2011: Will the Undocumented be Counted?

2010 demonstrates what the Democrats lost and what the Republicans may gain.  However, it seems like Newt Gingrich and the Bush Family are among a small handful of GOP Members listening.  The issue: is a legalization really an amnesty? The answer is no.

Who gains from calling a legalization an “amnesty?” I think those that want to encourage everyone to apply, even those who do not qualify, perhaps.  When will immigration attorneys begin to tell the truth?

Congress has passed “registry” and “legalization.” Neither were guarantees of a green card. Many were disqualified and others simply messed up their opportunity due to confusion over the program. Legalization was co-sponsored by Republican Alan Simpson, but  signed by President Reagan.  It was an effort to focus enforcement on newer offenders, since immigration enforcement is pitifully underfunded.

Our current Immigration law boldly states that those delegated by the Attorney General, namely the Department of Homeland Security, “may” place an alien in deportation proceedings. Many are left in limbo due to the lack of immigration judges and underfunded law enforcement.

In the end, when Congress has failed to impose its solutions, it must find rational alternatives. Legalization was an effort to normalize the lives of millions of U.S. Residents, who we depended upon to sustain our U.S. Economy. The challenge was that USCIS had to find a responsible way to evaluate these cases.

With whatever experience is left from the last legalization and registry, Congress should reasonably act to tap that experience for the next before all of these folks retire. Otherwise, it will cost Our Nation much more the next time.

Why some attorneys continue to call Legalization or Registry an amnesty confuses the public and is a disappointment to advocates for reasonable change.

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