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Filipino Immigrant to the U.S. Says Green Card is Worth the Wait

Recent US Immigrant from the Philippines Says that Waiting Patiently in Line for a Green Card is Fair. In the 1970's, Phono Forte was living in a rural town in the Philippines when his sister immigrated to the United States on a K-1 fiancé visa. Upon becoming an American citizen, Forte's sister petitioned him for a green card (F4 category- brothers and sisters of US citizens). At the time he was petitioned, he was a young man with no children. Last month, he arrived in Iowa City at the age of 55 with his three grown daughters.

As someone who waited in line for decades in order for his priority date to become current, Forte is not alone. More than 4 million foreigners, many from the Philippines are currently waiting in line to join their families in the United States. Thus, in Forte's opinion, if he had to wait in line so he could reach his American dream, than why should the path to US citizenship is quicker for the nearly 11 million people who are in the United States illegally?

The ability to come up with a political compromise to address the issue of the 11 million illegal immigrants has become a hot button issue. If the pathway to legalization is too easy (similar to what occurred in 1986 when President Regan legalized roughly 5 million illegal immigrants- mostly from Mexico), conservatives will decry amnesty and see it as a reward for breaking the law. On the other side of the political spectrum, liberal supports argue that making it too difficult is not necessary for people who have assimilated into American cultural, raised families, paid taxes, but yet continue to live within the shadows of the law.

However, a compromise may be on the rise quicker than what was previously expected. Pending this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a proposal will be introduced which will be geared at clearing the backlog of legal immigrants while at the same time, putting in a place a more difficult, 13-year path to citizenship for those who are in the United States illegally.

The proposed plan would allow most, but not all of the 11 million illegal immigrants to remain in the United States provided that they register with the federal government, pass a criminal background check and pay penalties in back taxes. After 10 years, they would be eligible to become lawful permanent residents (US green card holders) and after three additional years, citizenship may be acquired.

Although a compromise, critics on both sides find trouble with the plan. On the right, former Republican senator Jim DeMint views the plan as "legislated amnesty," while on the left, Jeni Frudden, Forte's niece, thinks that it's unfair that her uncle waited in line for 24 years while those who cut the line will gain legal status faster.

Still, if both sides are unable to agree, there is an alternative which is to stick with the current system which doesn't work for those who have not played by the rules and the waiting period is to long for those who have waited patiently in line.

To ensure that your application for a K-1 fiancé visa will not be compromised, you should talk to a U.S. Immigration lawyer in Manila, Philippines. We have a dedicated team of American Immigration Lawyers in Manila, ready to assist you.

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