I was talking with a more conservative minded friend of mine and he asked why the Dreamers who were old enough had never applied for citizenship? And I didn't know and you seem like the guy to ask.
Why don't “they” just get into line?
A common refrain among the right, but an entirely misguided one.
First, most undocumented migrants do not have a line to get into. There are four ways in which someone can become a Permanent Resident: Employer-based immigration, Family-based immigration, Humanitarian protection, and a limited-lottery.
To come to the United States for employment purposes—either temporarily or permanently—foreign workers must generally have a job lined up with an eligible employer who will sponsor them. An employer can request permission to bring in specific qualified foreign workers, but only if they meet the requirements, such as job skills and education level, and if the employer cannot find a qualified U.S. worker to take the job first. Most of the qualifying professions for permanent immigration require high levels of education and professional experience, such as scientists, professors, and multinational executives. There is a limited number of temporary visas for highly skilled or internationally recognized workers. There are also temporary, seasonal opportunities for agricultural workers and certain other “less skilled” workers. In most of these cases, an employer must petition for the worker.
Qualified family members in the United States can seek permission to bring in certain eligible foreign-born family members. U.S. citizens can petition for their spouses, parents, children, and siblings. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs, or “green card” holders) can petition for their spouses and unmarried children. There are always visas available for the spouses, parents, and minor children of U.S. citizens, but for all other family categories, there are annual numerical limits. In all cases, the petitioning family member in the United States must demonstrate an income level above the poverty line and must commit to supporting the family member they are seeking to bring to the United States. The foreign-born persons wishing to immigrate must meet eligibility requirements as well.
Each year the United States sets a numerical limit on how many refugees will be admitted for humanitarian reasons. To be admitted as refugees, individuals must be screened by multiple international and U.S. agencies and prove that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, or national origin.” Asylum seekers are individuals already in the United States who fear to return to their home countries, and they must prove they meet the definition of a refugee. An immigrant does not qualify as a refugee or an asylee because of poverty or difficult economic conditions in their home country. There are limited forms of temporary humanitarian protection available, but these are rare.
If a person who wishes to immigrate to the United States does not qualify for the family, employment, or humanitarian systems, there may be one more legal path. The annual Diversity Visa program makes 55,000 green cards available to persons from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. People from Mexico, China, the Philippines, India, and other countries with higher levels of immigration to the United States are not eligible. To qualify, applicants must have a high school education and two years of job experience. Since millions of people around the world apply each year, the chances of obtaining a visa through the lottery are extremely low.
To top it off, if you are discovered to have lived here without proper documentation the punishment is deportation and not being able to apply for any form of entry to the US for a Decade.
This makes it very difficult to apply while you are living here without documentation since you need an address by which to apply. By filling out the application, you admit you are living here and will likely end up with ICE at your door. An even if you get into one of the lines, there are limited spots open for each one and could end up waiting to have a legal status for well over a decade.
And that is why undocumented migrants cannot just apply for legal residency, which they need to have for five years in order to get citizenship.
That there are 10 US Consulates in Mexico where parents can go to apply for asylum WITHOUT fear of separation from their children. Separation from your child by going to the border is YOUR choice.
There are also 18 legal ports of entry in California, 10 in Arizona, 3 in New Mexico & 29 in Texas alone. This has been a law for many years, voted on & agreed on by Congress (both Democrats & Republicans). Only now that the media has blown this up are they acting outraged.
No one is against immigration, just do it legally!
So when this stupid fucking wall is built, I hope after 4 years we all get together on both sides and tear that shit down like they did the one in Berlin and drink cervezas and dance all night atop its ruins.
A film about the recovery and identification process of migrants who have perished during their travels through the Arizona desert. This man’s loved one was one of those fortunate cases where the deceased had a possible identifier – a tattoo of his daughter’s name across his chest.