Laws Won't Work If Not Enforced
As naturalized citizens, my wife and I know all too well the process of being “legal” in this country.
We applied for a work visa in January 1994, for a job transfer for me. My employer wanted to play by the rules. All papers were filed with notarized letters stating I would be gainfully employed and actually gave my annual salary. These were filed through the U.S. Embassy.
After three months my employer was upset with the delay and turned to John B. Anderson, representative for Northern Illinois.
Within three days I received a call from the embassy stating I had an appointment in two days and to appear with my wife. The interview included a list of requirements and instructions: I had to register for the draft, I could not be a ward of the court (receive welfare or other assistance), and I could not be convicted of any misdemeanor or felony. The penalty was deportation.
We were told we had to report a change of address to the INS within 10 days and file with them every January. (This follow-up was dropped in the ’70s.) We complied with all the requirements but did not seek citizenship until 1995. Papers for this step were filed in Detroit, as we were residents there at the time. Our attorney advised us to appear for the interview in Detroit and not ask for a change of venue as this would only hold up the application.
After going through all this and reading the items on immigration reform, my conclusion is, the law has been there all along but was not enforced by the INS. Changes will not help unless the law is enforced and applications are processed in a timely manner.
New laws will change nothing if the INS does not enforce them.
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