An estimated 1.76 million illegal aliens could be granted expedited permanent residency status under the immigration reform bill, a WND review of the legislation has found.
One of the key selling points used by proponents of the bill is that so-called undocumented aliens would have to go to the “back of the line” – meaning they would not receive priority or gain advantage over immigrants in the country legally and waiting for an immigration decision.
President Obama himself stated last January, “We’ve got to lay out a path – a process that includes passing a background check, paying taxes, paying a penalty, learning English, and then going to the back of the line, behind all the folks who are trying to come here legally. That’s only fair.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., stated on Sean Hannity’s Fox News television program last January: “Yes, not only do they go to the back of the line and wait behind everybody who applied before them the right way. When their turn comes up they have to qualify for the visa that they apply for, not a special pathway.”
However, the immigration reform bill allows for a “streamlined” application process for the illegal aliens covered under Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s June 2012 memorandum on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
The bill states: “The Secretary may adopt streamlined procedures for applicants for adjustment to lawful permanent resident status under this section who were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals pursuant to the Secretary’s memorandum of June 15, 2012.”
The memorandum called for “prosecutorial discretion” to be used in implementing immigration law for those who fit the following criteria:
- Are under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Arrived to the United States before reaching their 16th birthday;
- Continuously resided in the United States from June 15, 2007, to the present;
- Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, as well as at the time of requesting deferred action
- Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or had any lawful immigration status expired on or before June 15, 2012;
- Were in school at the time of application, or have already graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Armed Forces; and
- Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.
The Pew Research Hispanic Center estimated some 1.76 million illegal aliens can benefit from the memorandum.