Two days ago, retiring GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) and Jon Kyl (AZ) held a press conference to announce their new Achieve Act, a watered-down version of the DREAM Act which would confer legal status but no guarantee of citizenship. When reporters asked Sen. Kyl to address that flaw, he waved it off as no big deal:
KYL: Realistically, young people frequently get married. In this country, the biggest marriage pool are U.S. citizens. A U.S. citizen can petition for a spouse to become a citizen in a very short time…so I don’t think it’s any big secret that a lot of people who might participate in this program are going to have a very quick path to citizenship, if that’s the path they choose.
Why didn’t we think of that? DREAMers who are in the country without papers can marry an American to get papers. Never mind that–as Jezebel points out–marrying someone for the express purpose of citizenship is a federal felony. Never mind what happens to immigrants who are already in love with and want to marry other immigrants. Sen. Kyl has stumbled upon the solution for the entire question of what to do with the 11 million aspiring citizens already here–and that road leads through the chapel.
To facilitate this effort, a Facebook group called Citizen4Me has sprung up (note: it’s a joke) inviting immigrants and their friends to upload a picture, information about themselves, and their legal status, so that immigrants and citizens can pair up with one another and get the ball toward marriage (and citizenship) rolling.
It gets a little more complicated than that, of course. Obtaining citizenship through marriage can take many years and thousands of dollars–not to mention the Obama administration is still in the process of changing a rule that currently requires spouses-to-be to return to their native countries, sometimes to be stranded for months or years. But there’s no harm in trying!