BRINGING MILLIONS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Immigration reform in the United States will
accepting most of the
foreign nationals already settled in the USA
into some new status that will allow them to stay in America.
As a first step out of the shadows,
foreign nationals who would have a low priority for
will be permitted to register themselves voluntarily with the U.S.
When accepting such voluntary registration,
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
will have to issue a new document guaranteeing immunity from deportation
if certain conditions continue to be fulfilled.
After several million foreign nationals have
the United States of American will have the needed database
for making further decisions about pathways to citizenship
for these foreign nationals who have voluntarily come forward to
REGISTRATION ONLY FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS FULLY SETTLED IN THE USA
2. SETTLED IN THE USA BEFORE A CERTAIN CUT-OFF DATE
FACTS TO BE REGISTERED
4. IMMUNITY FROM DEPORTATION
6. IMPACT ON THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY
FOREIGN NATIONALS WANT
TO COME OUT OF THE SHADOWS
WHICH FOREIGN NATIONALS WILL BE THE FIRST TO REGISTER?
9. REGISTRATION WITHOUT DEPORTATION WILL NOT GUARANTEE A PATHWAY
10. CONCLUSION: REGISTRATION WITHOUT DEPORTATION
WILL BE THE FIRST MAJOR STEP OF
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
BEGAN REGISTERING IN JUNE 2012 (DACA)
MILLIONS OF FOREIGN NATIONALS
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
James Leonard Park
1. REGISTRATION ONLY FOR
FOREIGN NATIONALS FULLY SETTLED IN THE USA
Any changes of immigration policy or law
must begin with an awareness that there are millions of people all over
who would like to emigrate
into the USA.
New practices or policies must seek first to prevent
additional people from
entering the USA without permission.
If it were merely announced that any foreign
could register with the Department of Homeland Security
with the assurance that he or she would not be deported,
then millions of people would stream into the USA
to take advantage of this new program.
Not only would it look like a blanket
for all foreign nationals already living in the USA,
but it would look like a blanket
invitation to everyone on Earth
who ever wanted to move to America to do so immediately.
Thus limits and controls must be put on this
proposal for registration
even before any of the other features can be discussed.
2. SETTLED IN THE USA BEFORE
A CERTAIN CUT-OFF DATE
In order to prevent a rush of new unauthorized
this registration of foreign nationals already settled in the USA
might have to specify how
long the family must have been living in America.
Would 10 years be too long?
Perhaps 5 years of verified residence would be satisfactory.
A likely date is June 12, 2012, which is the cut-off date for DREAMers.
section 11 below.)
Foreign nationals who have not been living in the
for the specified length of time
will have to be handled according to the existing methods
The new office registering foreign nationals
have lived for more than five years in the USA
will have to develop some expertise in verifying claims of residence.
Proofs of being present in the USA would include such things as:
(1) income-tax returns for the years of claimed residence,
(2) school and college records for those who were pursuing education,
(3) registration of real estate and/or rental records
for the places
where the foreign nationals lived,
(4) registration of motor vehicles and driver's licenses,
(5) utility records for electricity, natural gas, telephone, cable TV,
Foreign nationals should also be able to provide
from reliable persons who will testify that the foreign nationals
were in fact settled in the USA during the period claimed.
Contrary evidence would include any such similar
that the applicant was living in another country
during some part of
the period in question.
All of the details of places of residence would be
for deciding which foreign nationals have been settled in the USA
for more than five years—or
whatever length of time is specified
in the legislation authorizing Registration without Deportation.
3. FACTS TO BE
The United States Department of Homeland Security
will have to create a new database for the millions of foreign
nationals who will register.
This new database will begin with the hundreds of thousands of foreign
already known to the
various parts of Homeland Security.
Each foreign national who is registering with the U.S. government
must have an established and recognizable name.
If false names have been used in the past,
these should also be noted in this registration.
If names have been changed for any reason, such as marriage,
then the prior names should also be included.
The current registered name will remain with this individual
unless and until it is changed in the Identity File.
Also, if the persons registering have any identity
perhaps assigned in their original homelands,
these should be included with their names.
If they have valid American Social Security Numbers, these will be
Even if they have been using false
Social Security Numbers in the USA,
these should be disclosed
all associated facts concerning these numbers.
If they are not already
registered with the Social Security
then new Social Security Numbers will automatically be issued by the
Each person now alive was born on a particular day in the past.
Even when the precise date was not officially recorded,
most individuals still celebrate the passing of another year
on a particular date on the calendar.
If there is no official record of birth,
this fact can be recorded along with the assumed date of birth.
If even the year of
birth is uncertain,
then medical examination might be needed to assign the best estimate.
Estimated dates of birth can be changed later
if better facts and evidence become available.
birth—and country of citizenship.
Each person was born at a particular place on the planet Earth.
The best-organized countries in the world
have official means of recording each and every birth.
The person being registered with the U.S. government
will provide the best
information available about location of birth.
And when the information is unknown or approximate,
some substitute indication will be included here,
such as the probable
country of birth and citizenship.
When place of birth is unverified,
the assumed location
can be changed
when better information becomes available.
If the registering individual has an uncertain
perhaps because of living in many different countries,
this fact will also be recorded
to later correction if new facts of birth and location come to
If the person being registered has ever been naturalized into
in any country, that fact and its date will be recorded here.
If anyone in the family is a U.S. citizen, where is this fact recorded?
living in the USA.
When and how did the foreign national enter the USA?
Did he or she have some sort of visa granting permission to be in
How long has the foreign national been settled in the United States?
Each living person registered with the Department of Homeland Security
will ultimately have a date
The electronic records must include a way of recording the date of
so that other people do not attempt to claim this identity.
When a registrant dies, the
Identity File will be inactivated.
A recent photograph of the whole family,
with individual photographs of each member
would be the first thing to appear in each electronic record
for the named person.
Even people not trained in identifying faces should be able to see
the similarities and differences between faces.
When updated photographs are added,
the older photos will also be retained in the database.
Since all who are registering have been settled in the USA for some
they must have regular places where they sleep.
These cannot be post office boxes or the homes of relatives and friends.
If the present residence is a temporary shelter,
a proper address will be recorded as soon as possible.
And all who are registered will be responsible for keeping their
Former addresses (and the dates) will also be kept in each Identity
All persons who have been settled in the USA for some years
must have had some means of supporting themselves.
Which members of the family are employed?
Where does this work take place?
Does someone in the family operate a business?
Does anyone in the family hold income-producing investments?
What forms of public assistance have been used?
Related to these sources of income,
have taxes been paid—both
Social Security taxes and income taxes?
Human beings always have some forms of human connections
that are generally referred to by the idea of "family".
Foreign nationals registering with the Department of Homeland Security
will explain their past and present family structures as completely as
Some of these will be biological facts such as parenthood.
Some of these will be social facts such as marriage or its
Some family relationships are more distant with respect to blood and
but they are very relevant to the daily connections of the registrants.
Even very complicated and unofficial 'families' can be described.
For example, who actually lives in the present household?
When any such relationships change,
the registered facts about family relationships should be updated
in the computer record of each person affected.
For example, when a family relationship is dissolved
by divorce or separation—
this change of family structure should be reported
so that the Identity File for each person affected will be current.
And we should remember that death or deportation
also changes all such family relationships.
4. IMMUNITY FROM DEPORTATION
with complete registration of all family members,
the newly-registered foreign nationals already settled in the USA
will be given a new status that prevents them from being deported
as long as they continue to meet specified conditions for
This new status will probably be some modification
of temporary residence.
Because the Registration
might come before most measures of immigration reform,
the ultimate pathways to American citizenship might not yet be
Perhaps the status of temporary residence will be
once per year
to make certain that all members of the family
have been observing the conditions for continued temporary residence.
Some of the most likely conditions for continuing to
live in the USA are:
(1) being employed in a legitimate occupation,
(2) paying all taxes when due,
(3) obeying all laws,
(4) updating the National Identity Files for all family members
whenever any facts change.
Instead of issuing some new form of green card,
the foreign nationals newly registered
will have their new status defined in their National Identity
Whoever has a valid right to know, can check their immigration status
by using the nearest computer with Internet access.
As long as the specified conditions for continued
presence in the USA are fulfilled,
the whole family will be permitted to stay in the United States for
Then, as comprehensive immigration reform is enacted,
some specific pathways to U.S. citizenship will be opened for these
who took advantage of Registration without Deportation.
5. WORK AUTHORIZATION
One of the most immediate impacts of registering
with the U.S. government
will be millions of foreign nationals who can now seek employment
in the USA openly and legally.
Without registration, all citizens of other countries
are prevented from holding legitimate jobs in the United States.
This forced millions of foreign nationals
to resort to underground
means of supporting themselves.
So one of the greatest incentives for voluntary
will be the work-authorization
that comes with registration.
All registered foreign nationals will be given some sort of work
Their identities will be permanently stored in the computer system
of the Department of Homeland Security.
And prospective employers will be able to consult this Identity File
whenever the foreign national applies for a new job.
This electronic work-authorization will replace all
to create some sort of identity
papers or cards
that would allow citizens of other countries to work in the United
The new electronic method of checking to see who is registered
will allow employers to open the Identity File of the applicant
maintained by the Department of Homeland Security
in order to view all necessary identity information.
Foremost will be a current
photograph of the registered foreign
The photo in the National Identify File must match the face of the
Identification by means of photos in a secure national database
will prevent most of the common forms of identity fraud.
After registration, the registered citizens of other
would be permitted to apply for any jobs available.
Only a few jobs that genuinely require U.S. citizenship
would be off-limits for registered foreign nationals.
After a few years of this new registration of
citizens of other countries,
more than half of the foreign nationals settled in the USA will be
And they will already see the advantages of registering:
Most legitimate employers will hire only U.S. citizens and registered
Non-registered foreign nationals will find themselves turned
time and again because they have no right to live and work in the
See a related essay
If They Cannot
Work, They Will Not Come:
and Many Will Return to their Homelands.
6. IMPACT ON THE
The employment of unregistered foreign nationals
has been one of the strongest factors behind the underground economy.
Because unregistered foreign nationals had no right to work in
they took whatever hidden jobs they could find.
Such jobs provided no protections for the employees.
They might not be paid their agreed-upon wages.
They could not complain about working conditions.
No taxes were withheld or paid to the various levels of government.
When Registration without Deportation
enables foreign nationals to seek legitimate employment,
they will become parts of the above-gound
Wage- and hour-controls will apply to them.
They will no longer be subject to slave-like conditions on the job.
Many of them will report their former underground employers to the
so that their sweat-shops and other non-legitimate businesses can be
or transformed into legitimate businesses.
All appropriate taxes for these foreign nationals
will be collected and paid.
They will qualify for Social Security when they reach retirement age,
because their years of employment were recorded.
As noted above, Registration without Deportation
includes being issued a real Social Security Number.
As a side-effect of Registration without Deportation,
the financial problems of the U.S. government will be sharply reduced.
Perhaps 10% of the actual U.S. economy has been underground.
When most of this economic activity comes into the open,
dramatically more taxes will
Each new registration of a foreign national
has the potential of opening up some element of the underground
Careful documentation of non-registered ways of making money
will probably uncover many more foreign nationals not previously
And the additional taxes
collected from foreign nationals
now brought out of the underground economy
might be more than enough to cover the additional costs
of creating the new database for Registration without Deportation.
See another on-line essay:
Bring All Economic Activity into the Open:
7. FOREIGN NATIONALS WANT
TO COME OUT OF THE SHADOWS
When citizens of other countries living in the USA
are convinced that they can register themselves
with the Department of
Homeland Security without fear of being deported,
then millions of them
will come forward to put themselves into the new
There will be so many millions of registrations
DHS will have to create a new division that deals with nothing except
the huge process of collecting, recording, verifying, & updating
the registration information.
This data should be recorded electronically in formats
that can quickly and easily be integrated with a national registration
of ALL people
living in the USA—citizens,
& newly registered foreign nationals
who came to the United States without permission.
All persons registered will have a right to live and
work in the USA.
Foreign nationals who were previously living in the shadows
every day about being discovered and possibly deported—
will be able to live and work openly in America.
Their lives will be remarkably improved
by this new voluntary
And all such improvements in their status will become widely known.
This will encourage others
who have been living underground
to come forward to identify themselves and thereby join legitimate
8. WHICH FOREIGN NATIONALS
WILL BE THE FIRST TO REGISTER?
The citizens of other countries settled in the USA
who are most likely to line up first for Registration
will be those people who hope to be offered pathways to U.S.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
has already announced that most foreign nationals
will not be deported
when they are discovered.
Those who have behaved the best during their years in the USA
will be given a very low
priority for prosecution that might lead to
Memo of June 2011 sets forth new guidelines for deportation.
There are 15 factors that will count in favor of staying in the USA.
And there are 5 factors that will probably lead to deportation.
Those foreign nationals who see from these criteria
that they have a very low
priority for prosecution and deportation
will be the first to come out of the shadows to
Register without Deportation.
DREAMers are already registering themselves. See section 11 below.
If there are 12 million foreign nationals presently
settled in the USA without permission,
then surely more than half of these will be permitted to stay under
So the first voluntary Registration without Deportation
will probably succeed in registering about 6 million additional foreign
in the first two years of the program.
These 6 million law-abiding foreign nationals
will be added to the database already started by the Department of
which has the names and addresses of about 1 million
citizens of other countries living in American without permission.
As DHS sorts thru its cases already in process,
many of them will turn out to be foreign nationals who have a low
priority for deportation.
These low-priority foreigners are already being given work
that allow them to remain in the USA for a couple of years.
A wise policy will make certain to follow all of
these registered foreign nationals.
And the same database should be able to accept the information
from other foreign nationals who come forward voluntarily
to register themselves when Registration without Deportation is
Likewise, as ICE continues to locate and identify
additional foreign nationals
who are settled in the United States without permission,
the new guidelines for deportation will be applied to each case.
Some will be prosecuted for violations of immigration laws.
But most will be declared
These law-abiding citizens of other countries
will be added to the database of foreign nationals
newly permitted to continue living in the United States.
In other words, some foreigners will be added to the
when they are caught by the normal operation of Immigration and Customs
And some will come forward voluntarily to Register
Perhaps 1 million foreign nationals will be added each year.
9. REGISTRATION WITHOUT
DEPORTATION WILL NOT GUARANTEE A PATHWAY TO U.S.
The major first objection to any such offer of
Registration without Deportation
will be that it is "blanket amnesty".
But care must be taken in writing the new regulations and laws
to make certain that this new Registration without Deportation
does not constitute amnesty
nor even seem to be the same as allowing
all foreigners who were able to slip into America
an automatic pathway to American citizenship.
Registration without Deportation will grant the
to live and work in the USA for limited periods of time,
which could be extended as needed by the circumstances of the family
and by current progress toward immigration reform.
Pathways to U.S.
citizenship will have to be created
Certain criteria will be defined that will enable foreign nationals
to earn naturalization.
Those who fail
to fulfill the minimum requirements
for U.S. citizenship
will be slated for return to their original homelands.
Such repatriation will be careful and compassionate,
taking into account the complete family-constellation that will be
The most likely reason for ultimate deportation
will probably be continued
by the foreign national while living in the USA.
Unlike U.S. citizens, foreign nationals
who have been granted temporary
permission to remain in the USA
do not have an unchallengable right to continue living in America.
And some percentage of those initially registered
(Registration without Deportation)
will ultimately be returned to their countries of origin
for reasons that will be described in their deportation orders.
Once foreign nationals are registered with the Department of Homeland
they cannot be arbitrarily deported
simply because they are in America
All ICE officials will be required to follow defined, reasonable
if they know of good reasons that registered foreign nationals
should not be
permitted to remain in the United States.
10. CONCLUSION: REGISTRATION
WILL BE THE FIRST MAJOR STEP OF COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
When the history of immigration reform in the USA in
the 21st century is written,
historians will probably report that it all began with a
of counting up and gathering data about some of the millions of foreign
then settled in the USA without any official permission.
Even before these millions of citizens of other countries
were registered with
the U.S. government,
rational plans were laid and carried forward
for preventing other foreign
nationals from entering without permission.
Some of the citizens of other countries already settled into American
were permitted to stay while their cases were decided,
which also offered them additional years
in which to prove that they could be good citizens of the USA.
As registration became more universal,
and as more employers refused to hire unregistered foreign nationals,
many who knew they would never qualify for American citizenship
voluntarily departed for their original homelands.
In addition, better enforcement of the revised
resulted in about one million other foreign nationals being returned to
Only time will tell whether the United States
actually adopted this policy of Registration without Deportation
and what were the actual effects on the USA.
BEGAN REGISTERING IN JUNE 2012 (DACA)
On June 15, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland
announced "deferred action" for all foreign nationals who would qualify
for the DREAM act.
The full name for this new registration is: Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
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
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" 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
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 "deferred action" 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
who were brought into America by
their parents without
will probably register under this decision not to deport them.
September 30, 2011; Revised 10-1-2011; 10-5-2011; 10-7-2011;
10-25-2011; 10-26-2011; 11-29-2011;
3-4-2012; 6-19-2012; 7-5-2012; 1-31-2013; 4-20-2013
James Park is himself a grateful immigrant to the
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
to become open, meaningful members of the American family.
Much more about James Park will be found on
which now has more than 1,000 rooms.
Some of these rooms contain other essays related to
Deportation of Persons Likely to Qualify for
a Pathway to Citizenship under Immigration Reform
Foreign Nationals in the USA:
How Many Will Stay?
Carrots and Sticks .
Be Above Average
New Criteria for Selecting New Americans .
Selecting New Americans .
Pathways to American Citizenship .
I am an
Problems and Solutions:
Keeping the UU Debate Constructive .
A Range of Options .
If They Cannot
Work, They Will Not Come:
And Many Will Return to their Homelands .
Bring All Economic Activity into the Open .
Born in the USA:
The Easy Way to Become a U.S. Citizen
Repatriation of Citizens of other Countries and their Families
National Facebook .
Most of these
on-line essays are now included
in an organized cyber-seminar called
REFORM: CHANGING U.S. LAWS.
and Implementing an Immigration Legalization Program:
Registration as the First Step
This 34-page policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute explores
12 million unauthorized persons now living in the USA.
Factors for and against Deportation
This Internet presentation explores the 20 factors to be considered
in deciding priorities for prosecution possibly leading to deportation.