reports The Washington Post.If you've come to the U.S. illegally, you'll have to wait a decade to earn legal status and 13 years to become a naturalized citizen under a bipartisan immigration reform plan now being drawn up in the Senate,
The 10-year wait for a green card for illegal immigrants would help ensure that the existing backlog of more than 4 million people who have applied for visas through legal measures would be processed first.
Democrats have pushed for a faster timeline, arguing that long waits could discourage immigrants from applying and maintain a second-class tier of U.S. residents not fully empowered to participate in society and the workforce. Republicans have argued that it is unfair to grant citizenship to undocumented residents more quickly than to those who have applied legally.
The Post's report files this bit into the
Republicans-and-Democrats-disagree-on-the-details part of the
article, but it highlights an under-discussed fact: how long and
arduous the existing legal immigration process is. (You can get a
pretty good sense of how insane the process is from the
flow chart in our October 2008 issue.) But
apparently the Senate's idea of a solution is to add yet
another lengthy, arduous process on top of the old system. Creating
a path to citizenship for 11 million people who do not currently
have one is worth doing, but it would be nice if, in the midst of
all the discussion about immigration reform, we actually talked a
little bit about reforming the mess that is our existing