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McCain-Kennedy Is Useless For The Undocumented, Among Others

by Kevin L. Dixler

There is a paradox. A belief that the McCain-Kennedy Bill is visa salvation. This Bill fails the demands of our Nation. Unfortunately, the Pathway to Citizenship is a pathetic compromise. It is another 'Son of Sam Immigration Proposal.' I recall the thankless effort to permanently revive Section 245i to help U.S. Spouses. Congress eventually butchered Section 245i into a useless gesture just before 9/11. No sane Immigration Attorney should support such trash. America's Congressional Immigration Committees continue to compromise Bills into failures. Immigration deform remains; 'ill will' cannot continue to be served from America's Political Melting Pot. Our pea porridge is cold; our waiters are belligerent, irresponsible, or overwhelmed by inept chefs.

Proposals like Pathway encourage foreigner phobia. Congress is unwilling to reasonably grapple with the challenge. America lacks the will to cater to a vocal minority of bigoted, contentious, ignorant, and outspoken Americans. Yet, affected Citizens refuse to speak up. The scapegoat mentality also creates fear and unrighteous propaganda. The wrath of aliens is unrealistically portrayed by media as more contagious than bird flu. A warped ideology threatens our economy in an era when Europe has opened its borders to change. Such Nativist thuggery helps destabilize the economy and mortgage market, among other flaws. Unfortunately, we have lacked a great emancipator, since the Simpson-Mazzola Act. This seems bizaare and unfortunate. Yet, our now ancient Legalization Program, so underfunded, was not an amnesty. Consequently, questionable training, oversights, propaganda, and unfunded mandates proved a curse to some and a blessing to others. In the beginning, immigration reform starts with a reckoning of our own inalienable rights.

The fatal flaws in Pathway are unforgiveable. The I.R.S. prevents unlawful immigrants from legally filing Income Tax Returns as "tax residents" without Social Security Numbers or Tax I.D. This Social Security Agency and I.R.S. lawfully withholds Social Security Numbers and Tax I.D. numbers from unqualified foreigners. Without a Social Security or Tax I.D. Number, the candidates were unable to pay or have taxes withheld by employers. This fundamental I.R.S. tax requirement makes the so-called Pathway to Citizenship a futile exercise unworthy of the compromises. Yet, the anti-immigrant lobby still opposes this ridiculous and worthless Pathway to Citizenship proposal. The program serves no purpose other than to make a few 'over the top' Republicans appear sympathetic to ignorant Americans and those gasping for relief.

Who can pay Pathway's $5000 filing fee per family member 'plus' five to fifteen years worth of back taxes and penalties? Qualifying for the McCain-Kennedy Pathway is like negotiating a Kosovar Minefield! What about attorney's fees? While anti-immigration Congressmen bicker, posture and whine, the number of inadmissible aliens increases. More foreigners are disenchanted with lawful immigration options. Instead, they wait for ICE to cast its unfortunately ineffective and inconsistent net. The inhumane rage has rather outrageous consequences to U. S. Citizens, as well. It hurts and alienates U.S. Citizen Children caught in the crosshairs. The ongoing and perpetual injustice creates emotional family disunity; deportation promotes broken homes.

Immigrant Advocates must become familiar with ridiculous Congressional proposals that simply make a mockery of human rights. There must be organized and visible dissent in Washington, D.C., not Chicago, L.A. or New York. Our untouchable immigrants and their supporters must peacefully and visibly oppose all pathetic compromises on Capital Hill. The current options fall unconscionably short. Congress should propose humane relief. Many Americans are prevented from reasonably re-uniting with loved ones in a humane and habitable nation.

Many Americans never knew about our oppressive laws until long after the1986, 1990, and 1996 legal nets were cast. How did that U.S. Citizens husband end up in some remote New Mexico county jail scheduled for indefinite separation? Advocates should realize that to support Pathway perpetually condemns the millions who remain. These residents are left with inconsistent threats of deportation due to unfunded mandates. The same Americans who support strict enforcement are adamantly opposed to paying for it with realistic tax dollars. Strangely, some of the same folks simultaneously oppose the deficit and income taxes. These are inconsistent positions that reality is unable to sustain. Yet, too many Americans applaud candidates who insist on the impossible.

Our legal system does little justice for those who immigrate without the Law's blessing. This is understandable at first, but over time the threats seem idle and inhumane. The system is often unable to attempt to penalize foreigners until some are deceased. Others are removed after unlawfully living in America for ten to well over thirty years. The same system pretends to provide reasonable relief to many who remain in the U.S. in harms way for more than ten years. The Cancellation program often proves to be an unrealistic option. Some insist that all applicants can abandon the U.S., travel to foreign consulates and return after a pardon or waiver is granted. Somehow, they will have their violations mystically waived by a consular official's magic wand. These are a pipedreams in need of the public's attention. We live in an era of immigration deform; there has never been a true amnesty, nor should we expect one. We must remember that the term is "legalization," not "illegalization." Therefore, we must work for a solution, not dissolution.

About The Author

Kevin L. Dixler is an immigration and visa attorney who has practiced for over fifteen years. He has served on numerous professional committees, consortiums, and panels; he currently serves as the Ethics Co-Chair for the Chicago Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) . However, the opinions expressed by the author remain his own and are not the official opinions of AILA.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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