END DEPORTATION OF PERSONS LIKELY TO QUALIFY FOR
A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP UNDER IMMIGRATION REFORM


SYNOPSIS:
  
    Immigration reform in the United States
will probably create pathways to American citizenship
for most of foreign nationals now settled in the USA.
Anticipating these changes of immigration law,
it would be possible for the U.S. government to suspend
all deportation actions for citizens of other countries
who will probably qualify for some pathway to citizenship
once new immigration laws become effective.

    Perhaps 11 million of the estimated 12 million
foreign nationals now settled in the USA
will ultimately qualify for permanent resident status and later American citizenship.
And about 1 million will be returned to their countries of citizenship.

OUTLINE:

1.  THE PRESIDENT CAN IMPLEMENT AN INTERIM POLICY
     FORESHADOWING THE LIKELY RESULTS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM.

2.  LIKELY REQUIREMENTS FOR EARNING U.S. CITIZENSHIP.

3.  THE ONE MILLION WHO WILL BE REPATRIATED.

4.  FOREIGN NATIONALS IN U.S. PRISONS FOR ORDINARY CRIMES.

5.  FOREIGN NATIONALS COULD SERVE THEIR JAIL-TIME IN THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.

6.  WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THE FAMILIES OF CONVICTED FOREIGN CRIMINALS?

7.  EACH FAMILY-CONSTELLATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ON ITS OWN MERITS.

8.  IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON CRIME IN AMERICA.

9.  LAW-ABIDING FOREIGN NATIONALS
     WILL HAVE THE BEST CHANCES OF EARNING AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP.

10.  DEPORTATION OF DREAMers SUSPENDED IN JUNE 2012 .





END DEPORTATION OF PERSONS LIKELY TO QUALIFY FOR
A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP UNDER IMMIGRATION REFORM

by James Leonard Park


    Reforming the immigration laws of the United States of America
will probably be a long and complex political process. 
It could take several years to make the major changes obviously needed.
And in the meantime, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
has the legal authority to repatriate any citizen of another country
who is found anywhere inside the USA or its possessions
if that foreign national does not have official permission to be here.

    If present practice continues
during the interim period of creating new immigration law,
then some people will be sent back to their homelands
who might have qualified to stay in America.

    After American immigration laws are reformed,
justice will be extended to people born in other lands
who entered the USA without permission
(or were brought as children).
And from the perspective of the revised laws,
some people who were sent back to their homelands
will then be perceived as potential citizens
who should have been permitted to stay.

    In other words, it will be perceived that it was unjust to deport them,
even if the law at the time of their return to their homelands
assumed that deportation was the correct response
to the discovery of any foreign nationals
living anywhere in the USA without permission.




1.  THE PRESIDENT CAN IMPLEMENT AN INTERIM POLICY
     FORESHADOWING THE LIKELY RESULTS OF IMMIGRATION REFORM.

    An executive order should be sufficient to establish a new policy
with regard to deportation of foreign nationals
whose only violation of law is being settled in the USA without permission.
The Morton Memolinked from the end of this essay
appeared one day after this essay was first published on the Internet.

    If executive order does not seem to be the best way,
the Department of Homeland Security could use its discretion to prosecute
as a way to defer action for those foreign nationals
most likely to qualify for a pathway to American citizenship
under expected immigration reform.

    Registration without deportation could be part of such an interim policy.
The President could end automatic deportation immediately.
All foreign nationals settled in the USA without previous permission
would be required to register with the U.S. government,
but such registration would not trigger deportation proceedings.

    Those foreign nationals who know they have the best chance
of being offered pathways to American citizenship
will be the first to register themselves and their whole families.
And the public fact that they were not deported
should encourage other foreign nationals
voluntarily to come out of the shadows to register themselves.

    Registration with the United States Department of Homeland Security
would not guarantee a pathway to American citizenship.
A small percentage of foreign nationals who voluntarily register
will ultimately be required to return to their homelands.
But those who register voluntarily will have a better chance at citizenship
than those foreign nationals who decide to remain in the shadows.

    Along with the opening of registration,
the President could announce the most likely criteria
to be used for offering citizenship to foreign nationals.

    Here is another on-line essay laying out some likely criteria:
Ideal Immigrants: Criteria for Selecting New Americans
http://www.tc.umn.edu/%7Eparkx032/CY-IDEAL.html




2.  LIKELY REQUIREMENTS FOR EARNING U.S. CITIZENSHIP.


    Eventually new criteria will be defined
for earning citizenship in the United States of America.
Here are twelve standards likely to be applied:

A.  LEARN ENGLISH.

B.  EARN A COLLEGE DEGREE.

C.  BE EMPLOYED IN A LEGITIMATE OCCUPATION.

D.  PAY ALL TAXES.

E.  REGISTER WITH THE SELECTIVE SERVICE.

F.  SERVE IN THE U.S. MILITARY.

G.  REGISTER WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

H.  LIST ALL RELATIVES WHO ARE U.S. CITIZENS.

I.   DOCUMENT HOW LONG YOU HAVE LIVED IN THE USA.

J.  APPLY FOR NATURALIZATION AS EARLY AS PERMITTED.

K.  GET A DRIVER'S LICENSE.

L.  FOLLOW ALL LAWS.

    These are explored in another on-line essay:
"Earning American Citizenship: Be Above Average":
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/CY-EARN.html.




3.  THE ONE MILLION WHO WILL BE REPATRIATED.


    Immigration reform will not offer blanket amnesty to all foreign nationals.
First, any such amnesty would be resisted by conservatives in Congress.
And second, it would not be good for America
to tolerate certain people in our population.

   
(Here is the basic reason we should not declare blanket amnesty:
Allowing all citizens of other countries settled in the USA to remain
would strongly encourage more millions
to enter the United States without permission.)


    The vast majority of foreign nationals
already settled in the USA without permission
will probably be allowed to stay and to earn U.S. citizenship.
But a minority of foreign nationals
will be returned to their countries of citizenship. 

    Once voluntary registration without deportation is announced,
those foreign nationals least likely to be offered pathways to U.S. citizenship
will not voluntarily register themselves.
They will do their best not to be noticed by any government agencies. 

    The announced likely criteria for earning American citizenship
will name factors that exclude certain foreign nationals.
The most likely of these excluding factors will be criminal behavior.
(Here we mean all crimes other than violating immigration laws.)
Citizens and non-citizens are regularly arrested, tried, convicted, & imprisoned
for violating local, state, & federal laws. 
When such violations are serious enough to warrant prison time,
then they will probably be serious enough crimes
to exclude the convicted criminals from U.S. citizenship.
Or this criminal exclusion could be
convictions that resulted in more than one year in prison.




4.  FOREIGN NATIONALS IN U.S. PRISONS FOR ORDINARY CRIMES.


    One of the first things that happens after any arrest
is taking a photograph of the person arrested.
This is one step in fully identifying the alleged criminal.
Complete identification should always include country of citizenship.

    Eventually the USA will probably have a complete list of all residents.
Thus, the identity of arrested persons should be kept in a format
that will later be compatible with this future national directory. 

    Whatever databases have already been created for arrested persons
should be consulted to see if this person has been arrested before.
Trials and convictions will also be included in the same databases.

    Whenever convicted criminals are identified as foreign nationals,
great care should be observed to make certain that these persons
are also registered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    Since persons who have violated local, state, or federal laws
(and who as a result have been sentenced to serve some time in jail or prison)
are not likely to become eligible for any pathways to American citizenship,
the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
should be kept fully informed about each convicted foreign criminal.

    While any convicted criminals are serving their sentences
as imposed by the regular criminal-justice systems in the USA,
their citizenship should be carefully investigated and documented.

    There are about 100,000 inmates in state and federal prisons
who are foreign nationals living in the USA without permission.
This is about 5% of all prisoners in the United States
and less than 1% of all foreign nationals settled in the USA without permission.

    Instead of releasing foreign criminals back into the general population
after they have served their time in prison,
they should be handed over to ICE for possible deportation.

    If it seems likely that they will never become U.S. citizens,
no matter how liberal our immigration reforms,
then repatriation should follow any term of imprisonment in the USA.

    The federal prison system could require that all foreign inmates
be handed over to ICE for possible return to their countries of citizenship
when their sentences are completed.

    Many local and state prison systems will voluntarily cooperate
in collecting and verifying citizenship information for each inmate.
And federal law might be changed to require such cooperation
from all prisons that receive any form of federal assistance.
Also ICE might pay a per capita fee for each foreign inmate turned over.
This should cover additional costs to investigate and document
the citizenship-status of all inmates.

    Since these foreign prisoners are already in custody,
why not turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately?
Then, if possible, they might serve their prison time in their homelands.

    In any case, they should never be released into the general population
without a ruling by an immigration judge permitting them to stay in the USA.

    Deportation proceedings should begin
while these foreign prisoners are still in prison.
This will save all of the costs normally associated with
identifying and locating citizens of other countries
who are settled in the USA without permission.
Because they are already in safe custody,
there is no danger of them disappearing once again
as a response to opening the proceedings needed to deport them.

    And if their jail-time expires before their citizenship-status has been confirmed,
they should be kept in some sort of custody
until their final destination has been decided.

    If we agree that foreign nationals
who were convicted of crimes while living in the USA
have no chance of being offered American citizenship,
then they should be deported
(along with others in their families who have no right to live in the USA)
as soon as their jail-time is completed.




5.  FOREIGN NATIONALS COULD SERVE THEIR JAIL-TIME IN THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN.


    If immigration reform in the United States
makes it clear that convicted criminals will never qualify for U.S. citizenship,
then it might be possible to deport foreign nationals
who have been convicted of crimes of the USA
to serve their sentences in the countries where they hold citizenship. 

    Before any such deportation of convicted criminals takes place,
we must be certain that the receiving country will put the criminal in prison
to serve a sentence of the same duration as would be imposed in the USA.
When we do not have such assurances from the country of origin,
then the foreign criminal will have to serve the prison time in the USA.

    Individuals convicted of any crime in the USA
will have their identities carefully recorded by the criminal-justice system.
And if they are foreign nationals to be returned to their homelands,
their pictures and other identifying details will also be preserved
by the United States Department of Homeland Security,
just in case they attempt to re-enter the USA
after they are released from prison in their own countries.




6.  WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THE FAMILIES OF CONVICTED FOREIGN CRIMINALS?


    Whenever criminals are removed from the general population,
this has an impact on whatever families they have.
This applies both to families who are citizens of the USA
and to families that include some non-citizens.

    Usually the closest family members knew about the criminal activity
And they might have tried to protect themselves
by avoiding involvement in the criminal behavior.
In some cases, family members reported the crimes.

    All such factors should be taken into account
in deciding what to do with the other family members
of foreign criminals who must now go to jail.

    If it has been determined by ICE that the foreign criminal
will be repatriated after the term in prison has been completed,
then careful planning can be made for other family members.

    Family unity should be honored above citizenship.
This will apply to families with both citizens of the USA and non-citizens.
It might be best for the whole nuclear family to be returned
to the country where most adults in the family are citizens
after the term of imprisonment of one family member.

    All minor children who are U.S. citizens
would have an automatic right to return to the USA
after they are old enough to live on their own.

    When it is known that the whole family will be affected
by any arrest, trial, & conviction for any violation of law,
then other family members will exert pressure
on the person who is committing crimes.
Because the whole family might be deported
as a result of a criminal conviction of one member,
the law-abiding members of the family
might help to control the criminal behavior.




7.  EACH FAMILY-CONSTELLATION SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ON ITS OWN MERITS.


    Each and every family member has a different history.
And decisions about one family member will necessarily affect the others.
Past immigration enforcement has sometimes been rigid in enforcing the law
not taking the whole family into account.

    Most foreign nationals
will probably be granted some right to remain in the USA.
This means that many members of families of convicted criminals
will offered pathways to citizenship
even if some family members are repatriated
because they could not fulfill the minimum requirements for U.S. citizenship.

    Some people who would normally have qualified for American citizenship
will be kept together with other family members
who are returned to their countries of citizenship.
Later they can apply to be admitted to the USA
under whatever new immigration policies are then in effect.

    Above all, decisions should be made by immigration judges
that will do the most good and the least harm to all family members.
Prison sentences must be served either in the USA or in some other country.
What would be best for all family members
both during and after the term in prison for the convicted criminal?




8.  IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON CRIME IN AMERICA.

    Immigration reform in the United States of America
will probably offer pathways for earning American citizenship
for the vast majority of foreign nationals now settled in the USA.

    The minority of foreign nationals who have been convinced of ordinary crimes
will probably not be offered U.S. citizenship.
Immigration reform might also create other criteria
which will exclude would-be Americans from citizenship.
But criminal behavior (either in the home country or while living in the USA)
is the most likely factor that will exclude someone from American citizenship.

    The first impact of any such new immigration policy
will be on the criminal behavior of foreign nationals already settled in the USA.
Crimes serious enough to earn time in a U.S. prison
will not only put the foreign criminal into jail to serve that sentence,
but violating any local, state, or federal law (except immigration laws)
might exclude that person from any hope of becoming a U.S. citizen.

    Exceptions will always be possible for special circumstances.
But criminal behavior is likely to be the most serious reason
for denying any foreign national the privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen.

    Once such immigration reform comes into operation,
all foreign nationals already settled in the USA
who hope to qualify for American citizenship at some later time
will be strongly motivated to avoid criminal behavior.
They will know that crime will not only put them into prison,
but it will result in deportation either during the prison-sentence
or after the prison-sentence has been served in an American jail.

    In other words, the potential criminal who is also a foreign national
will know in advance the implications of any criminal behavior today:
Law enforcement will catch the criminal.
A fair trial will be conducted (or the prisoner can plead guilty).
If the arrested foreign national is convicted,
a prison-term will be served in the USA.
And in addition, that criminal conviction will probably lead to deportation.

    The foreign national will already be in custody for ordinary crimes.
And he or she will not be released into the general population
after the imposed sentence has been served.
Rather, the foreign criminal will be processed by ICE
for possible deportation after the sentence has been served.

    And careful records of the identity of each such deported criminal
will be maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
and by all the most relevant law-enforcement agencies.
This will prevent them from ever attempting to re-enter the USA.
And if they are ever discovered in the United States,
they will be immediately deported once again.

    When there are minor children involved,
they will also be re-settled in the country where the parents will be re-located.
Care and compassion should govern the methods for repatriating
all who must be returned to their countries of citizenship
under new immigration laws in the USA.

    The impact of this additional 'punishment'
of deportation for convicted foreign criminals
might make the underground population of hidden foreign nationals
even more law-abiding than the average American citizen. 

    Not only will foreign nationals settled in the USA without permission
seek never to be discovered by any agency of government,
but they might try even harder to avoid any behavior
that could result in a criminal conviction.




9.  LAW-ABIDING FOREIGN NATIONALS
     WILL HAVE THE BEST CHANCES OF EARNING AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP.


    Of the millions of citizens of other countries already settled in the USA,
the vast majority are already following most laws.
They will not be arrested for any criminal behavior.
They will not go to jail for any violation of ordinary local, state, or federal laws.

    And if they fulfill the other criteria for citizenship
set forth in new immigration laws,
they will improve their chances of becoming American citizens.

    Ending automatic deportation of foreign nationals
might become a first step toward a new United States of America.




10.  DEPORTATION OF DREAMers SUSPENDED IN JUNE 2012.

    On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
announced "deferred action" for all foreign nationals
who would qualify for the DREAM act.
By administrative decision (in contrast to new legislation),
foreign nationals who were children when they were brought into the USA
(age 15 or below) will no longer be subject to immediate deportation
if they were less than 31 years old on June 15, 2012.
They will not be prosecuted for the immigration violations of their parents.
And, unless they have been convicted of serious crimes,
they will be given temporary authorization to work in the USA.
Such two-year authorizations might be renewed on a case-by-case basis.

    This "deferred action for childhood arrivals" DACA does not grant amnesty.
And it will not automatically open a pathway to American citizenship.
Also, after the foreign nationals register with the U.S. government,
the months under this new status will not count as months 'out of status'.
All further questions of legal residence and possible citizenship
will have to be established by immigration reform at some later time.

    Deciding not to prosecute DREAMers already settled in the USA
will not encourage additional unauthorized immigration,
because DACA requires at least 5 years
of continuous presence in the USA up to and including June 15, 2012.

    About one million young, law-abiding foreign nationals
who were brought into America
by their parents without permission
will probably register under this decision not to deport them.
If the program works well,
perhaps 2 million young foreign nationals will register.



Created June 16, 2011; Revised 6-17-2011; 6-23-2011; 9-22-2011; 9-23-2011; 9-28-2011; 10-13-2011;
3-24-2012; 6-19-2012; 1-24-2013; 7-9-2013; 7-29-2013; 8-3-2013;



FURTHER READING

    The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
is now operating under an interim set of guidelines
for deciding when to prosecute foreign nationals
who have violated U.S. immigration laws.
Twenty factors are worth considering:
MORTON MEMO EXPLAINED:
Guidelines for and against Deportation
.
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/MORTON.html




This exploration of the reasons to stop deporting foreign nationals
who will probably be offered pathways to American citizenship

has become Chapter 2 of Orderly Immigration: Creating a New America:
"End Deportation of Persons Likely to Qualify for
  a Pathway to Citizenship under Immigration Reform".


Would you consider joining a world-wide cyber-seminar
discussing this instant book?
See the complete description of this seminar:
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/ED-IMM.html

The discussion of all of the issues surrounding immigration reform
takes place in a Facebook Group called:
"Immigration Reform: Changing U.S. Laws":
https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/431865303561834/




AUTHOR:

    James Park is himself a grateful immigrant to the USA.
He was admitted as a child with his whole family in 1949.
And he was naturalized in 1955.
The United States has been enriched by each member of his family.
Immigration reform will allow millions more people born in other countries
to become open, meaningful members of the American family.
Much more about James Park will be found on his website,
an Existential Philosopher's Museum,
which now has more than 1,000 rooms.

    Some of these rooms contain other essays about immigration:

Registration without Deportation:
Bringing Millions of Foreign Nationals out of the Shadows  .


Twelve Million Foreign Nationals in the USA:
How Many Will Stay?


Earning American Citizenship:
Be Above Average


IDEAL IMMIGRANTS:
New Criteria for Selecting New Americans
  .

IMMIGRATION REFORM:
Selecting New Americans
  .

I am an Immigrant  .  

IMMIGRATION REFORM:
Problems and Solutions:
Keeping the UU Debate Constructive
  .

IMMIGRATION REFORM:
A Range of Options
  .

If They Cannot Work, They Will Not Come:
And Many Will Return to their Homelands
  .


Born in the USA:
The Easy Way to Become a U.S. Citizen    

Comprehensive Repatriation of Citizens of other Countries and their Families  .    

National Identity File





Go to the opening page for this website:
An Existential Philosopher's Museum






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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.