Some Republicans are mobilizing to help advance immigration reform, but the path they advocate may not be the best option for undocumented immigrants.
In fact, there have been recent cases where an undocumented immigrant was entitled to U.S. Citizenship and was still denied because the federal government misinterpreted laws of the time.
One particularly striking example of this comes via ABC News. It explains the story of Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta, who has been been petitioning for U.S. Citizenship for over two decades now. He told the U.S. government that he had been born to an American father and a Mexican mother.
But the government deported him over four times and once detained him for almost two years. During all this, his family waited for him to join them in South Texas.
His case was fixed earlier this year in a ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated him to be a citizen since birth and blamed the mistake on negligence by the Department of Homeland Security.
This kind of laziness when it comes to ensuring that undocumented immigrants’ lives are handled with care might extend to future immigration reform, and we should be careful about what legislation we support: It might look good on the surface, but underneath there can be real abuse.
The specific concern today rests with House Republicans rejecting a special path to U.S. citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. right now. Per the Washington Post, rejecting a special path might lead to House Republicans creating another category of American, one that is not a citizen but still legal.
This would mean that whoever was in this category would not be deported, would be allowed to work, and would have to pay taxes, but they would not be able to vote and they would not enjoy the other benefits of being a citizen.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants