Let’s have a discussion on those immigrants who are still waiting for their statuses to change, and who went through the legal process to become citizens; people such as my husband. My husband came into the U.S. on a Visitor’s Visa in 2002. His visitor’s visa was valid until 2012; therefore, his entrance into the U.S. was legal. We got married in November, 2003. We immediately filled out the paperwork to change his status from legal immigrant to resident. In order to do so, we paid the fees, went through the necessary background checks, medical and criminal checks as well. He finally received his “Green Card” in 2007. Prior to that, we had to wait for him to obtain a Social Security Card so that he could obtain employment as a Linux Systems Engineer.
It took him almost 2 years after filing for residency status to get it because it sat in an inbox of a representative until I contacted our Congressman (this was during the period they actually helped American Citizens such as myself). We have been married now for 10 years, and now he wants to become a naturalized citizen. In order to do that, we will have to go through the process again; fill out another application, pay another fee, go through more background & physical examinations, etc., to do so.
According to a 2013 USA Today article, there are an estimated 5.5 million people who applied to the U.S. legally waiting for their statuses to change & obtain their green card; people such as my husband. There are no statistics on persons such as my husband who are pending naturalization. I get that something needs to be done about the 11 million undocumented immigrants; however, the U.S. needs to focus FIRST on the people who went through the legal process to enter our country. Why should these people, who also pay taxes, obey the laws, have families, etc., have to seemingly be penalized for people who chose to break the law by entering the country illegally?