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Do You Have an Immigration Problem, A Citizenship Question? Together, We'll Find A Solution
9/24/2021 Issue
            The “plan” was to include a change of immigration law in a Budget Reconciliation.
What change? Giving legal status (Green Cards) to 8 million non-citizens in the U.S., which will enable them to become American citizens.
           Why through a BUDGET RECONCILIATION? Because the Democratic Party has only 50 senators (out of 100) in the Senate and passage of a regular law requires a majority of 60 senators, which the Democrats don’t have. But anything to do with the Government’s Budget requires only 50 senators, which they have (actually, 51 – when you count in the Democratic Vice-President who is permitted to vote, when the count is 50-50).
           However, the Senate has one official (not a Senator) called the PARLIAMENTARIAN, who must decide whether the contents of a Bill (the immigration reform) fits the procedure (Budget Reconciliation). Last weekend, this Parliamentarian decided that the big immigration change planned by the Democrats does not fit into the Budget Reconciliation.
           Therefore, the dreams of the DREAMERS, the dreams of 8 million non-citizens - all these dreams turned into a big disappointment.
           The Democrats in Congress claim that they have other ways to achieve their plan. Maybe. Wait and see.
           There are many explanations why the plan to legalize 8 million non-citizens failed. Personally, I believe that the reason given by the Parliamentarian was the correct one.
           The Parliamentarian stated, without saying so, that the plan tried to do too much: to give Green Cards to millions of non-citizens and then to give them a path to citizenship. This was to much - a “change of policy”, which cannot be a part of a “Budget Reconciliation”.
           Personally, I believe that if the plan would have given the non-citizen only long-term permission to stay and work in the U.S. with ability to travel and return to the U.S. – it could have had a better chance of success because it would not be a big “change of policy” (but would still satisfy the actual, practical needs of the eligible non-citizen).
           By the way: the Parliamentarian is a lawyer by the name of Elizabeth MacDonough. She has been in this position since February 2012 and, apparently, both Democrats and Republicans are satisfied with her objectivity. One chapter in her legal career which could be of special interest to our readers, is that after law school, Ms. McDonough worked for the Immigration Service in New Jersey as a Trial Attorney, representing the Government in Deportation cases.
           A certain licensed nurse in Mexico was continuously threatened by drug gangs demanding that she treat their injured members. After some violent incidents, she escaped to the U.S. and applied for Political Asylum.
 The claim of this lady was that being a Nurse made her a member of a particular SOCIAL GROUP, a “group” which cannot escape the threats of drug gangs.
The Immigration Judge denied her claim, stating that she could escape the threats by changing her occupation, stop being a Nurse, just like a “taxi driver” who was also denied a similar claim. The Judge
ordered her removal (deportation) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) approved the deportation.
           The Mexican nurse appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that decided differently. The Federal Judges said that a “nurse” is not like a “taxi driver”. Even if a nurse stops working as a nurse, her skills remain with her and the gangs would still consider her a Nurse. Therefore, the Court of Appeals reversed the order of removal.
           One victory for common sense.

           Everyone dealing with Immigration knows that all cases take at least twice as long as they used to take before Trump and before Covid-19. Some types of cases take 3 times longer.
           The Trump administration intentionally imposed unnecessary procedures and complications designed to slow down the processing of cases. Covid-19 caused a lockdown of immigration offices for several months. Big backlogs were built up.
           The Biden Administration has been in charge for 8 months. They still were not able to overcome the backlogs and to kick up the tempo of processing.
           Maybe, one day.
3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1918
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 383-3222