Well, 2010 wasn’t much a banner year for immigration reform..again. Here’s to hoping that 2011 is a year of good, solid and balanced debate and then ACTION. A few months back, I posted my list of 20 action items that would move our immigration policy into the 21st century. Now’s a great time to review them again:
1. Pass the DREAM Act.
2. Eliminate the three- and 10-year bars.
3. Remove requirement of lawful entry in application for adjustment of status for persons who entered as a minor.
4. End mandatory detention as we know it.
5. Pass legislation such as the Uniting American Families Act (HR 1024/S. 424) and end discrimination against LGBT immigrant families.
6. Change technical statute for clarification of 8 USC 1229(a)(b)(5)C)(i).
7. Eliminate quotas to the family-based petitions.
8. End country preferences for employment-based immigrant visas.
9. Increase the number of H1B visas, so that the cap does not get filled so quickly. Allow more people to apply.
10. Narrow the definition of “aggravated felony” and bring back the discretionary authority of the Immigration Judge.
11. Establish an appeal process for consular processing denials.
12. Extend 245(i) to include all petitions filed on or before a date selected in the future, so that non-citizens who have entered the United States without inspection may be able to adjust their status in the United States.
13. Individuals should be eligible to file a waiver of his/her inadmissibility because of false claims to USC citizenship regardless of the date of action.
14. Eliminate the harsh discriminatory requirements for fathers filing for “illegitimate” children (i.e. children born out of wedlock).
15. For fraud related waivers, the laws should allow children to be included as “qualifying relatives.”
16. Allow people to work while appealing a denial.
17. Eliminate bars to cancellation of removal for aggravated felons.
18. Provide appellate review of administrative decisions denying adjustment of status.
19. Force every CIS Officer, first to get hired, then to continue keeping their job, to study immigration law, including court decisions, as well as pass a final exam and, subsequently, periodic ones just to confirm their knowledge of immigration law.
20. Prohibit undocumented children from ever being detained.