Submitted as a letter to the Arizona Republic
Regarding immigrants who lack legal authorization to be here, we frequently hear they should get in line and enter legally, and “what part of illegal don’t you understand?”. But to those who think along these lines I ask, what part of 10,000 don’t you understand? Out of 140,000 employment-based visas granted annually by the United States only 10,000, not even enough to fill US Airways Arena, are granted to less skilled workers. The bulk are reserved for the more highly educated and wealthy.
If your brother is a permanent resident here and you’re coming from Mexico, the legal wait is up to 20 years. Finally, if you’d like to enter the lottery by which 50,000 people from under represented countries get legal access to the United States, if you’re from Mexico, you’re out of luck.
We need an immigration system that recognizes the real demand for less skilled immigrant workers and provides a legal means for them to enter this country. The Senate proposal from the Democrats does that, so it’s time for Senators Jon Kyl and John McCain to stop cheerleading about border security when the statistics don’t back them up, and get at the root of the problem. What part of 10,000 don’t they understand?
Employment Based Visas:
State Department web site:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1323.html (word minimum is misleading here on the 140,000—it’s more a ceiling than a floor)
Family waiting times and lottery: Maryland Catholic Conference on Immigration PRocess
Arizona Republic Story on border security:
“Violence is not up on the Arizona border despite Mexican drug war” by Dennis Wagner May 2, 2010 http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/05/02/20100502arizona-border-violence-mexico.html
Senate Democratic Outline released April 29th: http://thehill.com/images/stories/news/2010/PDFs/immigration2.pdf