Published on Mon, Sep 27, 2010
The Immigration Policy Center writes:
Acknowledging the large numbers of illegal Europeans in the U.S., the government devised ways for them to remain in the U.S. legally. *Deserving* illegal European immigrants could benefit from various programs and legalize their status. The 1929 Registry Act allowed *honest law-abiding alien[s] who may be in the country under some merely technical irregularity* to register as permanent residents for a fee of $20 if they could prove they had lived in the U.S. since 1921 and were of *good moral character.* Roughly 115,000 immigrants registered between 1930 and 1940—80% were European or Canadian. Between 1925 and 1965, 200,000 illegal Europeans legalized their status through the Registry Act, through *pre-examination*—a process that allowed them to leave the U.S. voluntarily and re-enter legally with a visa (a *touch-back* program)—or through discretionary rules that allowed immigration officials to suspend deportations in *meritorious* cases. Approximately 73% of those benefitting from suspension of deportation were Europeans (mostly Germans and Italians).
Published in the Washington Times