The 3-to-10 year bar is a law that tears apart mixed status families and deters unauthorized immigrants from legalizing their status. This immigration law is a penalty applied to immigrants with legitimate residency applications. Immigrants eligible for residency through family ties are forced to return to the consulate of their home country to pick up their Legal Permanent Resident papers. These same resident card holders are then denied re-entry into the United States for 3 years (if their unauthorized stay in the US was under 180 days) or 10 years (if their unauthorized stay in the US was over 180 days).
Since 1996 when the 3-to-10 year bar became law it has had no effect on the steadily rising number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States. The law has had the unintended effect, however, of deterring immigrants with United States children, parents, or spouses, who want to become legitimate residents, pay taxes, attend school and assimilate into mainstream American society, against applying for residency.
The 3-to-10 year bar has been a complete failure. It has proven wholly ineffective in preventing visa overstays and deterring new immigrants. It victimizes American citizens and their loved ones. It pushes immigrants underground, away from legalization. In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform, state governments across the country have passed aggressive legislation targeting undocumented immigrants. A record number of deportations have taken place. Repealing the 3-to-10 year bar would give immigrants with US citizen family a fighting chance!
A repeal of the 3-to-10 year bar would encourage eligible immigrants to legitimize their status. A repeal of the 3-to-10 year bar would help mixed status families, many now living in fear, by providing a path to legitimate residency. A repeal of the 3-to-10 year bar would bring eligible immigrants out of illegitimate, abusive and illegal employment, and some out of poverty. A repeal of the 3-to-10 year bar will reduce the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States by allowing eligible immigrants a chance at residency. A repeal of the 3-to-10 year bar will tell the undocumented population that if you follow the rules, there will be a reward – not a decade of banishment.
REPEAL THE 3-TO-10 YEAR BAR!
Image By Jonathan McIntosh (Own work) [CC-BY-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons