Biden’s Unjust Moves on Immigration

My mother’s people immigrated to the United States from Wales and Ireland in the mid-1800s. They came as coal miners and farmers and ended up in the Plains, where my grandparents farmed wheat. My dad’s folks were here long before then, having been brought in servitude from Scotland when this land was part of the British Empire. From the Ozarks, they gradually moved to the central Plains. My parents met working at Boeing.

My ancestors were the salt of the earth, literally part of the foundation of our national greatness. They helped create a country rightly perceived as a land flowing with milk and honey, having streets paved with gold. That perception still lingers. Liberty, prosperity, and peace are ours. Modest, regulated immigration will sustain it.  

The majority (about 2/3) of illegal immigrants in this country came for a short visit and never left. More than 10 million apply for temporary visas every year. Between 20% and 30%, who are not able to convince a consular officer at our embassies abroad that they have sufficiently strong ties to their homeland to bring them back, do not receive visas.

Those that did promised to return and, in order to be admitted upon entry, promised to leave within their allotted timeframe. They lied – just like the vast majority claiming asylum, which is legally limited to those with a credible fear of official persecution, not just bad living conditions, no matter how poor or crime-ridden.

They broke the law when they overstayed, and break it again every day they overstay, every day they work without permission, and every day they use someone else’s identity or social security number to obtain work, welfare, subsidized health insurance coverage, or any federal or state benefits reserved for citizens and legal residents. Those sneaking across the border (the other 1/3) start out here as criminals.  

Citizens of 39 countries that have low overstay numbers do not need visas to come for a short visit.

By the way, Trump’s limits on travel from certain countries have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with those countries being unwilling to meet even the most minimal standards for the issuance of identity documents. Without that, corruption flourishes among both the people and the organs of the state, and we are not able to reliably clear people to receive visas.

Nearly all legal immigrants gain entry based upon relationships – with family or with an employer. American citizens and legal immigrants file petitions for eligible family members, and employers for employees. A few are self-sponsoring; for example, outstanding athletes and world-renowned scholars.

After those petitions are proven to be within the numerical limits for immigration from each country and are approved, the beneficiaries abroad apply for their visas, providing documents supporting the claimed relationship, proof of vaccination, medical examination records, and proof that they will not be a financial burden on the United States for at least five years.

Once all documentation is in order, satisfactory interviews are completed, and background clearances received, visas are issued. With some exceptions, five years after entry, given no serious criminal activity, almost all immigrants are eligible to apply for citizenship.

We legally admit a maximum of one million immigrants a year, not including refugees and asylees. There is a waiting list for some countries, as well as some categories of immigrants, due to the number of petitions far exceeding the allowable admissions. Currently, 3.6 million are waiting their turn to apply to immigrate to the United States. One-third come from Mexico, and another third from The Philippines, India, mainland China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Some have been waiting their turn since as far back as August 1996. 

Now Biden is promising to rush legislation to legalize the millions upon millions of illegals currently in the country. So far, every legalization effort in the past few decades has managed to increase the number of illegals in the country. Many “take their chance” that the US will simply do it again in a few years -- and so we do. Such legislation immediately boosts the income of smugglers bringing in folks sometimes long after the deadline for being resident in the US has passed, and fraudulent documents mills churn out the papers needed to prove they had been here all along.  

But what about the millions of Americans and residents who petitioned for their family members and employees? And the millions more waiting for family members to arrive here and be reunited? What about the millions waiting patiently, and legally, for their turn to submit their application for an immigrant visa? Moving criminals and liars to the head of the line is not fair and is a true injustice to those we would normally and happily welcome in due time.  

Word is that what is being proposed heaps more inequity into the system. It would include a five-year wait for permanent residency and then three additional years to be eligible for citizenship. Why is Biden treating the same folks that the Democrats call “an essential part of our economy and of the fabric of our nation” differently? Once processed for residency, they should not be forced to wait years longer than anyone else for citizenship. That’s not fair; it’s truly un-American. 

Some would be “fast-tracked” and move to the head of the line for citizenship, ahead of those here legally and waiting their turn; again, not fair and un-American.

Where is the trained staff needed to carry this out? The bulk of immigrant visa petitions are processed domestically, while most visas are issued abroad. Complicating matters, they are separate processes that can be combined if a beneficiary is in the U.S. when a petition that is eligible for immediate processing is received.

Current staffing at home and abroad manages a few more than a million a year. What happens to the 3.6 million already waiting when combined with another 10-20 million already here? And all those pending refugee and asylum claims?

Of course, the petitions will begin flowing in once these millions are legally admitted or naturalized. What’s Biden’s timeline for accomplishing all this? The budget, staffing, and infrastructure needed, even if contracted out, is huge and will require significant time, after funding is appropriated, just to put into place.

Rick Fuentes asks “Who will push back?” against Biden’s gravy train for illegals. He called it with the phrase “a decisive number of Americans.” And not just Republicans, conservatives, Libertarians, and law-and-order lefties. Legal immigrants who waited their turn, navigated a complex process, paid their fees, stood in lines, and were welcomed into the bosom of America will push back. Entry-level jobholders, young and old, including many minority workers, who see their livelihoods being threatened by new entrants will push back. So will sponsors of pending immigrants who have been waiting upwards of 24 years for their family members just to be given a date for an interview to start the process. 

Unfair, un-American, slow, and costly. That’s a sure recipe for garnering more votes next time around. Just maybe not for the Democrats. 

Anony Mee is a retired public servant. 

IMAGE: Illegals aliens from Latin America head for the U.S. YouTube screengrab.