On November 28, 2005, President Bush outlined his strategy to enhance America’s homeland security through comprehensive immigration reform. Part of his plan includes securing the border, preventing illegal crossings, strengthening enforcement of immigration laws, and speeding up the removal/deportation process.
Also, as part of this immigration reform, the President renewed his call for the creation of a new “Temporary Worker Program”, which “would create a legal way to match willing foreign workers with willing American employers to fill jobs that Americans will not do”. Although very few details were provided on this Temporary Worker Program, the President noted that the program would include the following features:
- Temporary workers would be able to register for legal status for a fixed time period (possibly 3 years).
- At the end of that fixed time period, the alien would be “required to go home”
- This program would not create an “automatic path to citizenship” or provide for “amnesty”.
- The President opposes any form of “amnesty”, because it would effectively result in “rewarding those who have broken the law”, and “would encourage others to break the law and keep pressure on our borders”.
- A Temporary Worker Program, by contrast, would promote legal immigration and decrease pressure on the border.
- The President would support increasing the annual number of green cards, which could result in a shorter waiting time for people to get their green cards, by reducing the “backlog” of immigrant visas.
I want to stress and emphasize that President Bush’s Temporary Worker Program is only a proposal. It is not yet a law! In order for it to be a law, it would first have to be passed by both the House and Senate, and finally signed by the President. Bush’ plan is merely his suggestions or proposal for immigration reform, and very few details were provided.
I know that people will immediately have questions such as, “Where do I apply?”, “Am I eligible?”, “What are the requirements?”, etc. There may even be newspaper ads going out by consultants, suggesting that people already “apply” for Bush’s Temporary Worker Program. However, as of the present time, this proposal is not yet a law, and there is nothing that you can apply for. But at least this proposal offers new hope and promise for people. Hopefully, in the very near future, there can be a new avenue by which illegal aliens in the U.S. could obtain some sort of “status” for a period of time.
Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 24 years, and is an active member of the State Bar of California and New York, as well as the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Immigration Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. He has always excelled in school: Valedictorian in High School; Cum Laude at UCLA; and Law Degree Honors and academic scholar at Loyola Law School, which is one of the top law schools in California.
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