The Rachel Maddow Show | January 29, 2013
>>> we all know that today we have an immigration system that is out of date and badly broken. a system that is holding us back instead of helping us grow our economy and strengthen our middle class . we've got to bring our legal immigration system into the 21st century , because it no longer reflects the realities of our time. for example, if you are a citizen, you shouldn't have to wait years before your family is able to join you in america. you shouldn't have to wait years.
>> shouldn't have to wait years. you know, complexity is not just a feature of how the world works and how bureaucracies work. complexity is also used as a tactic in politics. deliberate obfuscation, making something seem more complicated than it is can be done to political effect. porejemplo, the scare chart . a graphical representation that is made to look deliberately complex in order to scare you about that issue. this is called the organizational chart of the house democrats' health plan , otherwise known as obama care. this was put together by the house republicans back in the health reform debate days. look how complicated. isn't it awful? let's add more boxes and lines to make it seem even worse and more alienating. when that version was not scary enough, house republicans later put out a second draft. look at this one. a second obama care scare chart , with i don't know, 50% more rationing zones or something. be afraid! here is another scare chart . this is america's strategy, supposedly for winning the war in afghanistan . any questions? this chart was not originally created for scare purposes i don't think, but it was circulated to have that political effect once it was dug up. these are scare charts. and pro- immigration reform groups have used this same scare chart tactic. look right here. this shows a map of the current legal path to immigration in this country. this is how you legally become a u.s. citizen if you're not one already. and all the little red stop signs that you see, those are all of the places in the process that you can get blocked from becoming a u.s. citizen through our legal immigration process. so employer not willing to file lc labor certification ? sorry. or i-140 denied? sorry. how about didn't respond to rfe in time. sorry. or uscis security checks denied. sorry. all these things and more can all lead you to the sorry. they can all lead you to the stop sign where you fail on your attempted journey through what is now the legal immigration system in the united states . there are also in this chart all these little clocks embedded in some of the lines to show you places where even though you might be able to proceed from one step to the next, there is a clock there. there is a long wait time in between those two steps, even if you get to proceed. and of course those little clocks start to add up as your life goes by you. so this is a freakin' nightmare, right? to a certain extent, this too is a scare chart . this is be afraid of the complexity of this system. but you know what? this chart is actually also kind of true. and even if you try to not deliberately play up how complex and difficult this system is, even if you don't try to visually obfuscate the paths by which people emigrate to this country, even if you try to look not as complex looking as possible, but rather as clear as possible, it is still unbelievably impossible. the libertarian magazine "reason" tried to map out the same system recently in a legitimately user friendly way. they're not trying to obfuscate or seem more complicated. they're trying to seem more simple. look how they have done it. this are little cartoon characters . it is very well color coded instead of color coded in way designed to upset you. you can follow the appealing characters through the process in a way that is actually designed to help you understand. this is not designed to be visually intimidating, but it ends up being just as damning about the truth. your employer is not willing to cough up ten grand in legal fees ? sorry, you're out of luck. are truth. your employer is not willing to cough up 10 grand? sorry, are you the married child who is an adult? sorry, it is a way that has predictable or rational or frankly defensible outcomes. and in any of the situations in which you are allowed to emily emigrate this is the difficult path, look at the times, seven years, 16 years, 28 years, 28 years is how long you can expect it to take? 28 years is how long it could take right now for people who are following the rules and doing it right and doing it legally? that is how long the people can expect the system to take when the system works?
>> today we have an immigration system that is out of date and badly broken.
>> yes, we do, anything that takes 28 years to complete, yes, we do. the thing you hear all the time from the people involved in the immigration fight in washington, that whatever we have to come up with has to be tough but fair. how about tough and fair and efficient? a legal immigration process in this country exists for a reason. it exists because legal immigration is something we supposedly value as a country. it is a basis that we allow, the basis for who we are as a country. and it is the process that the government is responsible for facilita facilitating. and the progress for that path regularly takes up to 28 years to complete. not because you screwed up, but because you did everything right. the reason they say that immigration reform has to be done in a comprehensive way, rather than a piece-meal fashion, where you just pick one or two things to do, the reason it has to be comprehensive because in part, the solution would mean just trying to cram more people through this existing system. no, the system is broken. not only do more people need to get through the system but the system needs to disappear and be replaced by something that makes sense. that is not liberal or conservative, that is something called good government. and if you don't believe me, ask somebody who has gone through it or who is trying to go through it. if you know anybody who has emigrated to this country in this generation, ask them respectfully, but ask them, somebody personally in your life who has gone through the system, and ask them if it is brinoken, see what