The Nightmare of Legal Immigration

Forget all illegal immigration for a minute. And focus on just how screwed up the U.S.A's system for totally legal immigration is. An infuriating testimony from Splice Today's John Lingan:

In July 2008, we received word that the Department of State needed another copy of Justyna's medical forms, the very same ones we had already filed on two separate occasions. They admitted to losing it, yet still instructed us to complete the $300 checkup and documentation procedure ourselves, within 90 days. When I asked our lawyer whether an appeal could be made, he said of course, but the process would take longer than 90 days and Justyna's entire file would be thrown out after that deadline.

If this sounds like a farce, it is. Here is a woman who has made the incomparable sacrifices of leaving her home country, her family, and her friends just to bring her new family together under one roof. The U.S. should be begging people like Justyna-who holds a master's degree and desires only to work legally and pay the according taxes here-to live and raise their families within our borders, yet our government makes it humiliating and nearly impossible for them to do so.

Read the whole thing here.

I've yet to meet an immigrant who went through proper channels who wasn't embittered by the experience.

Reason mag's Editor in Chief Matt Welch spills the beans on how he's both broken and been broken by immigration laws over the years. Read about it here.

Reason.com has tons of stories on immigration. Read some of them here.

And watch The Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley make a five-minute case for letting them in already:

And go to Reason.tv for a longer interview with Riley.

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  • Nigel Watt||

    The least accountable bureacracy is the worst. No surprise there.

  • ||

    These are the kind of people I want in charge of your health care.

  • LurkerBold||

    At least Reason has one sensible, defensable, position on a topic: immigration should be open and free.

    Without quality public housing and healthcare there is no real way to take care of all of the people who would come here but some progress is progress.

  • ||

    Without quality public housing and healthcare there is no real way to take care of all of the people who would come here but some progress is progress.

    Public housing and (except for honest-to-goodness public health) healthcare are exactly what should not be provided to immigrants if you want immigration to be open and free.

    Immigrants should migrate to and reside in the US because it makes both them and the US better off, not to leech off the taxpayers' dime.

  • LurkerBold||

    Mike P, so you just want them to be diseased and homeless as long as they get your yard mowed?

    How compassionate.

  • LurkerBold||

    As part of the left, I disagree with this notion that immigrants should work in our society. What we require is something similar to France where one can move to a country and be unemployed while collecting a large welfare cheque from the government. This has proven to be beneficial 60% of the time every time it's been tried.

  • Jennifer channeling LoneWacko||

    ReasonMagazine is ReallyStupid and Doesn'tUnderstand why MexicanImmigrants are destroying OurWayOfLife and furthermore, people like MattWelch'sWife have no right to TakeHusbands away from HardworkingAmericanSingleGirls who might have wanted to MarryHimInstead. Now their children will be HalfImmigrant instead of WhollyAmerican and will drive up SchoolCosts but ReasonDoesn'tCare because they're UnfeelingBastards. That's why everybody should ReadMyBlogInsteadOfThisOne.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 2:22 and 2:12 was not me, stop copying me libertards.

  • Jennifer channeling LoneWacko||

    And WhyTheHell doesn't it CountOnTechnoratiLinkStatistics when I LinkToMyBlogHere? Because ReasonMagazine is run by UncaringBastards, That'sWhy. Who don't show proper RespectForTheirPosters. And don't AgreeWithMe on ImportantMatters like MexicanImmigrants who are RuiningOurWayOfLife. Because they're StupidBastards.

  • LurkerBold||

    Ah, my imitator resurfaces and accidentally almost gets something right.

    What we require is something similar to France where one can move to a country and be unemployed provide their multicultured world views and vision to universities and leading literary concerns while collecting a large welfare steipend cheque from the government.

    Fixed.

  • ||

    These are the kind of people I want in charge of your health care.

    Irrelevant lashing out reminiscent of a cornered animal.

  • Tyler||

    You mean the system can be improved WITHOUT building The Great Wall?

    You crazy libertarians.

  • ||

    Mike P, so you just want them to be diseased and homeless as long as they get your yard mowed?

    If they are contagiously diseased, that is covered by my "honest-to-goodness public health" proviso.

    Other than that, if an immigrant can't earn enough mowing lawns to pay for his own housing and health care, then, no, he shouldn't immigrate. That is the natural throttle on free migration. Any other standard requires government to choose immigrants -- a power it not only is ill-equipped to wield, but also a power that runs counter to the primacy of inalienable individual rights.

  • ||

    No, Tyler, at least I mean that there doesn't need to be a system.

  • LurkerBold||

    Mike P, you are advocating limiting immigration just like a corrupt government. We can afford better health care and better public housing, especially if people like you would start contributing to the general fun in a fair manner.

  • ||

    But they're taking our johbs! We have to stop the immigrants, even if they are so called "legal". Being made to take the same expensive checkup three times is just a start! In this time of financial woe, we need to escalate this policy until they get the hint and leave. If these foreign devils want to be here, they need to show proof of multiple proctological exams!

  • LurkerBold||

    I like to piss in public pools.

  • ||

    Truly, a tragedy of the commons.

  • ||

    Aside from the obvious fact that immigration is screwed on a practical level, I have never seen a statutory code that was more jacked up, confusing, and disjointed than the immigration code. It makes the tax code look like a model of clarity.

  • ||

    Mike P, you are advocating limiting immigration just like a corrupt government.

    ?

    I am advocating limiting immigration just like immigration from Mississippi to Connecticut is limited today: If you can pay for living in Connecticut -- or, more to the point, if it is important enough to someone to pay you enough to live in Connecticut -- you are free to live in Connecticut.

    No government, corrupt or otherwise, involved.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    This has proven to be beneficial 60% of the time every time

    "It's called 'Sex Panther' by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries...it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good."

  • short, fat bastard||

    Immigration is the solution to social security. We need lots of people of color to come work here and fund my retirement.

  • ||

    Hah! This sounds too familiar. I'm in the last stages of the Green Card process (along with my wife). In July we got our biometrics taken (including fingerprints). These were to be used for the Green Card and a temporary work permit for my wife. My wife's permit was approved a month later. In October my attorney gets a letter saying that our Green Cards would be denied because we had failed to attend our biometrics appointment.

    What? Not only did we attend it, but the USCIS actually used those biometrics for my wife's work permit! WTF? Luckily they allowed us to retake our biometrics.

    I don't understand how you lose electronic files of fingerprints but the USCIS managed it.

    Still waiting. 6 years and counting.

  • Chimo||

    This thread seems to be completely unrelated to the post more or less...but my favorite immigration story comes from my bf...his application took more than a year to process, so they sent him a letter saying that his fingerprints had expired and he needed to pay the $100 to get them done again at immigration!

  • ||

    From USCIS's 2007 Strategic Plan:

    On any given day, the 16,000 USCIS federal and contract employees:
    Process 30,000 applications for immigration benefits;
    Issue 6,000 Permanent Resident Cards (green cards);
    ...
    Naturalize 3,000 new civilians...



    I sense a bottleneck.

    Oh, but who wants to make things easy when the enforcement arm has such a cool acronym like ICE?

  • ||

    All my cooworkers in my immediate workgroup are in some stage of this horrific process. It's funny, I'm the token American in this corner of the office, in Pittsburgh of all places.

  • ||

    Still waiting. 6 years and counting.

    Holy shit, Soda. My condolences. I got my Green Card in just under a year, and even so the process was arbitrary and contradictory from start to finish.

    What struck me was how even the immigration officers seemed to be aware of how fucked up the system is. No one seemed at all surprised at how much contradictory information I'd received. Grrr.

  • ||

    Good for you Dagny, congrats!

    I start counting from the the first Labor Department step (2003). Strictly speaking the Green Card application has been open for 2 years. Did you get in through a relative or marriage? That's usually faster.

    I could also start counting from when I entered the country (freshman year of college). But I probably shouldn't do that. Oh, what the hell, 13 years.

  • MAX HATS||

    The basic problem with the INS is that it is in no way accountable to those it services, non-citizens. Compounding the problem is the large domestic constituency that wants to make all immigration, legal included, as difficult and unpleasant as possible.

  • Reinmoose||

    Chimo -
    You never know if those danged immigrants are going to change their finger prints over a year's time, right?

    really, expired?

  • LurkerBold||

    How long before the fascists get all of our fingerprints?

  • ||

    LurkerBold-

    "immigration should be open and free." Your trojan horse of words does not fool me.

  • ||

    Dagny: Is it, potentially, easier for Canadians? I have no idea where Soda is from, but it would be somewhat sensible, if one agrees that there should be a "system" at all, for Canadians to have the fewest checks on them.

  • PFJ||

    My parents went through the system when I was a minor and due to the inabilty of immigration agents to answer a question correctly the first time, I didn't get it along with them. No process could make someone a libertarian faster than dealing with the bullshit of immigration agencies.

  • ||

    You never know if those danged immigrants are going to change their finger prints over a year's time, right?

    I heard those filthy Canadian bastards can change their fingerprints in as little as a single week!

    Biometerics, schmiometerics!

  • ||

    Ooooops....Sorry, LurkerBold, I forgot to obtain your consent to use your phrase from the earlier thread.

  • ||

    Libertymike,

    He doesn't believe in private property.

  • ||

    The basic problem with the INS is that it is in no way accountable to those it services,

    Exactly. Legal (and to lesser extent illegal) immigrants pay large sums of money in taxes every year, but they have absolutely no representation except may be for immigration lawyers.


    My green card application took 1.5 years, but my wife's is still pending after 2 years. They keep telling me to check the status and processing times online. Their website keeps telling me that they are processing applications from July 2007. They have been telling me this for 7 months now and counting. How could it take more than 7 months to process 1 month worth of applications?

    For the record, I have a Ph.D. from a top 20 US University in Computer Science. My application was on what is supposed to be a fast track.

  • Naga Sadow||

    LurkerBold,

    You got a problem with the Bill of Rights, mofo?

  • ||

    Nigel, I'm Colombian.

  • Naga Sadow||

    anon,

    I fear your application may have fallen into the hands of LoneWacko.

  • Orange Line Spatial||

    Once we get the right people in charge, this won't happen.

  • Orange MainLine||

    I see no reason why this country needs to import HeartSurgeons or ComputerScientists when those jobs could be done by perfectly qualified Americans. Like me.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I don't know who is spoofing OLS but . . . thank you.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 2:30 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:28 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:30 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:31 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:35 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • jtuf||

    We definitely need to streamline the legal immigration process. It took the feds 5 years to process my ex-sister-in-law's immigration papers. While we're at it, let's tripple the slots available for immigration accross the board.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:37 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:48 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • LurkerBold from Alternate Univ||

    The posts at 2:30 pm, 4:28pm, 4:30pm, 4:31pm, 4:35pm and 4:37pm were me.

    The wimpy retard LurkerBold from your universe must die so that I may live.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Whoa! This LurkerBold spoofing is gettin outta hand! I can't tell the ones I was doing anymore!

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:49 was not me, it is just another imposter.

  • Andy||

    Reminds me of that episode of Get Smart where a Kaos agent impersonates Max..

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:55 was not me, it is just another imposter.

    All you Jefferson lovers can go to hell.

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 5:15 was not me, it is just another imposter.

    All you Madison lovers can go to hell.

  • ||

    Dagny: Is it, potentially, easier for Canadians?

    It can be easier for Canadians, as I understand it, because they can get L1 visas instead of the notoriously scarce H1-Bs. This is why companies like Microsoft create holding tanks just across the border. Keep 'em there for a year, IIRC, and then they qualify for the L1 visa.

    However, Soda nailed it: I got in through a family member, which made the whole process comparatively much simpler. And even so it was maddening!

  • T||

    All you Jefferson lovers can go to hell.

    What? Aren't George and Weezy emblematic of the American Dream? I mean, shit, their story parallels that of Barry and Michelle, doesn't it? Except that Barry and Michelle are getting a large single family home instead of an apartment...

  • LurkerBold||

    The post at 4:35 was me, all others were fake.

  • .||

    I've yet to meet an immigrant who went through proper channels who wasn't embittered by the experience.

    Good! Go away and leave us alone!

  • NP||

    I see this thread is all but dead, but this was so scrumptious I couldn't pass up. Check out the question for Lou Dobbs' latest poll:

    "If the Vatican seriously objects to the U.S. border fence, should the Catholic church tear down the wall surrounding the Vatican?"

    I dunno how to respond to such LOL-worthy demagogy. What a nutjob.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Without quality public housing and healthcare there is no real way to take care of all of the people who would come here but some progress is progress.



    We are not exactly in the throes of a housing shortage at the moment.

  • nobody u no and a big fan of j||

    so joe left and the whole commentor gallery had to invent him.

  • cosmotarian slap-dummy||

    But won't somebody think of the restaurants? Somebody please think of the restaurants!

  • ktc2||

    Legal immigration is a joke. It's horrible.

    The embassies that process the documents are the worst hell holes of incompetent bureaucrats anywhere on earth.

    My kids visa package sat on a desk in Manila for 5 months untouched. It was there 4 months prior to the deadline but because the idiots let it sit for five months it was denied.

    After several ridiculous phone bills trying to speak to anyone in charge they finally relented and approved it, but by then the medical screen was only valid for two weeks.

    It cost me an additional $7000 (my family's entire savings) to get tickets in that time frame.

    All of this was after a year of telling me they weren't our kids, the original certified birth certificates were invaled, etc., etc.

    Surely these consules are the lowest form of bureaucratic dimwit.

    Good news, after 18 months and about $10,000 our kids arrive next week.

  • jtuf||

    Wow, ktc2, on behalf of Americans I apologize for the mess up. Maybe instead of changing our foreign policy to hope for more popularity we should focus on making life easier for the people who like us enough to want to move here.

  • Guy Montag||

    ktc2,

    Did you use a proper Manila envelope? I have been told that is an important step.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Guy you fool! If immigrants figure out that we don't want them then we are doomed! DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Right Wing Realist||

    I am all for letting PHDs, entrepreneurs, and talented/successful people immigrate in largish numbers.

    Whether we should create Mexican Johannesburgs in the Southwestern United States is another issue.

  • jtuf||

    Right Wing Realist,

    Option 1: Allow low cost unskilled labor into the US were they work in a competative manufacturing industry, contribute to our tax base, and support their hometowns through remittance (thus helping American's image abroad).

    Option 2: Employ PhD's in the American factory line with the salaries they expect. Watch uncompetative US manufacturing shrink as jobs go abroad. Bail out US manufacturing, because hey, they look like banks to the feds.

    Option 3: Build a wall to keep out both people and products. Pay $20 per paper plate hand crafted by an artisan with a graduate degree.

    I'll go for option 1. I say let all people people in regardless of their skill sets. People want to immigrate to the US and employers want to hire immigrants because the arrangement is win-win all arround. Also remember, an immigrant is someone who loves America enough to come here. A born in America citizen is someone who tolerates America enough to stay.

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