But If We Don't Make You Wait, How Will We Charge You for Waiting?

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Take a moment and acquaint yourself with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, the agency that may soon be documenting millions of undocumented immigrants:

Last June, U.S. immigration officials were presented a plan that supporters said could help slash waiting times for green cards from nearly three years to three months and save 1 million applicants more than a third of the 45 hours they could expect to spend in government lines.

It would also save about $350 million.

The response? No thanks.

Leaders of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected key changes because ending huge immigration backlogs nationwide would rob the agency of application and renewal fees that cover 20 percent of its $1.8 billion budget, according to the plan's author, agency ombudsman Prakash Khatri.

Forty-five hours. Maybe the soon-to-be-legal immigrants can hire some post-amnesty illegals to wait in line for them.  

Whole thing here.

NEXT: 12 Scenes from the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007

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  1. Hmm, so if they save $350M, and lose 20% of their $1.8G budget (or $360M), can’t they just charge each of the 1M immigrants an extra $10 on their first visit to cover the difference? Seriously, they can each mow one small lawn for $20, and they’ll still have money left over for a burger and happy-hour priced beer at Chili’s with one of those 45 hours they don’t spend in line.

  2. Poor poor immigrants having to wait 45 hours in government lines. Welcome to the fucking club of government non performance and I don’t want to hear anyone bitching about it either. Hell I spent 8 hours just trying to get my DL renewed and I have been in this country all my life. If these folks are whining about 45 hour waits what will they want when they can legally vote?

    This is one of the places I split with the Libertarian logic. Sorry I just do not see how letting people in by the millions will help anything but to erode our country. Let me guess they are just doing the jobs americans won’t, right. Or are those jobs americans won’t do now because the pay has been decreased to such a point because of the illegals no one can afford to work them? Tell me when the illegals get fat and happy who will we import to do the jobs they no longer want to do?

    Ship our good jobs over seas and import workers for the lesser jobs, sheer fucking genius!

  3. If waiting in line is part of the cost of getting a green card, then if they take steps to shorten the lines that will mean more people will want a green card and thus will come to stand in the lines, thereby making the lines longer, etc.

  4. …according to the plan’s author, agency ombudsman Prakash Khatri.

    Khatri? Don’t sound Merican to me. I think he might be Al Ka’duh.

  5. Or are those jobs americans won’t do now because the pay has been decreased to such a point because of the illegals no one can afford to work them?

    Ok, let’s assume all of those jobs paid minimum wage (some do, some don’t). Would Americans be just as willing to do those jobs as they are willing to work at McDonald’s, Wal-mart, etc???

    Try a different argument.

  6. lunchstealer,

    You’re forgetting the non-monetary cost most shunned by the bureaucrat: that of having to change the procedures. I’m surprised they even use computers.

  7. Dee, this is how I read your argument. Please tell me if I’m getting it wrong:

    1. Illegal immigrants come to this country to get jobs.
    2. Business owners decrease the wages so much that an American cannot survive on the salary.
    3. Illegal immigrants fill the jobs instead.
    4. Illegal immigrants then get fat and happy on the wages that would not sustain citizens.

    Are they, like, ridiculously frugal or something? Don’t let the illegals in, they’re clipping too many coupons!

  8. This is one of the places I split with the Libertarian logic.

    Sorry, it was just sitting there.

    Poor poor immigrants having to wait 45 hours in government lines. Welcome to the fucking club of government non performance and I don’t want to hear anyone bitching about it either.

    Seriously? If you don’t want to hear people bitching about government non-performance, you might want to hang out at Kos or something. Most folks at H&R are going to point at government bureaucracy defending unnecessary make-work schemes aimed at justifying a higher budget, regardless of who they benefit.

  9. If these folks are whining about 45 hour waits what will they want when they can legally vote?

    Less bureaucracy?

    Tell me when the illegals get fat and happy who will we import to do the jobs they no longer want to do?

    More immigrants?

  10. One problem with H&R sometimes is the authors’ habits of simply not giving the government’s actual explanation for a policy that is being criticized. We’re supposed to read the WholeThingHere and find that for ourselves.

    For example:

    However, officials determined that while “up-front” processing improved customer service at small offices, it would cost more and worsen service in busy offices because managers cannot anticipate how many people will show up, nor predict political or other circumstances that drive surges in applications.

    Now, maybe this is true or maybe it’s not, but at least it is the government’s argument as to why the new procedures were not adopted.

  11. $400,000,000 for the Employment Verification System…I’m thinking they left off a zero or two from the actual implementation cost.

  12. Actually, Dee, in retrospect to my original comment, I recall going to one of the produce markets in Tampa on several occasions. Each time I bought something that required me receiving change, the Mexicans I dealt with pulled out a wad of cash from which to give me change. In that wad would be several 20s, a couple 100s, and many many 5s and 1s. Based on the prices, the volume of business that they do on a daily basis, and the vehicles which were parked behind their stands, I’d feel pretty safe in assuming that they actually make better than minimum wage.

  13. it would cost more and worsen service in busy offices because managers cannot anticipate how many people will show up, nor predict political or other circumstances that drive surges in applications.

    So, they can’t predict the key variables driving traffic but they are just sure it would be worse?

  14. Maybe the soon-to-be-legal immigrants can hire some post-amnesty illegals to wait in line for them.

    Kerry – it isn’t really fair to win the thread before anyone has a chance to comment on it.

  15. “Are they, like, ridiculously frugal or something? Don’t let the illegals in, they’re clipping too many coupons!”

    They may be clipping coupons, in addition to living in conditions that most US citizens would not accept. I have heard of places that illegals reside in being called “clown houses”, because so many people are found to be living inside.

    If you split a $500 / month crappy house rent among a dozen or so people, the cost of living goes way down.

    Actually, IMHO that’s what the multi-national corps want for the US. To drop our standard of living to the level of Mexico’s.

  16. Kerry – it isn’t really fair to win the thread before anyone has a chance to comment on it.

    Isn’t Kerry Howley basically stealing the job of the comment gallery?

  17. More evidence that all of the politicians who are saying they will really, honestly, truly, and absolutely get amnesty right this time are either ignorant or lying like egg sucking dogs. Probably a combination of the two.

  18. Now, maybe this is true or maybe it’s not, but at least it is the government’s argument as to why the new procedures were not adopted.

    Indeed, why be efficient in some places and maybe a bit less efficient in others why you can keep the current system of pure suckitude equal for everyone!

  19. Isn’t Kerry Howley basically stealing the job of the comment peanut gallery?

    She took our jerb!!

  20. The line about “the jobs that American’s wont do” is complete bullshit.

    Last year ICE raided a number of meet packing facilities in the south. All of the jobs that illegal immigrants had been doing have been filled. By citizens.

  21. Isn’t Kerry Howley basically stealing the job of the comment gallery?

    You’re right Dr. T. She’s obviously on the side of pro-illegal-job-stealin’-journalists!

  22. Ellie,

    Actually, you forgot points 5 and 6 in Dee’s logic (as far as I could tell):

    1. Illegal immigrants come to this country to get jobs.
    2. Business owners decrease the wages so much that an American cannot survive on the salary.
    3. Illegal immigrants fill the jobs instead.
    4. Illegal immigrants then get fat and happy on the wages that would not sustain citizens.
    5. Dee had to wait 8 hours in line to get a driver’s license.
    6. Therefore, make the immigrant SOB’s wait in line for 45 hours at the immigration office!

  23. “To drop our standard of living to the level of Mexico’s.”

    Yep, that’s so totally what happened to the country after every other immigrant group that lived that way.

  24. Actually, when I went through the green card process about ten years ago (the application was then, I mean; it took quite a few years to get it all done), I didn’t see a computer in any INS office. All files were paper, all everything was paper. I suspect it was one of the very last government bureaucracies to computerize.

    And, out of sheer brilliance, they lost large parts of my paperwork, didn’t mail me notices they insisted they did, and generally screwed up all around.

    Of course, the INS feels free to be incompetent assholes even worse than the rest of the government because almost everyone it deals with isn’t a citizen.

  25. The line about “the jobs that American’s wont do” is complete bullshit.

    My ten years of working in the restaurant industry tells me that you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.

    One “meet” facility goes native and you are ready to claim victory against the invading horde. hah.

  26. Money quote from ICS spokesman:

    ‘Business transformation is “not something that can be done overnight,” he added. “We’re building an immigration system to last 30 years.”‘

    That’s the kind of forward looking attitude we want from government — 30 more years of bungling.

    Somewhere in this country there is a warehouse that contains a shoebox with all the little bits of paper they made me fill out to enter then pulled out of my passport when I left this country. Along with millions of other shoeboxes stuffed with bits of unexamined paper.

    (Re the meat plant workers, I understand that they did end up with a workforce that was as white as the TSA screeners, but staff turnover went through the roof.)

  27. Somewhere in this country there is a warehouse that contains a shoebox with all the little bits of paper they made me fill out to enter then pulled out of my passport when I left this country. Along with millions of other shoeboxes stuffed with bits of unexamined paper.

    Oh yeah. In that same warehouse where they put the Ark of the Covenant.

  28. Actually, IMHO that’s what the multi-national corps want for the US. To drop our standard of living to the level of Mexico’s.

    Why the hell would multi-national corporations want U.S. citizens to be poor? Who the hell is going to afford buy their shit if everyone is poor?

    Yeah, Sony and Dell want us all poor, you know, because dirt poor people buy so many big screen televisions and computers.

    Last year ICE raided a number of meet packing facilities in the south. All of the jobs that illegal immigrants had been doing have been filled. By citizens.

    So, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is doing SWAT style raids on random U.S. workplaces… and especially on WORKPLACES THAT ARE 100% FREE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!?!?!

    So, does this mean that the anti-immigration zealots will start admitting that police-state tactics are part of the anti-immigration plan? Shit, I can hire 100% American citizens and be in full compliance with the law and I still have to worry about my buisness being raided? Fucking great!

    I can’t wait until you forget your U.S. Citizen Card on the nightstand one day, and the ICE squad is forced to neutralize you as a “potential non-American”.

  29. Rex Rhino,
    I see a potential blockbuster starring Tom Cruise and Edward James Olmos. Olmos would be the head of the ICE Retirement unit and Cruise would be a US Citizen on the run because his information got “accidentally” deleted by a bureaucrat on the take.

  30. TODO POR LA RAZA DE BRONZE!

  31. Tom Cruise got accidentally deleted? This is a future that we can only hope for!

  32. Olmos would be the head of the ICE Retirement unit and Cruise would be a US Citizen on the run because his information got “accidentally” deleted by a bureaucrat on the take.

    You aren’t that far off from Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”.

    Except you need DeNiro as the rebel plumber.

  33. “Meet packing facilities?”

    I’m confused. Is that a euphemism for Interstate rest stop men’s rooms?

  34. I can’t help but wonder if Dee got charged a penalty for taking too long in line like the rest of the illegals.

    As for citizens, we get screwed more by the agency formerly known as INS. Have a look at the processing dates at the service centers and tell me why spouses, fiances and relatives of citizens have to wait so many more months than everyone else just to get a damn visa?

    Matthew Brown,
    One correction: “I suspect it was will be one of the very last government bureaucracies to computerize.”

    On the upside, there seems to be one honest politician, then again, being retired allows him more honesty than most.

    “We were really operating a Ponzi scheme,” said Yates, who retired last year after 31 years at the agency. “The money that current applicants were paying, we were using to adjudicate older cases.

  35. I have heard of places that illegals reside in being called “clown houses”, because so many people are found to be living inside.

    My great uncle lived in one of those in Brooklyn around 1910, it was called a tenement.

    Of course, then he got an MD and a Ph.D. in biology, so evidently growing up in a tenement with four or more people to a room and no indoor plumbing isn’t so bad.

  36. Welcome me back! I was directed here by Pajamas Media, who linked to Insty saying, “One reason that legal immigrants are treated badly is that they have no power.”

    As you might expect, Professor Reynolds is quite wrong. While the link describes the situation concering IllegalAliens, it applies to LegalImmigrants as well.

  37. ‘Business transformation is “not something that can be done overnight,” he added. “We’re building an immigration system to last 30 years.”‘

    Thank you, Andy, for giving us a crucial distinction between business and gov’t. A business is lucky if an implemented policy or technology lasts five years before it becomes so burdensome and obsolete that it must be replaced.

    But thirty years from now, the INS will still be running on Windows Vista

  38. But thirty years from now, the INS will still be running on Windows 95

    Fixed.

  39. While I agree that while any elements of the welfare state remain there are issues with completely open borders the current situation is repugnant. Migrants already result in a net economic benefit irrespective of where they come from but the exact opposite seems to be the commonly held belief, even if we completely ignore the opportunity they offer everyone else to earn more as a result of creating more service level opportunities with the increase in primary and secondary employee’s.

    What really doesn’t make sense, even considering the irrational nonsense most people believe about immigration, is the hoops that those of us from countries with similar standards of living have to jump through. Coming from the UK still took me 5 months for the initial visa at a cost of over $3000 and involving two interviews, a medical test, a FBI check and a local police check (Not to mention having to wait 5 years before I receive constitutional protection via citizenship and the fact the entire system is setup so they can pretty much deport you whenever they want). Somehow I think anything more then a criminal background check is completely overkill when dealing with economic migrants originating from western parts of the world.

  40. But thirty years from now, the INS will still be running on Windows 95.

    Beats hell out of goddamned Vista!

  41. Last year ICE raided a number of meet packing facilities in the south. All of the jobs that illegal immigrants had been doing have been filled. By citizens.

    And then they realized how crappy the job was, and they quit.

  42. Jimmydageek- the arguement is that when others come in and take jobs for lesser wages they undercut the people legally here as in born and raised. I am not nor did I mention minimum wage jobs. The jobs they are now taking include construction and those used to be good paying jobs that supported families. Yes it is easier for them to support their family back in Mexico on less money than we make here and live here. They get free health care here, I pay for it, I pay income taxes as well they do not in most cases. Why not ship all the jobs to Mexico so they can stay home and work? Perhaps because they wouldn’t be paid enough to live in Mexico even if they did.

    If you remove all the higher paying jobs to another country and then bring in cheap labor to undercut your local workforce who is going to be able to buy anything over time? The only way we can bring the rest of the world up to our standards without them doing it on their own is if we lower ourselves to there current standards and all start over. I for one am not willing to do that.

    If these countries want it then fight for it and yeah some of you are going to die but don’t come here on the backs of our dead and expect our freedoms.

    So is it the Libertarian mindset to just have free open borders and no illegal immigration laws? I get the feeling many of the posters on this site are from places where they don’t have many illegal aliens. Just like everyone seemed to know all about race relations after Hurricane Katrina but lived in states that only have a black population of less and 2%.

    Since we are letting them in and seem to want to allow more we should collect them all at the border and take them directly to all the towns that seem to have never met an illegal alien they ddn’t love and let them live there and take those jobs.

    If your not a citizen of this country you should not have the same or more rights than someone who is. Mexico has no problem enforcing its border with military but they complain about us stopping them. That says a lot in itself to me.

    Face it we are the dumping ground for all the crap in Mexico, all the sick and poor come here and the rich stay home. Its perfect for them they don’t need any social services, after all the americans will pay for that with their bleeding hearts.

    I have nothing agaisnt anyone wanting a better life for themselves and can’t say I blame them for trying. But this country will only remain one so long as we are united and not divided.

    Mexico is taking back North America and they aren’t even going to have to fire a shot to do it.

    Liberals want the votes and Conservatives want the cheap labor. No two ways about it we are fucked plain and simple.

    And Jimmy try making an arguement of your own before dismissing one out of hand with something that had nothing to do with the original posting. Or do you only have what you posted as your debate material.

  43. “My ten years of working in the restaurant industry tells me that you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about.”

    During the time I spent service industry (I actually cleaned toliets, bussing, and washed dishes, gasp)I found that only the bussers, diswashers etc. who made the effort to learn english made the jump to bartender, waiter, manager, etc. 90+ percent never made the effort. This was over years- If you work in the industry you end up working with the same people over and over.

    The dishwashing, bussing jobs are pretty much all filled with family members and friends- they’re harder to get then you think.

  44. The idea that immigrants of any skill level provide a net positive economic benefit is not supported by the facts.

    Executive Summary: The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Immigrants to the U.S. Taxpayer

    Welfare is only a modest part of the overall system of financial redistribution operated by the government. Current government policies provide extensive free or heavily subsidized aid to low-skill families (both immigrant and non-immigrant) through welfare, Social Security, Medicare, public education, and many other services…. it is fiscally unsustainable to apply this system of lavish income redistribution to an inflow of millions of poorly educated immigrants.

    I estimate that if all the current adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. were granted amnesty the net retirement costs to government (benefits minus taxes) could be over $2.5 trillion.

    Granting amnesty or conditional amnesty to illegal immigrants would, overtime, increase their use of means-tested welfare, Social Security and Medicare. Fiscal costs would go up significantly in the short term but would go up dramatically after the amnesty recipient reached retirement

  45. The jobs they are now taking include construction and those used to be good paying jobs that supported families.

    Do you mean the ones where the payscale was artificially inflated by labor unions?

  46. Yeah, Sony and Dell want us all poor, you know, because dirt poor people buy so many big screen televisions and computers.

    You guys don’t understand. It’s the inferior good, SPAM. Big SPAM wants us all to be poor because their profits will go through the roof!!! Big SPAM is behind it all!

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