by John Hawkins | April 5, 2006 12:27 pm
Consider the case of two men, “Oswaldo,” and “Vikas.”
Vikas is a highly educated, experienced computer software engineer from India. He obtained a good job with a US company that was looking for certain specific high-tech skills. In order to obtain a “H1-B” visa to the US, Vikas went through an arduous process, which included waiting in line from dawn to dusk at the US embassy, and dealing with a quota system that limits H1-Bs to 65,000 visas/year. The quota is usually filled on the very first day every year; so you have to file a year in advance. The processing fees run to thousands of dollars, and extensive documentation must be provided.
Vikas’s H1-B visa was valid for three years, and could have been renewed for three more. After that, Vikas would have had to leave the country.
As an H1-B visa holder, Vikas paid income, Social Security and Medicare taxes. But he is not eligible for any of the Social Security or Medicare benefits.
Vikas could not change employers unless he could find another employer able and willing to sponsor his visa out of the quota of 65,000, and go through the extensive paperwork. Vikas was not eligible for unemployment benefits. In fact, if he lost his job he would have to immediately leave the US.
Vikas was laid off. He had to decide between staying here illegally, inor leaving the country. Vikas did the right thing, and went back to India, where the per-capita income is about $3,000/year. His children will be raised in a third-world country, and have only third-world opportunities when they grow up.
Vikas really exists. He is a friend of mine. I’ve changed his name to protect the innocent (no pun intended.)
Oswaldo is a high-school drop-out from Mexico. Oswaldo paid a “coyote” $2,000 to smuggle him over the US border. Along the way, Oswaldo’s group trashed an Arizona ranch and accidentally started a forest fire where they camped. Oswaldo made his way to North Carolina, where he paid a forger $100 for a fake Green Card and a fake Social Security card. Using these forged documents, Oswaldo found work at a construction site. Oswaldo has now been violating US laws for seven years.
Oswaldo had his family smuggled in from Mexico. His wife now also works illegally with forged documents. Their children get free education at an American public school, and will be eligible for in-state tuition at the University of North Carolina when they grow up. Oswaldo and his wife just had another son, who is a US citizen by virtue of birth.
In order to be eligible for the McCain-Kennedy amnesty, Oswaldo will have to prove that he has been violating US laws for seven years. He can then pay a $2,000 fine, pay back-taxes, and be eligible for a real “Green Card” in six years. Once he obtains the “Green Card,” Oswaldo will be eligible to live in the US permanently. He can apply for US citizenship in five years.
Under current laws, America provides temporary three-year visas to only 65,000 skilled experts like Vikas every year. There is no clear “path to citizenship” for them; when their visas expire, or they get laid off, they’re supposed to immediately leave the country. Getting a “Green Card” on the basis of your skills, education, and intelligence, is a difficult, almost-impossible process.
Under the McCain-Kennedy plan, America would provide an automatic path to citizenship to an additional 400,000 low-skilled, poorly-educated workers like Oswaldo every year. McCain-Kennedy claim this is a “guest” worker program.
Under the McCain-Kennedy plan, America will also provide citizenship to 12 million lawbreakers like Oswaldo, who are already in the US. They claim this is not an “amnesty.”
Call your Senators.
This content was used with the permission of Polipundit.
Source URL: https://rightwingnews.com/uncategorized/a-tale-of-two-immigrants-by-polipundit/
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