Immigration 101 in Nursery Rhyme

Written by: Mo Goldman, AILA Media-Advocacy Committee

Watching the Florida Republican Primary Debates this week again demonstrated that these final four candidates simply refuse to understand the dynamics of our draconian immigration system.  Perhaps they just don’t understand the complexity of it and the numerous roadblocks that serve as a barrier to those who want to legally immigrate to the United States.  Three of the remaining candidates contend that we must deport anyone who is not legally present in the country.  The other candidate thinks it would be wise to set up some sort of citizen review panel, which sounds more like a bad game show.  Since this seems to be so difficult to comprehend, allow me to demonstrate why their ideas are shameful composed through a format that they might relate to and understand: Nursery rhymes (Note: the following rhymes are based on true stories)

Jack and Jill Meet the Ten Year Bar

Jack and Jill came to Chapel Hill,

To make a new life for themselves.

Undocumented for more than a year,

Now they live in fear.

Jack was pulled over by the police,

He was forced to his knees.

Jack was deported back to Chile,

A ten year bar left Jill lonely.


INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) bars a person for three years if they remain in the U.S. without proper documentation (unlawfully present) for more than 6 months.  INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) bars a person for ten years if they remain in the U.S. without proper documentation for more than a year.  Therefore, this law provides a disincentive for a person to self-deport as suggested by Governor Romney.  There are limited waivers available for these bars, but most people are too fearful to leave the U.S. and face these harsh penalties.  Attrition through enforcement only makes sense if people actually leave, eliminating state benefits is not going to force people out.  Plus, it is inhumane.


Humpty Dumpty Waited and Waited…

Humpty Dumpty sponsored his son for a green card,

Humpty Dumpty didn’t realize that the process would be this hard,

One year became two years became five years,

Twenty years passed by and his son was still waiting in tears.

We welcome anyone to take an hour (or a week) and try to make sense out of what is known as the Visa Bulletin.  This is published by the U.S. Department of State on a monthly basis.  Processing times can vary from one category to the next, but most family-based sponsored immigration can take a decade or longer.  Conservative economists consistently decry the current system that does nothing more than separate families and hurt the U.S. in competing for the best and brightest foreign workers.  Making the argument that undocumented immigrants should leave and get in the back of the line is completely illogical since the “line” has no end in sight.


Little Boy Blue and Needs Hope

Little Boy Blue, he missed his dreams.

“A waste of talent,” he often screams.

Where is the boy who picks your grapes?

He’s sweating his ass off and can’t escape.

Will you help him?  Santorum says no.

He hopes that Little Boy Blue self deports.

DREAM Act anyone? Comprehensive Immigration Reform?  Newt Gingrich talks about the plight of grandparents who are in this country without legal status.  What about the rest of the family?  What about the children of immigrants who came to this country when they were minors and have grown up in the United States?  To deny these individuals, many of whom are no longer minors, an opportunity to go to college and join the military and someday become a U.S. citizen is un-American.  The government should give these young people an opportunity to thrive and use the skills they developed in our system.  For that matter, it is high time that Congress passes a reasonable comprehensive bill to provide a path to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants in the United States. 


by Guest Blogger