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How To Become a Legal Immigrant? Here's a Handy Flowchart!

How To Become a Legal Immigrant? Here's a Handy Flowchart!

With equal parts sincerity and critique, the Libertarian minds over at Reason magazine have put together a fully-illustrated flow chart addressing what they designate as the argument of illegal immigration opponents, the "get in line" theory. What does that line look like? Follow along and see the steps and relative wait times for each part of the process, whether to become a lawful permanent resident or a full-fledged citizen.

Following each path of the "game" with steps like "Married adult children [of citizens]: seven to 15-year wait" the payoff comes at the end — they calculated the best case scenario timeframe to immigrate and become a citizen at six to seven years. The longest path could take 28 years from immigration to legal status. The step that gives pause? Answering "no" to "Are you skilled?" Receives the answer: "Sorry! There is virtually no process for unskilled immigrants without relations in the US to apply for permanent legal residence. Only 10,000 green cards are allotted every year."

Does that make sense to you? Do the checks and balances limiting immigration regulate the process appropriately?

Join The Conversation
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
Political asylum is diffrent from immigration. I think the borders are much too loose in cases other than political asylum and if you are "skill-less" then how are you going to contribute to this failing economy? We have enough skill-less people as it is.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I don't think I'm really varying on this one. I do want immigration to be open, I just think there are steps we need to take before it can be done without harming legal citizens.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
Whoa..this is the first time I've heard you vary from the libertarian viewpoint, Mich. Interesting. I just hate our immigration policy. If my dad's family weren't allowed to immigrate here, they would have certainly been killed by their govt, his uncle was, and it just wasn't safe for them to stay in Bulgaria. It's so hard these days to get refugee status, my heart breaks for people who now cannot get refugee status in the U.S.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I so want to like Reason magazine, but this really rubs me the wrong way. They take this stance on immigration, and it's just not reasonable. Certainly almost any libertarian would want anybody to be able to immigrate here freely, however, with the current laws we have, it's just not technically feasible.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
LOL! OMG I love it.
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 8 years
"no" to "Are you skilled?" Receives the answer: "Sorry! That's actually a step that doesn't give me pause what so ever! There are already enough Americans ( immigrants and non immigrants a like) living in the country that aren't skilled. This places a burden on our economy, and our school systems and it isn't really fair for the people who area already here....we are already going to foot the bill for people who made huge financial mistakes I don't think we should potentially foot the bill for people who are "unskilled". Even scarier than that are the skilled labor force that get into the country on work visa and get Engineering jobs over qualified American Citizens and the main factor in that is they are willing to work for a lower wage...that seems wrong on both sides!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i can understand all the hoops that people have to jump through to become a citizen and i think that in some cases it's a good thing. like skb said - we are already in a crisis with the folks that we have in the country now that by allowing just anyone to become a citizen, we would evoke mass chaos i think. i think that there are instances where people should be citizens and they are denied those rights for any number of beaurocratic reasons, but i guess that the system has to be that way for a reason. to think though that on average you ahve to way 6+ years to be a citizen from when you start the process and that in cases it could be 20+ years? that's just frustrating.
skb9850 skb9850 8 years
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have so many people wanting to come to America. We as a nation can't just throw open the borders and let everyone in. Look at England right now. Poland has been admitted to the EU, which means the Polish people can migrate to England without visas. Because the Polish economy is bad, thousands upon thousands are flocking to England for better paying jobs. They are willing to work for lower wages so employers are hiring them over other people. This is driving the wages for everyone down, decreasing spending power of the people there and wrecking the economy. Increasing the number of immigrants flowing into the US at a time when our economy is already hurting would be disasterous.
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