The Bush Administration Vs. Immigrant Widows

During tough economic times, when Americans are struggling, it makes even less sense than normal to cater to illegal immigrants who take jobs from American workers, drive down wages, and soak up government services via the children whom they have on American soil.

That being said, the way the Bush Administration has handled immigrant widows has been blockheaded,

A foreigner who marries a U.S. citizen is entitled to become a U.S. resident. But as correspondent Bob Simon reports, immigration wants to deport several hundred widows-and a few widowers-foreigners who had been married to American citizens when the Americans died.

Immigration claims basically that a widow is not a wife, and that if the widow did not complete the process to become a U.S. resident while her husband was alive, she cannot remain in the country.

…Raquel, like all the other widows 60 Minutes met, had entered the U.S. legally. Still, immigration has been rejecting requests for permanent residence if the American spouse died before they had their immigration interview to prove their marriage was based on love.

But the government can take months-sometimes more than a year-to schedule that interview. Raquel’s mother-in-law, Linda, says Raquel shouldn’t be penalized because the bureaucracy didn’t move fast enough.

“They were doing things legally. They filed the right papers. They filed them in a timely manner. Things were not processed in a timely manner. And they’re and then my son died. This was not something that you can foresee,” Linda says.

One of the things that’s often lost in the whole debate about illegal immigration is that our legal immigration system is hopelessly broken. It takes years worth of paperwork and thousands of dollars for someone to become an American citizen and oftentimes, even when they try to do the right thing, the system hammers them into the ground.

In practice, what that means is that if you’re willing to cross the Rio Grande at 2 AM, steal somebody’s social security number, and set up shop in a sanctuary city, you don’t have to worry about getting deported, — but if you come into the country legally, marry an American citizen and your husband dies, you’re in danger of being sent away.

That’s so self-evidently ridiculous that even the Bush Administration should be able to figure it out.

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