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Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Gods, what a mess. As we wait for the government to ultimately do nothing on this issue, I have a few thoughts:

* Identity theft is more and more becoming linked to illegal immigrants. Read here: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/03/hidden_cost_of_.html Having been a victim of identity theft before, this pisses me off. It's bad enough mine was ripped off by an American citizen; having it "borrowed" by someone living and working in this country illegally would enrage me.

* Thousands of people become citizens in this country legally every year; to do so, they have to jump through hundreds of bureaucratic hoops, spend money and be tested for citizenship. In short, they earn their citizenship. I can only imagine, if all those illegal immigrants are given amnesty, how those who worked for years to become legal citizens would feel. Screw you, Jack; they got a free ride!

* Ours is a nation of laws. (Clearly, the current misadministration in Washington feels they are above them, but that is another issue entirely.) Said laws must apply to everyone in this country equally, or they mean nothing. Putting the sloppiness of the American judicial system aside for the sake of argument, there are twelve million illegal immigrants knowingly, willfully breaking laws every single day they spend in the United States--and they will continue to do so, for the government has been so slack to do anything for so many years that even if they do do something now (which is highly unlikely; any action taken will be symbolic at best), it will be summarily ignored.

As a liberal-thinking person, I almost feel obliged to side with all those demonstrators; additionally, any argument against the psychos currently in power is--in my humble opinion--a very good thing. But I cannot side with their something-for-nothing mentality; for that is what it boils down to, from my perspective.

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what really makes ME laugh is the taking American job's argument... please the illegal immigrants because they are illegal are doing the jobs no one else wants to do like sanitation, wage slavery farming (keeps the food prices down) etc. Few immigrants can risk taking a more upscale job because questions will be asked etc.

the real issue for me is that these works are being subjected to some serious abuses and down right slavery in same cases, horrific working conditions, and lets not get into the (hopefully few) sexual abuse and sex slaves incidents... ew ew ew... we really have to stop these things but its hard because of the illegal immigrants which cloud the judicial waters and make it difficult (its hard to prosecute when your star witness has suddenly been deported to Guatemala...

but I agree with many of your paints too... we're a nation of laws, they should abide by our laws, and its really annoying they thumb their noses at us and they act this way...

Being liberal, I might have had a different opinion if it weren't for the fact that I had a family member who was in and out of the hospital over a period of a year and the amount of medical bills my family had to pay out of pocket was in the six figures. There's a 1985 law that requires hospitals to treat individuals unable to pay, without obligation to reimburse, which is a good law in theory - but illegal immigrants are taking advantage of this law by frequently getting free medical treatment while many of us end up footing their bill. Many California hospitals have closed or are facing bankruptcy because of this. Things have to change.

What means do these people have for legal immigration?

Essentially, the same any person from a country outside the US has if they want to live here and eventually become a citizen. I don't know the specifics, but I do know it can be a drawn-out process, allowing the person to work and live here with a green card until they have gotten citizenship. It's a pain in the ass, yes, but it is legal. And as I noted before, I know a few people who did undergo the full legal process to become US citizens--and they are pissed at the concept of "amnesty" for those already here illegally. It's the whole all-animals-are-equal-but-some-animals-are-more-equal-than-others mentality that bothers them. And me.

There's the rub.

If you have a foreign University degree that can be evaluated to be equivalent to a four-year US degree, and can find an employer willing to pay the few thousands in lawyer's fees for an H-1B, you could be eligible for such. The job must pay at least the prevailing wage, and be within certain skilled professions.

It'll need to be filed after April 1, and before about mid-July (when the 55,000 cap tends to be reached), with processing starting in October, so there's a bit of a lag. Obviously, this isn't something that encourages most employers, when it's far simpler, cheaper, and faster to pick someone off the street.

And even that's only good for as long as the job lasts, with no residual benefit - company goes bang, you get out. Tough if you have a life there. Meanwhile, you've been paying taxes like anyone else (including, amusingly, Social Security, for which no non-immigrant visa holder is eligible) - more than many, indeed, given such jobs tend to be well paying, though usually relatively ephemeral.

Permanent residency (which isn't the same thing as citizenship - that requires something like five or ten years of PR first) on an employment basis takes somewhere around 3-4 years, much paperwork, and even more lawyer's fees ($5k+). Similarly with an H-1B, if the job vanishes during processing, you're hosed. But that rapid processing's only if you're lucky enough to be born in certain parts of the world - if you're, say, Indian or Chinese, you can double that processing time.

Sounds good? It gets better - that application's for you alone. If you're married, your spouse is not automatically included - that's a separate matter entirely, and can also take a long, long time. You can't leave for any real duration, as permanent residency, as the name suggests, implies US residency. Similarly, they can't be with you for long, if at all - they're quite liable to be turned away, on the basis of liability to remain in the country. (Remember a visa isn't a guarantee of entry)

That's for the more skilled categories. There are lower ones, which take rather longer.

Ah, I should note that heterosexual marriage is a relatively straightforward shortcut. The US doesn't recognise any same-sex marriages from elsewhere in the world, though opposite-sex marriages are respected.

Compare to the policies that brought places like Ellis Island to fame, and the consequences for the US. Has everyone forgotten the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty?

I don't believe anyone has forgotten that heartfelt inscription, but far too many people entering this country illegally have spit on it.

Part of the reason it is so difficult to become a legal american citizen is BECAUSE of the amount of illegal immigrants here already. I'm not saying it's the ONLY reason, but it is a huge factor.

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