Green card limbo
From the Orlando Sentinel-
But Patel, who is 44 and divorced, is not welcome to stay in the United States permanently. Neither are her teenagers.LOL, just more proof most Senators and Congressman live in an alternate reality. Immigration processes petitions on a first come, first save basis. I been there, done that for three family members, most notably my Philippine born wif There is also the present backlog of immigration cases, some of which go back to 2004. It won't get better but worse under any immigration reform package.
She is among thousands stuck in immigration limbo.
Technically known as "nonimmigrants," many are professionals on temporary visas. Some are investors granted entry for a couple of years to see whether they can make their businesses worth more than $1 million, which would enable them to apply for permanent residency. Others are international students.
They face stiff competition for a limited pool of "green cards" -- the document that ensures permanent U.S. residency and places immigrants on a citizenship track.
And some of them resent what's happening in Congress, where much of the focus and debate regarding immigration reform centers on the estimated 12 million people who live and work in the United States illegally.
Patel and others who are in the country legally are asking, simply: What about us?
Patel, for example, has injected nearly half a million dollars into businesses here since she arrived from London in 2002. But that has not been enough to meet the investment threshold. If her children turn 21 before they get green cards, they will have to leave.
"All we would ask is: You have a huge illegal immigration here, but don't forget the legal immigrants," Patel said. "Don't give me citizenship. But give me the right to permanent residency and the chance to work hard to earn my citizenship."
The proposal currently being hashed out in the Senate -- a result of bipartisan compromise -- largely addresses illegal immigration.
It increases border security through electronic surveillance. It establishes a merit-point system to admit future immigrants. And it creates a legalization path for illegal immigrants who pay fines and taxes, learn English and clear security checks.
That leaves folks such as Patel, who follows immigration's complicated legal channels, feeling left out.
Sen. Mel Martinez, an Orlando Republican and one of the chief architects of the Senate bill, said through a spokesman that the compromise proposal accounts for the concerns of temporary-visa holders. "Legal non-immigrants would have the advantage that they could apply for a green card now," the spokesman, Ken Lundberg, said in a written statement. "Illegal immigrants will not be able to jump the line in front of legal non-immigrants."
Note- It would be nice if once the MSM would report on how a US citizen often gets caught up in the Immigration mess. Like US servicemen who marry while stationed abroad(Japan, South Korea, Germany). Their foreign born spouses and children often have to stay behind when the serviceman PCSs to their next duty assignment. This puts a strain on these families, both emotional and financial. Yes my wife and I were through this ourselves in late 1999 after our marriage.
My foreign born relatives also resent people who want to jump the line. Nanay is petitioning for two of her sons to immigrate to this country. This process takes years for adult children, and it won't get beter just as it won't for Ms. Patel.
The Immigration situation in this country without a doubt, is one big mess. Far too often legal immigrants get screwed by the system.
Linked to- Bright & Early, Third World County, The World According to Carl,