politicians.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to clintack. | December 18, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    They *don’t* object to *some* legal status, necessarily, but they do object to the future citizenship of people who cheated and jumped in line and broke the law to get there.

    I think the objection is mainly to any kind of lawful presence in the United States.

    If the objection was just to citizenship, this could be resolved rather easily.

    Congress could vote for permanent residence (call it a blue card, maybe leaving open citizenship if a person found another way to stay in the United States and got a green card) and those for citizenship could leave this as an issue to be taken up later.

The Establishment Republican plan, giving all border crossers amnesty, the right to live in the USA, the right to work in the USA, checks for “Earned Income,” some but not welfare and other forms of social assistance, but denies them the right to vote is a complete disaster.

Republican Amnesty creates a permanent (because there are unlimited numbers of potential border crossers) quasi slave labor caste of second class citizens who can work but cant vote for the people who police their working conditions.

It is un American. And when the workers realize that they have no say in the system they’re contributing to, they’ll revolt. Violently.

America has rejected titles of nobility from the beginning, and its rejected all slavery for 150 years. The Republicans who freed the slaves shouldn’t bring serfdom to the USA.

Much wiser policy is for the government to control immigration. All Americans should get to be full Americans, but that opportunity should be limited to immigrants who understand America and want to be culturally Americans & further limited by economic need.

    pesanteur in reply to rotten. | December 18, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Good points, rarely made in the debate.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to rotten. | December 18, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    good points. … to me it seems impossible to just move them all out expeditiously, as they are entwined in communities and business. I’m thinkin’ it would be a rather small percent of those that have lived under a decade of lenience, that might be granted the non citizen legal status, at least temporarily if they have a real employer. It would be a green card, or H*B status, with their allegiance still to their own country. They are free to leave if they get angry, and then reapply for citizenship.

    The current increase in H1,2Bs is closer to your “slavery” replacing American workers. Their status is dependent on their employer and we bring them here under that premise. The employer basically sells American access/status to them for more control and cheaper pay, and the sale cost is passed on to other Americans who can cry “you didn’t build that, we Americans did”. But they choose to come and escape their worse “slavery” conditions. I agree it is bad to let an employer “arbitrage” the access to America, but that is what lobbying is all about.

    But the current 30 Million intentionally broke our laws, and what they get is grace. They have a home country. We will ALLOW them to stay (not force them) if we need them. If not they just go home with a good education, years of health care and some savings THEY CHOSE to extract illegally. We still “bettered them” … didn’t enslave them.

Sammy Finkelman | December 18, 2015 at 11:47 am

The key point for many peoiple is that immigrating illegally should not give anyone any extra privileges in immigrating legally.

Now actually, if you don’t want to have a permanent group of people “in the shadows” and you also want to restrict immigration, (not counting people barred for special reasons like membership in terrorist group) you have to do precisely that.

What’s more, since it is impossible to say that nobody will immigrate unlawfully on the future, and the same argument can be made in the future as is made in 2015 and was made in 1985 and 1948, you have to say right now, that you will do this again in the future.

Until someone is prepared to be for amnesty, as popularly defined, not only now, but for those who are yet to come, the issue will remain stuck in dead center.

What must be argued is that such a policy is not paradoxical, but very logical and necessary, and has much precedent in many fields of law.

marco has managed to rise to the top of my NO WAY IN HELL list, right next to jeb.

    DuraMater in reply to Lewfarge. | December 18, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Welcome aboard the sane train!

      Greg Sargent, no supporter of Cruz, comments in the WP. I recommend reading the full article, However, the last part is included here:

      “…The central intra-GOP dispute this whole flap highlights is the same old question: Should the 11 million stay, or should they go? If they are to be allowed to stay, on what conditions?

      Rubio backed a special path to citizenship at one point and currently leaves the citizenship option open, to be attainable at some unspecified point later.

      Cruz — based on what has come to light so far — never explicitly backed legalization, pushed to preclude citizenship, and now has come out against legalization, too.

      The bottom line remains that Cruz can legitimately claim to have been a far more ardent — and consistent — foe of amnesty than Rubio ever was, from 2013 on down to the present.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/12/17/sorry-marco-rubio-ted-cruz-hates-amnesty-a-lot-more-than-you-do/

Q: When is Amnesty not Amnesty?
A: When some Establishment lackey is trying to exculpate an Amnesty Shill like Marco Rubio who repeatedly lied to the voters saying he opposed Amnesty to get elected, then lied to conservatives by falsely trying to pass off Chuck Schumer’s Amnesty bill as a security bill.

Apparently the latest ploy is that Amnesty is just too darn complicated for the dumb Republican base to understand, so “LEAVE THE WORD “AMNESTY” ALONE”, you yahoos, and focus on Dreamboat Marky-Marcos hair.

I want to be clear I am not for amnesty in any form. However I can see a method of allowing people to stay and eventually gaining a pathway to citizenship as long as they meet ALL of the requirements placed on them. Along with e-verify being used insuring they cannot receive welfare/assistance programs for citizens. I liked the idea of a separate and new card classification. They would need to apply for a Blue card immediately. To maintain a blue card for the required 8-10 years they would have to come in once a year during tax season and file taxes proving employment and provide proof of health insurance. After the second year all yearly meetings/forms will only be provided in English. Until year 5 they can hire a translator to help with the meeting. After year 5 if they can’t fill out the forms or conduct the meeting in English they are sent home. Also if at any point they are without employment for an extended period of time or fail to come in for the yearly meeting they will be deported. After the 8- 10 years they could pay the fees to start the normal immigration process. Essentially this would place the illegals at the back of the immigration line not affording them a chance to jump to the front of the line. The only difference would be that they were allowed to live here while getting in line. Along with securing our border this plan could help in many ways to eliminate the problems we face with illegal immigration.

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