This e-mail from someone who’s dealt with an amnesty provision in current immigration law should put into context the Senate bill’s promise that illegals will pay a fine:
As some of you know, my illegal alien brother-in-law (who could have been petitioned legally by my naturalized U.S. citizen wife, but entered the U.S. illegally anyway) applied for legalization in 2001 via the 245(i) provision which “requires” the payment of a $1,000 fine.
I was the one who filed on behalf of my wife for my brother-in-law under the 245(i) provision. In my telephone correspondence with the then INS in getting the proper instructions on how to proceed, I asked when and where the $1,000 fine would have to be paid. I was told that there were no specifics on that issue, but it would probably have to be paid when my brother-in-law received his visa in approximately eight years from the time that his notice of action [essentially a receipt– MK] was received in 2001 (it turns out now to be 13 years — 7 more years to go). [snip]
As it turns out, there are absolutely no specifics on how and where the fine has to be paid. Recently I checked on the status of my brother-in-law by phoning the USCIS. His application was approved but has not yet been transferred to the NVC (National Visa Center). In the telephone conversation, I asked when the fine had to be paid. I was told that there was nothing in my brother-in-law’s record about paying any fine.
If history is any indicator, the $5,000 amnesty fine will never happen.