Repeat after me: there are no actual triggers. Crafty as ever, the bill’s summary, disclosed by the Senate, has a section misleadingly entitled: “Border Security Triggers.” It lists the two so-called triggers:
(2) “Trigger to Adjustment of Status from Registered Provisional Immigrant Status to Lawful Permanent Resident Status” (the ‘trigger’ for then moving one from legal status to greencard/permanent resident)
The American public has repeatedly heard from the Gang of 8, and particularly Senator Rubio, that there will be no special pathway and applicants must go to the back of the line behind everyone else. But that isn’t exactly right. The path creates a very clear, ‘special’ path and makes no mention of how exactly these applicants are placed behind anyone else.
Thought this amnesty was limited to those already here? Think again. Even family members of those who qualify for this new R.P.I. status will qualify — specifically, spouses and children. Though we constantly heard this immigration reform would move away from family-based immigration to skills-based immigration — where is that? On the contrary, this bill seems to emphasize family-based immigration.
One is ineligible to apply if one has a felony conviction, three or more misdemeanors, or a few other no-no’s such as having unlawfully voted. But it is unclear just how detailed — or effective across databases (for individuals who often may have provided fake names or falsified documentation) — these background checks will be.
It’s not only amnesty for those currently here but even for those who were already deported. Even if one was already deported (provided it was for non-criminal reasons), as long as one was in the U.S. before 12/31/2011, one may apply to re-enter the U.S. in cushy RPI status (as long as your spouse, parent, or child is a U.S. citizen or resident).
“Individuals with removal orders will be permitted to apply[,] as will aliens currently in removal proceedings.”
what about state benefits or state programs? And what of legislation down the road that may overturn this restriction?
As Senator Rubio has noted in previous interviews, millions of those who are here illegally overstayed a tourist or student visa but the system does little to track these individuals. This bill does not provide any actual solution to that problem.
There does not appear to be any wording in the bill preventing another future amnesty.