Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Modest Proposals for Imigration Reform

A bi-partisan consensus exists, at least on the surface, for immigration reform. And that’s where the consensus breaks down, at least through the election cycle.

Let’s start with some premises:

1)      I am not a politician; I will not be a politician. I do not possess any national prominence or position to have any influence in the debate. However, I will state my views anyway.

2)      We are not going to deport 11-12-20 million, no one knows how many in fact, illegal immigrants. Therefore a procedure must be found to legitimize their stay in the United States;

3)      Any immigration reform will fail, as did President Reagan’s Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, unless the borders are secured;

4)      The Republican Party cannot survive as a whites’ only party, the modern equivalent of the Know Nothing Party. Anti-Hispanic animus is political suicide. President George W. Bush, Senator John McCain, and Governors Schwarzenegger and Perry recognized this proposition.

5)      The illegal immigrants come from many continents and countries, and are not, contra to popular impression, confined to Mexicans;

6)      The current Administration is acting against and punishing states which are trying to enforce the immigration laws, but ignoring states and cities which are flouting their opposition to enforcing the immigration laws; and

7)      Democrats favor open-ended immigration to boost their base while employers like non-union, low paid labor. In addition, agriculture needs a steady supply of labor.

With these premises in mind, let’s look at the failed Bush-McCain-Kennedy proposal of 2005.

It would issue the immigrants a “Z” Visa. They would be eligible for a Green Card after 8 years upon paying a $2,000 fine and back taxes. They could apply for citizenship five years later. Unlike the more open ended anchor babies of the past, only the spouse and children of a new citizen would be entitled to a green card.

Opponents immediately labeled the bill “Amnesty.” It never came to a vote in the Senate.

Congress is still deadlocked over immigration reform.

This proposal is simply a draft outline. It starts with the premise, supported by a majority of Americans, that the borders must be closed. Not until illegal immigration, and trafficking, is cut off, can further steps be taken for immigration reform.

Second, a visa for a specified period can be issued for residence in the United States, but no path to citizenship. The illegal immigrants should not be rewarded with citizenship for illegal entry.

The visa is periodically renewable, conditioned upon no convictions for a felony or no more than one conviction of a misdemeanor for an act of violence, and no further act of identity theft.

Conditions of registration include

        1) Obtaining of a valid social security number;
        2) Providing a photo, DNA, and fingerprints,

        3) Registration within 120 days of enactment.
        4) Presentation of proof of residence, such as a rent receipt, utility bill, drivers license, proof of car ownership or registration, or school registration.

 In addition, the Dream Act could be enacted, applicable to completing two years active military service or completion of at least two full years of college. The applicants must have been brought to the United States by their parents or guardians, and resided in the United States for at least the past 5 years.

The new visa, whatever it’s called, would provide a right to reside legally in the United States, to legally work in the United States, and to legally enter and leave the United States.

The act will provide no anchor baby rights for family members.

The enactment of the act will provide funding a public communication of the statute. Public service ads will appear on Hispanic and other foreign language TV and radio stations, as well as in minority publications, communications in K-12 and colleges to the undocumented students, and the involvement of community organizations.

A final provision is that states and communities which refuse or fail to cooperate with the Border Patrol or ICE, such as through “sanctuary cities” or other failures to notify the federal authorities of the apprehension of an undocumented immigrant, shall lose all federal funds to that political body.

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