Citizenship waiting time up for debate

Senators trying to come up with a bill for overhauling the immigration laws in the United States are currently in the midst of debating the two waiting periods that immigrants have to endure before they can gain permanent US citizenship.

The New York Times says that the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States will have to wait up to a decade to get a green card, but within three years after that, they could get full citizenship.

It takes five years under current law to become a full citizen but just eight years to be allowed to work permanently in the US.  Negotiations over these arrangements have heated up of late, with the senators at the forefront of the growing optimism that immigration legislation could be launched as early as next month.  Senators from both the major political parties in the United States met to try to get the deal hashed out on 14 March, but the agreement is still being worked on at this time.

“It is an unusual construction but it gets them to citizenship in the same time as the administration plan,” the director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ migration policy, Kevin Appleby, has told The Times in regards to the possible agreement.  “Most importantly, it eliminates the prospect of a permanent underclass by ensuring that, in time, all will have the opportunity to become Americans.”

The proposed 10-year waiting plan would allow the existing backlog of cases to be cleared and it would ensure that immigrants entering the country legally would have priority over undocumented immigrants.