Five Myths about the Immigration “Line”

One of the most familiar (and frustrating) misconceptions about the 11 million undocumented residents of the U.S. is that they’ve failed to “stand in line” to receive legal immigration status.  The Washington Post tackles the five misconceptions about this idea today in their “Five Myths” column.

1. There is one line.The federal government has issued more than 1 million green cards per year, on average, for the past five years. But there are several lines — which one immigrants end up in depends on whether they have a job or family in the United States.

There are four family-based categories for many relatives, called “preferences,” and five based on employment. The number of green cards issued through each is limited by country of origin, but there is no cap for “immediate relatives” — spouses of U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens’ unmarried children under age 21 and parents of adult U.S. citizens over 21.

Immigrants and their lawyers track their “place in line” in the State Department’s monthly Visa Bulletin, which lists cut-off dates for each preference and country. For example, the February 2013 bulletin lists EB-1 “priority workers” — superstars in their fields, such as rock stars and neurosurgeons — as “current,” meaning they are likely to wait just the four to six months it takes to prepare visa paperwork and schedule a consular interview.

You can read the rest of the article, which covers the following topics here.

2. Anyone can get in line.

3. Once you are in line, the wait is not too long.

4. If you broke the law, it’s only fair that you get at the back of the line.

5. There’s no way to make the line any shorter.

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One thought on “Five Myths about the Immigration “Line”

  1. Pingback: CFBP--Anthropology, Immigration, Nation, Ethnicity, Race, IQ | Anthropology Report

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