some good ideas for reform, and not comprehensively

August 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

Miami Herald: An internal memo prepared for the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it is possible to provide green cards or delay deportation for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are now living and working in the United States without papers or permanent residence. The recent memo to USCIS director Alejandro Mayorkas, released in Washington late Thursday, said one group that could receive green cards are the almost 400,000 current holders of Temporary Protected Status who include Salvadorans, Haitians, Hondurans and Nicaraguans. The memo says young students who could qualify for green cards under pending legislation known as the DREAM Act could be granted deferred action, an immigration measure that delays deportation. Another option for potential DREAM Act beneficiaries, the memo says, would be to “move forward” to 1996 — or another date — the registry provision of immigration law that makes eligible for green cards undocumented immigrants present in the United States since before Jan. 1, 1972. The memo is the first formal indication that officials within the Obama administration are seriously discussing the possibility of helping certain categories of undocumented immigrants achieve permanent residence — absent immigration reform. Besides listing possible options for TPS holders and DREAM Act candidates, the memo also lists other options for multiple categories of undocumented immigrants as well as legal workers, professionals and investors. USCIS officials would not say what prompted the memo, but its title — Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform — suggests that high level officials within the administration may be considering ways to legalize classes of undocumented immigrants in case Congress doesn’t deal with formal legalization for the estimated 10.8 million immigrants without papers. USCIS said the memo merely reflects discussion.

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