January 1, 2010
In recent and recurring political discussions about U.S. immigration reform, politicians of many different political persuasions as well as news commentators and pundits have been talking tough against “illegal immigrants.” As the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States continues to swell – eight, ten, or twelve million? – the lingering question of amnesty, the granting of legal status to undocumented immigrants, has emerged as a focus for criticism of new immigration plans. Politicians respond by forswearing any interest in any amnesty plan. No politician wants to appear to encourage “illegal,” undocumented status or to express sympathy with people who break American immigration laws to get into the United States.
Despite the political war of words and vitriolic rhetoric, amnesty has been a reality of U.S. immigration law since 1952 – more than 57 years. It is known as “registry” and allows undocumented immigrants who entered the United States prior to January 1, 1972 to be lawfully admitted to permanent residence if several conditions are met. First, the immigrant must have been living in the United States continuously since the first entry. Second, the immigrant must be “of good moral character.” Finally, the immigrant must not be otherwise inadmissible for reasons such as having a criminal conviction a supporting international terrorism. As in any immigration case, the immigrant must prove continuous residence and good moral character with documentation.
According to USCIS’s own website, Registry is located under the search term ” “Green Card Through Registry”(Click here to follow the link)