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Vanity: Q for Legal Immigrants - How Much Does it Cost?

Posted on 06/10/2007 8:13:22 AM PDT by savedbygrace

Here's a question for legal immigrants to the U. S.: How much does it cost in fees and such to become a citizen of the U. S.?

I ask because the sleeping immigration bill charges illegal immigrants a total of $5,000, and Bush calls that a penalty that means it isn't an amnesty.

So, for those who play by the rules, is the cost less than $5,000? How much?

Thanks.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: illegalimmigration; legalimmigration
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1 posted on 06/10/2007 8:13:23 AM PDT by savedbygrace
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To: savedbygrace

My wife is a permanent resident right now. To gain that status from being on a student visa it was about $1000.00, that is just for the paperwork. We did our own paperwork so if a lawyer was involved it would have been a lot more. We also had to pay our own way for the weekend trip (about 800 miles) to do the interview with the homeland security people. Now to get citizenship is about $300.00 to file the rest of the paperwork.


2 posted on 06/10/2007 8:18:54 AM PDT by zkbeta51
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To: savedbygrace
I am a legal immigrant who is now a U.S citizen (2002) and it took me 11 years to go through the whole process. The total cost even back then if you add up all the lawyer fees was close to $10,000. The fees have gone up since and the total cost would be closer to $15,000.

However offering amnesty after illegals pay a fine is about more than money. It is essentially saying that by paying $5,000 you can wash away all your law breaking from the past. This is a slap in the face of all law abiding Americans and undermines the rule of law which is one of the cornerstones of our great nation. We teach our kids to always play by the rules and not break the law and yest our President is endorsing the behavior of law breakers by rewarding them. To me that is the crux of the problem and is a very black and white issue. NO AMNESTY for law breaking crimaliens.

3 posted on 06/10/2007 8:20:36 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: savedbygrace
My legal immigrant isn't interested in becoming a citizen, and that's fine by me - we can piggy-back off each other's citizenship for visas in either country should we decide to live in "his or hers."

But we both do it legally.

4 posted on 06/10/2007 8:20:41 AM PDT by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: savedbygrace

Yes. The cost is about $800 - not counting residuals such as passport photos and document searches etc.

My wife is Chinese but she came here as a citizen of Trinidad. We were married 2 days before her visa expired. After that, in order to get a Green Card we probably ended up at about the $800 figure. She is a citizen now of the USA.
The cost is probably different for someone who only wants a Green Card and I would suspect that it is less.
In my situation, Immigration spent more time investigating ME rather than her. There were numerous trips back and forth to INS, various fees and a slew of paperwork - mostly about ME. I’m glad it’s over...


5 posted on 06/10/2007 8:22:38 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: Maneesh

I suspect that even with the $5000 amnesty fine, many won’t pay it - thus remaining illegal.

Let’s face it, if they came here illegally to begin with...


6 posted on 06/10/2007 8:27:50 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: Paisan
“I suspect that even with the $5000 amnesty fine, many won’t pay it - thus remaining illegal.”

Absolutely, how long would it be before some socialist politician will start saying “You can’t expect these poor people to pay $5,000. It is just not fair”. Let’s give them a discount. Then of course someone even more “compassionate” will come along and offer a steeper discount until it becomes free. Then of course these “legals” will start getting “earned income tax credit” (EITC) an ingenious scam and your and my tax burden will go up as more people sit in the wagon which we pull.

7 posted on 06/10/2007 8:31:48 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: Paisan

As Rush Limbaugh has pointed out, they only have to pay the fine if they wish to become citizens. They would legally be in the US even without paying the fine.

Who among them has $5,000 to spare?


8 posted on 06/10/2007 8:34:00 AM PDT by weegee (Libs want us to learn to live with terrorism, but if a gun is used they want to rewrite the Const.)
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To: Maneesh

Thank you. That’s the price range I was thinking it was.

BTW, I agree with you 100%. By trying to understand the cost to legal immigrants, I’m trying to counter Bush’s argument that it isn’t amnesty.

The bill requires the system to give illegals free legal assistance, so your example of the legal fees involved is entirely appropriate. It make it an apples to apples comparison.


9 posted on 06/10/2007 8:35:02 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: zkbeta51; Paisan

Please see Maneesh’s reply #3, and my reply to #3. I’d appreciate your comments in response.


10 posted on 06/10/2007 8:36:54 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: weegee

They also get to pay it in installments. Who ever heard of a fine being paid in installments?


11 posted on 06/10/2007 8:38:03 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: savedbygrace
The ACLU will just get a judge to wave all fees, citing unconstitutional, hardship, etc.

I'm sure kennedy has already started the paperwork.

12 posted on 06/10/2007 8:41:16 AM PDT by Tripleplay
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To: DTogo
My legal immigrant isn't interested in becoming a citizen, and that's fine by me - we can piggy-back off each other's citizenship for visas in either country should we decide to live in "his or hers." But we both do it legally.

This is the same with my son and his wife (from Japan). She is here as a legal resident but doesn't want to give up her Japanese citizenship, and we don't want her to. They've lived in Japan and in the states. Works for me

13 posted on 06/10/2007 8:51:06 AM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: savedbygrace

I think each situation is different depending on a myriad of circumstances. I was fortunate because INS sets a limit on the number of immigrants who can come here from each country. Some countries, such as China, have a zero limit - they are not accepting anyone from those countries. Not so of Trinidad. The numbers change from year to year. Europeans are at a minimum number as well. I remember INS coming to my place of employment a few years back, and removing a Polish guy who had over extended his visa.
So, I guess the cost will vary.


14 posted on 06/10/2007 8:51:19 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: savedbygrace; zkbeta51; Maneesh; DTogo; Paisan; weegee
A lot to say, but broken keyboard. Will answer detailed later today.

It is not a $5K fine! $200 for Z visa app, balance of $800 in installments.

Remaining $4,000 upon app for Permanent Residence after 8 years!

15 posted on 06/10/2007 8:53:33 AM PDT by angkor
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To: weegee
Who among them has $5,000 to spare?

Actually a lot of them have it to spare. 10 years of paying no taxes and no insurance adds up real quick. One of the illegals in NYC when interviewed (he was 35) said that he had plans to put a bathroom in his basement so the $5000 was too much to pay in fees. All over NYC, street vendors and the cart vendors in the malls are illegals, drive fancy cars and live in nice homes. While that is not the norm, there are several million illegals that do have the $5,000 but feel they are entitled to citizenship without having to pay anything at all.

Think of how much richer you would be if you did not have to pay taxes or insurance for 10 years. I would have at least $700,000 more in the bank !

16 posted on 06/10/2007 8:53:44 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: Maneesh

$200 for Z visa app, balance of $800 in installments.


17 posted on 06/10/2007 8:55:53 AM PDT by angkor
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To: savedbygrace

My son met his wife when she was here on a student visa. When she finished her degree and honored her visa to return home, my son followed her legally. They married in Japan and lived there a while, and began working on her coming back here legally. They had to hire translators for the documents (she could have done it, but our government wouldn’t accept them - had to be by someone she didn’t know), hired an immigration attorney to file papers and send them correct forms, etc....not to mention at least three trips for interviews. I don’t know how many thousands of dollars they’ve spent total.


18 posted on 06/10/2007 8:57:08 AM PDT by YellowRoseofTx
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To: angkor
“It is not a $5K fine! $200 for Z visa app, balance of $800 in installments.

Remaining $4,000 upon app for Permanent Residence after 8 years!”

That makes it even outrageous. They essentially become legal for $200 ! They never have to apply for a green card as the Z visa could be renewed indefinitely.

Did you know that if you in Hong Kong and want to come to to the U.S, one way is to invest $1,000,000 in America and come as an investor. So in essence we are giving away something worth $1,000,000 for $200. A text book example of selling our country down the river for the cost of a bad meal in Manhattan.

19 posted on 06/10/2007 8:57:49 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: YellowRoseofTx; savedbygrace

“my son followed her legally. They married in Japan and lived there a while, and began working on her coming back here legally.”

Ditto here. more later.


20 posted on 06/10/2007 8:59:37 AM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor

I’d be very interested in the details.


21 posted on 06/10/2007 9:02:06 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: Maneesh
And it's my understanding the "Z" visa gives them all the rights of an American except the the right to vote.

And the "Motor Voter" law takes care of that oversight.

But according to Bush, its not amnesty!

22 posted on 06/10/2007 9:02:38 AM PDT by Tripleplay
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To: Tripleplay
“And it’s my understanding the “Z” visa gives them all the rights of an American except the the right to vote”

We all know that there is no checking of ID’s at a voter booth. The Z visa holders could very easily register to vote and especially if same day registration becomes law then look for 12 million new voters. How many of these do you think will vote Republican not that I want law breakers to vote GOP anyways. This bill is anti-American in so many ways it blows my mind.

23 posted on 06/10/2007 9:06:19 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: Maneesh

“They essentially become legal for $200 !”

YES CORRECT

“They never have to apply for a green card as the Z visa could be renewed indefinitely.”

YES CORRECT
Z visa doesnt expire, ever

“Did you know that if you in Hong Kong and want to come to to the U.S, one way is to invest $1,000,000 in America”

YEP

Last I looked:

Thai residency: $50K
malaysia residency: $40K
Belize residency: $100K

“A text book example of selling our country down the river for the cost of a bad meal in Manhattan.”

YES CORRECT!!!!


24 posted on 06/10/2007 9:08:30 AM PDT by angkor
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To: savedbygrace

broken keyboard, store to get new one now


25 posted on 06/10/2007 9:09:53 AM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor

coffee in keyboard,

zapped


26 posted on 06/10/2007 9:11:43 AM PDT by angkor
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To: savedbygrace

bump...
and hoping more folks will make informational-comment posts


27 posted on 06/10/2007 9:15:10 AM PDT by VOA
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To: savedbygrace
Here's a question for legal immigrants to the U. S.: How much does it cost in fees and such to become a citizen of the U. S.?

I have to be harsh with you because that's a very stupid question. The real question is how much does it cost to get your green card. Which means permanent legal residence. That's the hard and expensive part. Once you have a green card citizenship takes time but there are no real barriers.
Most people who come here legally/illegally could give a crap about US citizenship. They could give a crap about the US Constitution and this nation's ideals and principles. They are only here for the money. They want that precious green card

I ask because the sleeping immigration bill charges illegal immigrants a total of $5,000, and Bush calls that a penalty that means it isn't an amnesty.

That $5000 is for a Z visa and or green card. It gets confusing plus I've seen different numbers

Every illegal alien wants legal residence with its green card. Citizenship is a totally different thing. Same for the freepers who are doing it all legally. The expensive and difficult part is the green card. Citizenship comes after green card and is much easier

28 posted on 06/10/2007 9:18:01 AM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: savedbygrace
You took the sucker bait...
The red herring.

It's irrelevant how much the process of citizenship costs.

Amnesty might not be free if they were to multiply the number of years they have lived "in the shadows" (except for "demonstrations", of course) times $1000 plus interest.

Just for grins, what is the official penalty in the statutes for working when not entitled to do so? Before this amnesty fever took hold?

Just asking... ®

29 posted on 06/10/2007 9:24:17 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: dennisw
http://sessions.senate.gov/pressapp/record.cfm?id=275456

20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill

* Loophole 20 – Criminal Fines Not Proportional To Conduct:

[snip]

Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card. Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan.

[$1,000 * 80% = $800 payable on installment / angkor]

[See p. 287: 34, p. 317: 9, p. 315:6-8, & remarks made by Secretary Gutierrez on Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4:00 May 31, 2007]

30 posted on 06/10/2007 9:28:23 AM PDT by angkor
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To: savedbygrace
I’m trying to counter Bush’s argument that it isn’t amnesty.

That's incredibly easy to counter:  ill-gotten gains.

The entire premise of punishment for a crime is that you do not retain the gains of the crime - rob a bank....drive off with a million dollars in your car....get caught and go to jail for a few years and what happens when you get out?  

Do the police give you your car back with the million dollars still in it?  

The illegal immigrant bill allows illegals to pay a fine to keep the ill-gotten gains, and that is amnesty.

Period.  End of argument.

31 posted on 06/10/2007 9:28:41 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: dennisw; savedbygrace; zkbeta51; Maneesh; DTogo; Paisan; weegee
http://sessions.senate.gov/pressapp/record.cfm?id=275456

20 Loopholes in the Senate Immigration Bill

* Loophole 20 – Criminal Fines Not Proportional To Conduct:

[snip]

Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card. Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan.

[$1,000 * 80% = $800 payable on installment / angkor]

[See p. 287: 34, p. 317: 9, p. 315:6-8, & remarks made by Secretary Gutierrez on Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4:00 May 31, 2007]

32 posted on 06/10/2007 9:30:53 AM PDT by angkor
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To: Paisan
I suspect that even with the $5000 amnesty fine, many won’t pay it - thus remaining illegal.

Let’s face it, if they came here illegally to begin with...

Talk about stating the obvious...

The one that always makes me laugh is that

"If they didn't obey the old laws, what makes anyone with an IQ higher than a dog's

Dogs as intelligent...

believe that they will comply with the new ones?

33 posted on 06/10/2007 9:32:08 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

*You might be able to add to this discussion ping!*


34 posted on 06/10/2007 9:36:34 AM PDT by tiredoflaundry (The greatest danger to our troops is the Congress of the United States.)
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To: zkbeta51
Its more now. Now its over $5000. Of course the lawyers will also add to the price. Since the law as it stands is disingenuous, you have to finesse the paper work which is why you need a lawyer.

$5000 is not a fine, its pretty much the cost of the process now for most people.

35 posted on 06/10/2007 9:37:03 AM PDT by poinq
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To: savedbygrace

Presently, it can come up to almost $15000, including all fees. More importantly, with the current backlog, it takes close to 10 years from application to citizenship. With amnesty, legal immigrants will be treated on par with criminals.


36 posted on 06/10/2007 9:37:48 AM PDT by indcons (Linda and Hugo Chavez - same goals, different methods)
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To: angkor

WOW!!! So, $4000 of that 5000 is a Green Card application fee?

What “fine” is that? All legal immigrants have to pay the GC fees and much more. Boy, is this a sell-out or what?


37 posted on 06/10/2007 9:39:20 AM PDT by indcons (Linda and Hugo Chavez - same goals, different methods)
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To: Psycho_Bunny
“That’s incredibly easy to counter: ill-gotten gains.”

That is a brilliant analogy and the best logical argument I have read anywhere on this issue. This is a hall of famer response. Now if liberals (and that includes RINO’s) did not make decisions totally on emotions, your response here should end the argument once and for all.

38 posted on 06/10/2007 9:44:25 AM PDT by Maneesh (A non-hyphenated American.)
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To: dennisw; Psycho_Bunny

Thank you, dennisw. I confess to an incorrectly phrased question.

I want to compose a very simple counter-argument, that is memorable to most people.

To date, the counters to the ‘this is not amnesty’ dribble is to either say, “Yes, it is,” or to spend paragraphs explaining why it is amnesty.

I think we need a one to three sentence response that people can understand and remember.

Psycho_Bunny is getting close with her reply in #31.


39 posted on 06/10/2007 9:47:45 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: angkor

Honorable Jeff Sessions is very good but I’ve heard different numbers. Plus you have Z2 and Z3 visas for children and parents plus nuclear families seem to get some kind of group discount on the Z Visas??? The Z Visa you hear about is also the primary Z Visa for the head of household with wife and children getting subsidiary Z Visas.

And did this Z Visa plan allow Z Visa holders to bring wives and children from outside the USA? This was unclear. Maybe a lot of this bill was purposely not clear so the lawyers and liberal judges could have their way with it


40 posted on 06/10/2007 9:55:41 AM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: savedbygrace

Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $200 fine to apply for a Z visa which never expires; the $800 balance of the fine on installment; and an additional $4,000 fine if and only if they apply for a green card.


41 posted on 06/10/2007 10:00:09 AM PDT by angkor
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To: savedbygrace

You must be accurate because a favorite slight of hand for George Bush is “Path to citizenship” when it really is lawful legal residence that is every illegal alien’s dream.

EVEN UNLAWFUL RESIDENCE here is highly desirable and tolerable by illegal aliens. It’s a damn sight better than rotting in the 3rd world.

Legal USA residence is worth at least $100,000 if you want to give it a market value


42 posted on 06/10/2007 10:00:44 AM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: savedbygrace

Hat’s off! Your basic question is very good. Because yeah, I do want to know what it costs (for lawyers etc)people who play by the rules, who legally immigrate here to get legal US residence compared to the bargain Z Visa&Green card rates proposed for the illegal aliens who have forced their way in here


43 posted on 06/10/2007 10:05:10 AM PDT by dennisw (The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction)
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To: tiredoflaundry; Tripleplay

Thanks TOL

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

I becams a naturalized American citizen in Portland, OR 1975, so the fees and costs were less then...

I was in the US military so I was eligible to become a citizen after three years from the date I entered the US...

I had to pay whatever the fees were then, pay for transportation and a stay overnight in a hotel twice to Portland in order to be at my apointments by 8-9 AM and also pay for the transportation and hotel costs for a witness not related to me..

The witness appeared before an immigration official in Dec 1974, one month before the naturalization ceremony, and swore in writing and personally that he had known me for the required number of YEARS that I was a moral and fit person to become an American citizen etc. (The background of the witness was checked also and he agreed to participate) I had to have TWO witnesses and my husband was the other (again the background check)..

At the first trip to Portland, I was examined for my knowledge etc on US history, and government, and my proffiency in the English language, (I had be able to speak, understand, read and write English) etc etc etc

The second trip was for the actual Naturaliztion ceremony which was one of the most important events of my life...and the most important to me as an American citizen..

It’s not just about the costs...

I believe Tripleplay was right when he said...

“it’s my understanding the “Z” visa gives them all the rights of an American except the the right to vote”

Which means the Z-Visa is a GREEN CARD..

BOTH allow a non-citizen to travel in and out of the country...When I had a Green Card I cound leave the US for up to one year, longer and I would have had to reapply to get back in...My Green Card status was scrutinized when I returned from a short trip to Western Europe...I dont think there is any limit on a Z-Visa.....

BOTH allow a non-citizen to work in the US at any job and join the military....except with a Green Card I could not work for the Govt (Post Office, Congress other Govt offices) I dont think Z-Visas disallow working in the Govt like Green Cards do...

BOTH give non-citizens ALL the rights and freedoms. privileges and protections that American citizens enjoy except voting privileges ...

Some BIG fat ol’ glaring differences...

A Green Card was issued to non-citizens (REAL immigrants) when they had been in the US for 90 days...The Z-Card is presented to the undeserving illegal aliens within ONE day...

A Green Card is issued to RA (Registered Aliens AKA REAL immigrants) who have applied for entry in the US, paid ALL fees (no time/installment -payments) passed background checks paid for by the applicant, health screenings by doctors working for the US Govt, paid for by the applicant(blood tests, xrays, medical histories, etc) any and all required shots, paid for by the applicant, etc etc, and who have been accepted for immigration, and then entered the US when the US said to and not before...

A Z-Visa would be issued to any and all IA (illegal aliens) who decided to sneak into the US without permission..and without all the usual immigration requirements

A Green Card is not a step to citizenship but a path in that an inmmigrant who is qualified for a Green card is also qualified for citizenship...that’s why a Green card is so important...only something substantial would stop the automatic path to citizenship...

A Green card holder (RA) must go through all the checks and pay all the fees before they enter the US and enjoy living in the US...A Z-Visa holder (IA) enjoys living in the US without all thechecks and fees...

A Green Card holder respects US laws and waits in line until he receives permission to enter...A Z-Visa holder (IA) could care less about US laws and just criminally enters and then demands the laws be changed to accomodate him...and is give a pass and a Z-Visa...

etc etc etc ...

This fiasco has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with what???????


44 posted on 06/10/2007 10:53:07 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: dennisw

REAL immigrants dont need or use lawyers to become citizens....

Immigration lawyers only work with illegal aliens...


45 posted on 06/10/2007 10:59:06 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: poinq

“the lawyers will also add to the price”

Noooooooooooo Not for the illegal aliens...

The American citizen tax-payers were to pay for the lawyers...it was a provision of the AMNESTY Bill...


46 posted on 06/10/2007 11:04:50 AM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: angkor

Have you found any references in the bill to what might happen to someone who pays the $200 but then defaults on the balance?


47 posted on 06/10/2007 11:45:48 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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To: DTogo

“My legal immigrant isn’t interested in becoming a citizen, and that’s fine by me - we can piggy-back off each other’s citizenship for visas in either country should we decide to live in “his or hers.”
But we both do it legally.”

This is the greater danger; a country divided, no loyalties for support; I suppose you raid the supermarket dumpster by night while working the register by day as well, right?


48 posted on 06/10/2007 11:55:10 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: weegee

The bill means they quit looking; after all, they all look alike, right?


49 posted on 06/10/2007 11:56:27 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Tennessee Nana

Good post, Nana. Lots of great info. Thanks.


50 posted on 06/10/2007 11:56:38 AM PDT by savedbygrace (SECURE THE BORDERS FIRST (I'M YELLING ON PURPOSE))
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