Is there an answer to the immigration issue?

With all of the gnashing of teeth about Arizona’s recent  signing into law a state statute that would make what is already Federal Immigration Law an Arizona state law as well I had the same knee-jerk reaction as every other blogger and commentator in the English speaking world to throw my two cents worth in.  For whatever reason, good sense actually overruled my normally hasty posting of opinions.

There has been enough written on the Arizona issue already including the Truth, Lies, and the ever popular Half-Truth that I think I’ll just let anyone reading this hunt around on their own and make up their own mind.  Instead, I’m going to actually post what I think is wrong with our immigration policy and how we can fix it, or at least throw some ideas out there and see what sticks.

I don’t think anyone can argue that what we have now simply isn’t working.  Our Southern border is wide open for the most part and as long as it remains that way I promise you that nothing will happen to change the problems we’re having now.  Given that, the southern border MUST BE CLOSED TO UNRESTRICTED ENTRY.  Without that, nothing else will make any difference.  If that takes posting US Military troops on the border, building a concrete wall, and placing sophisticated electronic monitors the length of the border then so be it.  Yes, the Mexican government will scream.  Let them.  I want to get along with our neighbors to the south as much as anyone else but when they have far more Draconian immigration laws than we do, and when the benefit to illegal immigration to the US is all going to them and little if any to us, I really don’t care if they scream or not.  They can worry about getting their own house in order before they start telling us what to do in ours.

Once the border is under control, then we can work to take care of the illegal aliens already here and it can be done.  It’s simply not going to be practical to send somewhere between 10 million and 30 million people back across the border by deporting them so there has to be another way.  There is.  Grant a period of time, say six months, for anyone in this country illegally to come to an immigration office and apply for a special visa.  This visa, what we commonly call a “green card”, would be issued automatically.  The individual would be finger-printed and a correct and current address reported.  It would be made clear that if that address is invalid, they will be deported.  The card would be valid for an additional six months during which time a background check would be run on the individual for a criminal history.

Anyone caught after the six months time period without their visa would be automatically deported and not allowed entry into the US again.  If the background checks uncover a history of violent crime,  being on any kind of a terrorist watch list, or any other major (read that felony) conviction, they get deported.  During the six months the temporary visa is valid the immigration department will run background checks to attempt to discover any criminal history or reason for deportation.  Assuming they apply for their cards and pass the background check, they are issued a one year guest worker visa that can be renewed as long as they are legally and gainfully employed.

Anyone holding a guest worker visa convicted of a felony or a habitual offender of misdemeanor statutes is deported.  If you’re not going to respect our laws you don’t deserve to be here.  Once they have their guest worker visa they can begin the process of applying for naturalization.  There will be no cutting in line, no moving ahead of anyone.  They wait their turn to become citizens which is fine as long as they are gainfully employed and continue to renew their visa.  I would like to see the time limit at something like five years but with the influx of new applicants it could very well be double that.

I could see allowing some moving ahead of the line if they are willing to do something of extra service to the country, for instance volunteer to serve in the US Military for at least three years, learn to read, speak and understand English, and receive and honorable discharge.  If they would be willing to do that, when they’re discharged they are naturalized citizens.  Beyond something similar to that level of public service, no exceptions.

Last but far from least, institute extremely stiff penalties for ANYONE employing someone that is either not a citizen of the US or didn’t have the proper documentation.  When I say stiff penalties, I mean stiff as in bankruptcy seize all the assets stiff.  If it is made cost ineffective and the risk/benefit ratio increased so high there won’t be any jobs for illegals here anymore.

Are there problems with the plan?  Sure.  First we have to get over the idea that we’re not going to grant them “amnesty” no matter what.  I don’t like the idea of ignoring laws either, but in this case if we’re going to get the problem under control there really is no viable option.  Spouses that either can’t or don’t work would have to be addressed if they’re here illegally, as well as children.  But these issues are not insurmountable and within ten years of this plan I could see the illegal immigration problem being well in hand.

-john stricker

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Published in: on May 23, 2010 at 11:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

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