Tagged: us citizenship

Meaning of “Pathway to Citizenship”

There are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States and many say that the country must legalize the undocumented immigrants and some also say that the undocumented immigrants must not be granted lawful status in America. Likewise, the lawmakers also have different ideas. Some say that the immigration laws must be reformed and that the country must create a pathway to US citizenship for the undocumented immigrants.

 A draft of President Obama’s immigration plan leaked to the media recently and if that bill is passed, all the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country would be permitted to apply for conditional immigration status. Qualified immigrants who pay the back taxes and who pass background checks would be permitted to apply for conditional status. This conditional status would permit them to live, study and work in America and this status would be valid for 8 years and after living in the country for eight long years, eligible immigrants would be permitted to apply for US Green Cards. After becoming Green Card holders and after remaining in America as permanent residents for five years, they would be permitted to apply for US citizenship. Likewise, the undocumented immigrants may not be granted special privileges and they may not overtake the other visa applicants who are already waiting for visas. The senators are crafting a similar plan and they are likely to unveil their proposal sooner.

 Jeb Bush, in his book, has written that the undocumented immigrants must not be granted US citizenship. But he has laid out a plan in his book that would grant legal status to the undocumented immigrants but would prevent them from becoming US citizens. However, in an interview, Jeb Bush stated that he wants the country to legalize the undocumented immigrants and that he is not against the pathway to US citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, stated that he was supporting a path to US citizenship. But now, he says that he supports the creation of a conditional status. Undocumented immigrants who qualify for conditional status would be permitted to work and reside in America and this is similar to President Obama’s plan. Paul does not say that the undocumented immigrants must not be granted US citizenship and he says that the undocumented immigrants must be granted conditional status. Nevertheless, has not made it clear whether the immigrants who become conditional residents would be permitted to obtain permanent resident status, in due course of time.

 Arch conservatives, say that there is no need to revise the immigration system as a path to citizenship already exists. Some undocumented immigrants can get back to their home countries and then travel to the United States legally after obtaining visas but this will take a very long time. People who have crossed the borders illegally, will be subject to a three or a ten year bar and they would be required to wait for three or ten years and then file applications for US visas and travel to the United States. In this case, they need to wait for years even if they have family members in the United States.

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