Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The ‘long wait’ for citizenship can’t come soon enough

Call it encouraging, but it is nice to see that the members of the Senate who have been studying the issue of immigration policy in recent months seem to have their act together.
The center of immigration reform these days

News reports coming out in recent days indicate they may have a definitive plan to offer by April, and action could come from Congress sometime this summer.

I CALL IT encouraging because for awhile, I was wondering if President Barack Obama was going to have to come up with something on his own that would be enacted through some sort of executive order.

Which, if done that way, would make it likely to be the first order repealed by some future Republican-oriented president. (Or maybe even a Democratic one, if a Blue Dog-type gets elected in the future).

The idea that some officials in Congress and the president all are headed in the proper direction is a positive sign. Perhaps we will see a policy shift that will benefit all of us – except for the ideologues who want to view immigration reform as an increase in deportations.

Ultimately, those people are the problem that we have to overcome. So let’s overcome them!

THE WASHINGTON POST reported Monday how the Senate panel is reviewing a plan by which people now living in this country without citizenship or a valid visa would be able to gain valid status after a 10-year period – and gain citizenship after another three years.

It sounds like it is meant to be a drawn-out process with a lot of potentials for snags that could trip people up. Not everybody who qualifies would make it through the 13 years.

But even under proposals being contemplated by Obama, it would take some 13 years for the individual to gain citizenship. I’m not about to quibble over how long it would take for the “green” card to be issued (eight years, under an Obama proposal).

The end result sounds the same.

WE’RE AT THE point where I am just anxious for this issue to move beyond the negotiation stage. For there will be skeptics for as long as all this is just talk, with little tidbits dribbling out of the closed rooms where the issue is being discussed privately.
How long until poster becomes relic of bygone era?

I’d even be happier with a Congressional hearing where some ideologically-inclined senator feels the need to say something stupid about immigration policy. Because at least that means something is being reviewed and is taking steps closer to someday becoming law.

I’m not about to predict at this stage how this issue is going to turn out. I’d like to think something will get passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama this summer.

But political negotiations always have a way of stumbling a few times – even at this point of the process where no proposal has officially been announced.

LET’S HOPE THAT nobody happens to say something silly that offends someone else, thereby causing the potential for closeness that we now have on this issue get flushed down the proverbial toilet bowl.

The only place I want to hear, or even think of, that flush is when I’m in front of a television and happen to be watching an “All in the Family” re-run.

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