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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Immigration process too long, complicated

It is easy to blame undocumented immigrants.

After all, they are the real thieves here. They are the ones taking the jobs that Americans deserve. They are the ones sucking away taxpayer money. They are the ones who are making it completely necessary to build a physical wall around our borders.


The truth is that undocumented immigrants are not coming here because they think they can get rich by mooching off of Americans.

Many immigrants come illegally simply because they do not have the resources or time to apply for and await decision on legal status. A simpler process would improve things for those already applying for legal status and make applying legally more attractive for those considering coming to America undocumented.

“(Undocumented immigrants) see this as a land of opportunity,” said Associate Professor of Justice and Policy Studies Will Pizio. “They see their families and friends and sons and daughters come over and work.”

According to Lizzie Biddle ‘09, programs coordinator for the Center for New North Carolinians, immigrants come here legally and illegally for many reasons.

“It’s jobs and a better future and because they have family here,” said Biddle. “Or terrible things have happened in their own country and so they want to leave.”

Under the current laws, it is almost unreasonably difficult to legally emigrate to the U.S., and undocumented immigrants who are already here face major challenges as well.

“There are a lot of people in this country who want to keep our borders closed,” said Pizio. “(But) there are different aspects to a policy. One is to keep people out and one is … how do we deal with the people that are already here?”

This is a particularly difficult question to answer when it comes to immigrants brought to America as children because they have little connection to their “native” countries.

“No one wants to talk about allowing the (undocumented immigrants brought here as children) to stay,” said Pizio. “They don’t want to have that discussion because that’s the harder discussion.”

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is a legal option put into action for such immigrants less than a year ago.

Under DACA, undocumented residents who immigrated at a young age can apply for a two-year promise of no deportation. Those granted the deferred action can then legally get a driver’s license and work authorization.

What the deferred action option does not offer is any sort of pathway to citizenship, so two years down the line, the applicant is back in the same boat.  Although the process offers some temporary security to undocumented immigrants, it does nothing to fix the root cause of the issue.

“There’s a waiting list for visas from all different countries, and some waiting lists are much longer (than others),” said Biddle. “Right now, they might be working on applications for visas from Mexico from 1990 or from 2000.”

What the system really needs is a reduction in immigration backlogs, and a new proposal created by President Obama aims to do just that.

The changes would also keep undocumented immigrants seeking to apply for citizenship from having to wait more than eight years, though legal immigrants applying for visas would be given priority.

It is unclear whether the plan would work as intended, but attempting to address this problem is a step in the right direction.

Of course, not everyone supports making it easier for those who came to America undocumented to become legal residents.

“(My family) had to work hard to get into this country and secure legal citizenship,” said Timothy Chang, an Early College senior whose parents emigrated from Taiwan. “For those who do not (come legally), it is unfair to us.”

Chang’s family clearly worked to gain access to the jobs and education in the U.S., but Americans born here don’t inherently deserve better opportunities than those born elsewhere.

Immigrants come to America without legal documentation because of the obstacles posed by the application system, but the U.S. can change that. Shortening the wait time and simplifying the application for legal status will benefit everyone.

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    Dave FrancisMar 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    The Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform proposals are so shocking that some South Carolina news outlets are saying they must be false. Probably in 2013 we are going to see another Comprehensive Package of immigration Reform. Americans who think they are unhappy now, whether you follow the antics of the Republicans or the Democrat a new controversial act that legalizes the true unknown numbers of foreign numbers, is going to mean even more taxes taken. The nightmarish appropriation of taxes has just begun, but if a Path to Citizenship is finally passed, the job of processing these people INTO legal status is prohibitive. Try Trillions of dollars that will be yet another yoke placed around the neck of every American worker. With the decision placed in the shaking hands of mainly the GOP elite, we have found that many are just “double agent “who is ready to jump in with the Special Interests and the Liberal Progressives. Before any new policies are passed we must remind those in Washington, that the 2006 Secure Fence bill must be passed, assuring that all the U.S. population is safe from further invasion from not only illegal aliens looking for free handouts, but the criminals and even likely radical from the Middle East. First law to get a reading, then passed THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL, H.R. 2885, adjoined to E-verify. That would assist the millions of Americans still without a job, by all business have to participate in the computer program that detects foreign unauthorized workers. Next the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL, H.R. 140, sitting dormant, waits for a voice to halt the smuggling of children into this country, to collect citizen entitlements. And the final law to bring FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, HR 878, to an ending, which eventually becomes another expensive payout by the taxpayer. Family chain migration’ would flood U.S. Population estimated to grow by another 100 million by 2060.

    The under mentioned information is information drafted by ROY BECK, CEO of NumbersUSA, not revealed in the mainstream press or other media. You can view the ad and sign a petition against the Gang of Eight’s proposal in opposition to unemployed Americans at: You can also contact every Representative demanding no Amnesty and no Path to Citizenship at 202) 224-3121. YOU THE CITIZEN VOTER HAS MORE POWER OVER CONGRESS, THAN YOU REALIZE.

    Well, they ARE shocking. But, sadly for South Carolina’s and the nation’s workers and taxpayers, the information in the in ads is true. Let us show you the ways. (You can also find the sources for the ads, as well as any updates that we make along the way, by clicking on this link: If your Senator or Representative is pushing “comprehensive immigration reform,” you can just substitute his/her name throughout the ad script and imagine how it would sound in your community.

    (AD CLAIM No. 1) Who elected Lindsey Graham to demand millions more immigrant workers when . . .?
    “Comprehensive immigration reform” proposals are about a lot more than amnesty for illegal aliens. They also include huge new provisions for increasing the number of foreign workers through legal channels. Lindsey Graham and his Gang of Eight have not yet introduced legislation with clear details that allows us to put a precise number on the additional immigrant workers they demand. But they have issued a statement of principles that give us a general idea. For starters, they promise to eliminate backlogs of people who have applied to emigrate from other countries. That alone potentially adds 4 million more immigrants with permanent work authorization. (SOURCE: Washington Post, “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform”, Jan. 27, 2013). Graham and Gang would also give green cards to any foreign student who earns a PhD or Masters in science, technology, engineering, or math, even though the National Institutes of Health reports the oversupply of post doctorates is dissuading the best American minds from entering those fields. (SOURCE: Washington Post, “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform”, Jan. 27, 2013). In addition, Graham and Gang talk of large new programs for bringing in workers through temporary programs for jobs at nearly every level of skills. “temporary” needs to be in quotes however, because the business/union negotiations being done for the Gang have stated that the “temporary” workers will have a path to permanent immigrant status. (SOURCE: Anne Bartlett, “Labor, business leaders declare progress in immigration talks” Washington Post, February 21, 2013).

    (AD CLAIM No. 2): . . . when so many South Carolinians are jobless?
    About 180,000 South Carolinians were actively looking for work and could not find anything in December. That is an 8.4% federal U-3 category unemployment rate. (SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) But nearly 350,000 South Carolinians were stuck the in the broader federal U-6 category unemployment rate which also includes discouraged workers who still want a job and people forced into part-time work who want a full-time job. That is a 15.8% federal U-6 category unemployment rate. (SOURCE: Center for Immigration Studies and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Nationwide, around 20 million Americans are in the broad unemployment category. It is amazing that any politician has the audacity to talk about ADDING more foreign workers in these circumstances. (SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Center for Immigration Studies.)

    (AD CLAIM No. 3): Who elected Senator Graham to insist on more green cards for foreign workers when . ?
    All of the sources for Claim No. 1 also back this claim. In addition, Sen. Graham and the Gang want to add another 11 million or so green cards to give permanent work authorization to nearly all illegal aliens currently in the U.S. Although the Gang talks about the amnestied illegal aliens having to go “to the back of the line,” the Gang would actually put them at the front of the line when it comes to jobs. That is, nearly all of the estimated 7 million illegal aliens currently working would be able to keep their jobs while 20 million Americans are left standing in the unemployment lines still waiting. (SOURCE: Washington Post, “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform,” Jan. 27, 2013.) Many Americans are under the false assumption that illegal aliens are primarily in agricultural jobs that few Americans would want to take. But less than 5% are in agriculture. Most illegal alien workers are in construction, manufacturing and service jobs that are being sought by “less educated” Americans (no more than high school degree) who suffer soaring unemployment.

    (AD CLAIM No. 4): when returning veterans can’t find jobs?
    The December U-3 unemployment rate for all veterans nationwide was 7%. For post 9/11 veterans, it was 10.8 percent (9.9% for men; 15.7% for women). Sen. Graham and Gang not only would put those jobless veterans behind illegal aliens but also would force them to compete with the large numbers of new foreign workers they intend to import. (Source: “Unemployment rises for all veterans in December” by Rick Maze, Army Times, January 4, 2013)

    (AD CLAIM No. 5): Who elected Graham to demand amnesty and welfare for millions of illegal aliens?
    Sen. Graham has persuaded some in the media that this part of the ad can’t be true because federal law prohibits welfare for illegal aliens. But Sen. Graham and Gang’s proposal would help the 11 million illegal aliens get around that ban by declaring them “legal.” And that is why “comprehensive immigration reform” would add trillions of dollars of new spending to taxpayers over the next couple of decades, according to preliminary statements from the Heritage Foundation which expects to release a full report soon. The Gang promises a green card and path to citizenship to the millions of illegal aliens, which makes them eligible for the array of social welfare programs. Declaring an illegal alien to be a legal resident at the very beginning opens up federal entitlement spending, too. For example, the Affordable Health Care Act (commonly called “Obamacare”) requires every legal resident to qualify for government health care. Legal status also opens up benefits from Social Security, Medicare, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and child tax credits. (Source: Washington Post, “Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform”, Jan. 27, 2013)