What a Blue Card Can Do
December 9, 2011 § 2 Comments
Some of the crops that were used to yield a good lot in California are now imported to the US as native farmers can’t find workers. This also has something for the Immigration Reform to do with.
The United States’ green card is the most sought by immigrants from all over the world to enter US and establish their living. Getting a green card is not a simple process and it is not given to all categories of employees. The process for unskilled labors is too lengthy due to the extensive formalities. To meet the demand of farm workers and to make the process simpler, a bill has been introduced that would grant five-year “blue” cards to agricultural workers.
What a Blue Card can do
The quota would let an agricultural worker who fulfills certain criteria to be able to remain in the US with his family, in case that person was into agriculture for a certain number of days in a year. This bill, hosted in both the House and Senate, is proposed to issue “blue cards” to undocumented farm workers if they can provide evidence for having worked in American agriculture for at least 150 workdays over the previous two years, also known as the Earned Adjustment Program.
This program is aimed at providing up to 1.35 million blue cards over its five-year lifespan. To get legal permanent status, the worker will be required to work in American agriculture for another three to five years after which he/she will qualify for permanent resident status (green card . Such workers should also have to pay a fine of $500 for being here illegally, and have to prove that their taxes are current and that they haven’t been convicted of a crime.
This program only applies to workers in agriculture, mainly employees of farms and farmsteads. Undocumented farmworkers and recent H-2A guest workers wanting to take the immigrant road would have to complete a two-step process.
- Apply for “Blue Card” Temporary Resident Status. This program will permit a farmworker to apply for a “blue card”, also known as temporary residency through a government-approved organization, a licensed attorney or a recognized immigration practitioner. The application period would begin seven months after the law becomes into effect and would last for 18 months.
- Earning Legal Permanent Resident Status after getting “blue card” status. Applicants are required to perform agricultural work for at least 100 work days per year for each of 5 years during the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of the Act to earn a “green card”.
Sham Application Workers who do not meet these requirements, who have filed a sham application, or who don’t apply for permanent status by the seventh year would lose their “blue card” status and have to leave the US. However, for immigrant workers, the bill also would offer a path to filing US Citizenship Form for those already employed in the country.