There are an estimated 600,000 foreigners in the U.S. awaiting their green cards. While illegal aliens continue to stream across our southern border these people are waiting for years to legally reside in the U.S., but are stuck in a huge quagmire of bureaucracy.
Last spring the US Citizenship and Immigration Services started a campaign to clear all backlogged immigration applications including green cards, which had risen to 6 million in 2003.
Some progress has been made, with the total backlog now at about 4.7 million applications, and the wait for green cards reduced from 20 months to 11 months over the last year. The Bush administration has announced that by the end of 2006 it wants the waiting time to be just six months.
A variety of factors are blamed for the situation. Security checks as part of the "war on terror" and a one-year cap on visas slow things down. However, the authorities are also criticized for taking a hostile attitude toward legal immigrants in an effort to keep them out, while being powerless to keep out or deport illegals in the southwest due to a lack of resources. And some argue that the Bush administration's plan to grant guest worker status to illegal immigrants will further entrench this situation.
Something obviously has to be done and I'm not just referring to the illegal alien problem. Yes, we do need to check these people out before we give them permanent residency. Yes, we need to speed things up. No, the Bush administration does not have a plan. Their plan is a guest worker program that complicates things further. With the current stonewalling by open borders groups, a guest worker program just adds more data that is going to fought against being used.
If the President's guest worker program goes into effect, three years down the road you will be hearing outrage at the fact that people whose guest worker visas have run out are being shipped out of the country. That is if we can ever find them again as they vanish into the U.S. as they do now.
The fact that our system is totally broken though is clearly evidenced in not only the border, but in the way we are treating those that are trying to go the legal route and do things right.
Everytime I hear some IDIOT talk about how we have to make it easier for "a willing employee to work for a willing employer" in order to do jobs that "Americans don't want" it angers me.
It angers me because anyone with even a cursory knowledge of macro-economics knows exactly what economic forces are in play here:
Americans don't want those jobs because the wages are so low.
And the wages are so low because illegal immigrants flood the job market, which means there is an overabundance of labor.
Because the supply of labor exceeds demand, wages are depressed. (It's not rocket science, it's Adam Smith [via Paul Samuelson])
And then some (insert name of either political party here) talking-head bleats that "Americans don't want those jobs," so then their solution is to import MORE illegal aliens.
Very few pay income taxes or have health insurance, (therefore becoming and additional burden). Many are not interested in joining the American mainstream, mastering the English Language. Their contribution to our economy is arguable because many remit what discretionary income they have to relatives that haven't yet made the journey north.
But there is one English word that Bush has taught every one of them...."Amnesty."
And the stampede continues unchecked, with one sneaking across our border every 28 seconds.
Maybe if it were the politicians children that were unable to find work at a livable wage, something positive would be DONE.
Posted by: EdWonk on January 29, 2005 11:05 AM