Ann Lin Detroit News op-ed calls for provisional residency for potential U.S. immigrants

March 6, 2013

In an op-ed for the Detroit News, Ann C. Lin suggests that a provisional residency system for U.S. immigrants should be considered as part of the solution to the country's immigration debate.

Lin writes, "As support builds for some kind of immigration reform, the focus has been on "legalization" proposals for the 11 million undocumented. Yet legalization, though important, is only a temporary fix. If the rules we use to admit immigrants do not change, immigrants will continue to come to the U.S illegally despite all of the border security and workplace enforcement we can create."

Under a provisional residency program, potential immigrants without connections to the U.S. would have a pathway to becoming permanent residents. "The genius of the provisional resident category is in allowing full membership to the U.S. to develop step by step. Becoming American doesn't happen immediately. But close our doors to people with dreams, and no amount of border security will prevent illegal immigration," Lin explains.