Immigration reform loopholes place millions on early path to citizenship
Supporters of the immigration reform bill want us to believe that it will take a decade or more for newly legalized immigrants to become citizens.
But Byron York has found a loophole that may mean millions will be able to apply for citizenship in less than half the time.
Members of the Senate's bipartisan Gang of Eight have stressed that under their new immigration plan, currently illegal immigrants will have to wait more than a decade before achieving citizenship. Newly-legalized immigrants will be given a provisional status and "will have to stay in that status until at least ten years elapse and [border security] triggers are met," Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News on April 14. "Then the only thing they get is a chance to apply for a green card via the legal immigration system." The green card process would take additional years, meaning the road to full citizenship could take as long as 15, or even 18, years.
Unless it doesn't. A little-noticed exception in the Gang of Eight bill provides a fast track for many -- possibly very many -- currently illegal immigrants. Under a special provision for immigrants who have labored at least part-time in agriculture, that fast track could mean permanent residency in the U.S., and then citizenship, in half the time Rubio said. And not just for the immigrants themselves -- their spouses and children, too.
A second provision in the legislation creates another fast track for illegal immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16 -- the so-called Dreamers. The concept suggests youth, but the bill has no age limit for such immigrants -- or their spouses and children -- and despite claims that they must go to college or serve in the military to be eligible, there is an exception to that requirement as well.
Fake border security provisions, too generous terms for legalization, loose DREAM requirements, and a citizenship loophole you can drive a Mack truck through.
Some reform, huh?
If Senators are going to insist on a path to citizenship in the House bill, as both Chuck Schumer and John McCain are doing, there will be an internal GOP battle that may lead to a defeat for the bill. Speaker Boehner may be able to twist enough Republican arms to pass immigration reform with solid Democratic support, but it will be a hollow victory for him. A clear majority of Republicans are dead set against a path to citizenship for illegals and the Speaker is likely to have another revolt on his hands if he rams the bill through with only a handful of GOP votes.