Hugh Hewitt says:

If Senator Kyl comes forward with a half dozen revisions which the GOP will insist on, including construction of the entire fence and additional barriers that were authorized last year’s law prior to the beginning of the “paperwork period” [his emphasis] for regularization … that citizenship is not open to anyone who entered the country illegally for at least the 18 years an ordinary American born here must wait to exercise his or her franchise, the DOA bill will begin to show signs of life.

I wonder if Hugh realizes that it will likely be 8 years until any current illegal is processed to a green card. From HEO’s section-by-section:

A Z-1 nonimmigrant may adjust status to lawful permanent residence after the family backlog under Title V is eliminated

It is estimated that the family backlog cases can all be processed in 8 years.

At that point, they have a green card. To go from a green card to citizenship will take 5 years. (the language in the DREAM Act part suggests that they number might be changed to 8, but I can’t find details) So either it will take 13 or 16 years before someone is a citizen. Is the difference between 16 and 18 that important? Is that from anything but spite? Would he delete the DREAM Act provision?

Furthermore, what is the status of the people here in the meantime?

And … do we really think that this stuff is going to happen quickly? WaPo points out all the requirements for the end of 2008:

  • Hire, train and deploy 5,000 to 6,000 additional Border Patrol agents, bringing the total force to 18,000.
  • Hire, train and deploy thousands more civilian workers who would begin registering an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the country, and provide the technical and logistical capacity to do that, including registration centers, electronic fingerprinting, etc.
  • Erect 370 miles of fencing along the Mexican border.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive worker-verification system that would enable employers to quickly check on whether a job applicant is in the country legally.

Probably, this is impossible, and it will require extending that deadline for another couple of years. So, again, we are not talking about movement on a lot of the major provisions until something like 2010.



dhans · May 20, 2007 at 12:10 AM

The thing is most immigrants from Mexico could care less about citizenship, they dont care. So holding that out as a carrot or stick is meaningless. If we give them some quasi-legal status they will take and just stay here forever

neil · May 21, 2007 at 12:01 PM

They don’t care about citizenship because the current situation doesn’t attract people who would care. Under the status quo, illegal immigrants can easily find work that pays to their satisfaction, but they can only do it if they’re willing to live outside of the system and be illegitimate. Small wonder that this bargain attracts a crop of unassimilating seasonal workers and eager criminals.

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