Those of you who have read my work for any period of time know the lengths my husband and I had to go through to be together here in the United States. Piles of paperwork; thousands of dollars; months of separation—all of it just to get legal residency status. If he wants citizenship, that’s another arduous process and a $725 form N-400 and biometrics filing fee. Long story short, he’s been here 10 years working hard and paying taxes—and he still doesn’t have the right to vote. We’ll get there someday, but I’ve digressed.
Needless to say, the DACA conversation is a hard one for us to swallow.
Yes, we get it—we’ve heard the tagline: “but, these kids were brought here through no fault of their own!” Yes, we get it—there’s the fact that many of them don’t speak the language of their homelands (how would they work or live). Yes, we get it—we realize it’s a lot easier to Monday morning quarterback about deporting anywhere from 2 to 4 million people than it is to actually do it.
You know what I thought would be a kick? Have the wife of a legal immigrant take a whack at solving the problem.
So here’s my proposition: we’ll resolve their limbo-land status and grant them permanent residency (i.e. the “green card.”) That means they can legally live here, work, raise a family—the whole nine. But here’s the catch:
You are not eligible for citizenship for at LEAST 10 years
This, of course, means you cannot vote.
What irritates me almost as much as watching someone get what my husband still doesn’t have is the fact that the very people fighting for these so-called “DREAMers” (I’m looking at you, 8-hours Pelosi) don’t actually CARE about immigrants.
They care about their votes.
I remember once someone telling me about attending a naturalization ceremony and noticing a table in the back—and discovering it was a couple of Democrats registering the newly-minted citizens to vote.
My guess is that wasn’t an anomaly, and my guess is that if Democrats’ ability to schmooze and schmaltz the DREAMers into voting Democrat was taken away for at least a decade, my guess is Democrat support for the DREAMers magically diminishes. Like, overnight.
DREAMers, you’re a number to the Democrats. Allow me to illustrate something for you:
When—in the 2018 State of the Union address—President Trump touted the historically low unemployment numbers in the African American and Latino communities, prominent Democrats sat on their hands, glaring.
Scores of people who didn’t have a job and now do is something to celebrate, and the representatives who claim to care the most about minority communities … didn’t. Not even a little.
That shows me that they don’t care about you or your communities; they care about themselves, their jobs, and their power. After all, if their intention is to improve people’s lives, it wouldn’t matter WHO got the job done. But since they’re not going to get credit (and potentially the votes) for the success, it doesn’t matter to them. And the fact that they sat glaring is proof positive.
Why would the DREAMer community be any different if the ability to glean votes from said community was taken away from the Democrats?
You are not eligible for government aid of any kind for at LEAST 10 years.
When my husband first arrived here after we spent months processing his entrance visa (yeah, you have to actually apply for an entrance visa BEFORE you can set foot in the country, BEFORE you can apply for temporary permanent residency, BEFORE you can apply for actual permanent residency and YEARS before you can apply for citizenship), we had to sign a document stating he would not apply for government aid of any kind. To seal the deal, we had to find someone willing to sign an affidavit stating that they would make themselves financially responsible for us (and they had to prove it) should we fall on hard times. My then-70-something grandparents graciously offered to sign the document (putting their finances on the line)—while knowing full well that millions of illegal immigrants get to take advantage of some form of government aid on a daily basis.
When the aforementioned Democrats cannot entice millions of people into voting for them by dangling myriad social programs in their faces, my guess—again—is that support for DREAMers goes away pretty quick.
While I’m over here dreaming (no pun intended), let me propose three more pillars to my grand plan:
- Refund the filing fees, legal fees, and any other associated costs with immigrating here legally to the millions—like my husband—who already did it the right way.
- Waive the filing and biometrics fees (ranging anywhere from $750-$1,225) of those already legally in line to file for their permanent residency status. Similarly, waive the $725 filing and biometrics fee for people like my husband who have made it through the whole process and are eligible for citizenship but still must foot the bill to do it.
- Set up a fast-track lane to process entrance visas, residency status or citizenship to those already in line legally. Believe me, working with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is painful on a level most people will never experience.
And for the record, the wall is a given. I’m for NONE of this without border security and immigration enforcement. Period.
So, my Democrat friends—do I have any takers?
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree