Doesn’t providing legal status to undocumented immigrants penalize immigrants who play by the rules and wait in line?
The current proposal endorsed by the U.S. bishops, the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act, requires that undocumented workers work six years before applying for permanent resident status. This places them “at the back of the line,” behind immigrants who have petitioned for a green card through an employment-based or family-based petition. In addition, the proposal reduces backlogs in family categories so that waiting times are reduced to six months or less in all categories by 2011. Furthermore, many of the undocumented who are here and immigrants waiting in line are the same people. Because of the long backlogs for family visas and other employment-related visas, many decide not to wait and enter through unauthorized means. By fixing the system, through expanding the number of visas available to work and reunite with families, the incentive to migrate without proper visas will be mitigated.