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From: [Name Withheld]
Re: Juan Mann's Column: Abolish the EOIR! Juan Mann's Absolutely Definitive Essay
It is estimated that there are 3 million sons and daughters of legal permanent residents currently stateside and awaiting processing.
On or before April 30, 2001, nearly 5 million parents filed I-130 family petitions for their spouses and unmarried children. They are awaiting availability of visa numbers to be approved by Congress.
F-1a status represents spouses and minors under 21-years-old. The list for this category moves forward quickly depending upon the country of origin.
The spouse of a LPR [Legal Permanent Resident] and her/his minor children are able to "adjust status" in 6-10 years. They are entitled under 245(i) to remain in the United States provided the children remain unmarried, do not work, do not attend school, do not leave the United States, and do not commit a crime.
This group of people often ignore the following laws: (1) drive a car without a license, (2) attend school, (3) become employed, (3) become a public charge since they receive free lunches, low-public assisted health care, Head-Start education and supplemental ESL education.
However, it is Customs and Immigration Services policy to ignore those regulations. Applicants are never asked if they have violated any of the foregoing provisions. CIS requires an I-864 Affidavit of Support from the original LPR sponsor [or co-sponsor] who become jointly and severally liable for any public-charge benefits received by the beneficiary during a minimum of 10 years.
CIS has never pursued reimbursement from the sponsor or co-sponsor. Theoretically all the assets, property and future income of the sponsor or co-sponsor are subject to judgment liens.
In as much as CIS never enforces its own policies, it is very easy for a non-qualifying LPR sponsor to entice another LPR or American citizen to sponsor his wife and kids. There is no fear of ever having their assets attached because CIS has hardly ever enforced those provisions of public law.
Recently approved low-income immigrants often receive mean-tested public benefits and their sponsors or co-sponsors are never billed for the cost of those benefits. There has been a near total breakdown in billing enforcement.
A second much larger group of undocumented immigrants currently in the United States awaiting adjustment of status are the unmarried sons and daughters of LPR's over age 21.
Inevitably almost every member of this group violates the following laws: (1) driving without a driver's license, (2) working without employment authorization, (3) attending night school, (4) have children out of wedlock (because getting married would cause them to lose status), and (5) receive the second income tax credit for children [if they have any] once they apply for and receive an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
They frequently work using a bogus social security number. When using the number of a live, legal person that innocent victim frequently receives a letter from the IRS accusing him of under-reporting income. Then, that person becomes involved in a two year problem tying up his tax refund and possibly risking ruined credit if his subsequent tax bill goes into collection.
This second group, F-2b, often claims that he has to work and has no reason to think that violating the conditions of their waiting requirements is of consequence because they all know that the U.S. Government will never enforce those provisions of immigration law.
Do the math: It will take the rest who filed between January and April 2001 until April 2051 to adjust status. They will be 70-years-old.
Since their parents will have died before that happens they could be returned to their countries of origin.
Many in line must face this reality: the odds are long that they will ever adjust to legal permanent resident status.
I call them the forgotten millions.