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Friday, February 5, 2010

What to do about immigration reform?

I'm putting together my Presidental Platform for when I run for President (LOL). I'm caught in the middle because I believe in the conservative viewpoint of avoiding amnesty for illegal aliens but I am also married to a legal alien and have neighbors who were once illegal aliens but now are citizens. So how do you address all the different viewpoints and come up with a reasonable compassionate solution?

The first thing we should do is common sense, protect our borders. During WWII we had lookouts all along our coasts watching for planes or ships that might bring an attack. We knew the enemy and we knew we needed to prevent any enemy from coming ashore and causing us harm. Still eight Germans managed to come into our borders and plan an attack. Fortunately American vigilance paid off and they were caught, tried before a "military" tribunal and executed. Right now we are at war again with enemies who would sneak into our country to do us great harm. We need to know who is entering our country, who are enemies and who would harm us. Border protection should be one of our top issues in homeland defense. Terrorist, criminals, gang members, etc. should not have free reign to come and go across our border.

Second item is what to do about the illegals that are already here. Some people in churches think we should grant amnesty to everyone out of compassion for a people who just want to have a better life. I feel for their point of view. I recently went to a celebration at a Hispanic church and in the back of my mind I know there were probably some illegals there. All of them were loving, caring Christian people. I felt compassion towards them thinking how could we be cold and uncompassionate and just send them back to wherever they came from? They just want a safe prosperous place to raise their families just like me.

If our economy was just busting out with growth and there was a shortage of lower paying workers I might agree on a simple path of amnesty for all. Much like the amnesty in the mid-eighties many hard working people from south of our borders were just looking for a better life. My neighbor is one of those people and is now an American citizen. My compassionate side says we should allow some sort of amnesty but being here legally is now more important than ever. We have high unemployment, we have enemies who want to destroy us and we have many uneducated people who are a burden upon our medical and social service systems and they will remain that way.

The primary reason not to allow easy amnesty is because everyone who came into this country illegally has broken the law to do so. Do we say it is okay to break the law for some and not to others? My wife is Asian. I brought her into the United States from Hong Kong. We did everything upright and legally. I filed papers and applied for a marriage visa to get her here. That took a year. Afterwards we filed for her temporary residency card. That took another year. Then after two years we filed for her permanent residency card. With every filing we paid filing fees and the fees increased every year. It is a slap in the face for someone to walk across our border illegally and at some point in time later is allowed to file some paperwork and be easily accepted as a resident and later become a citizen because a politician wants their vote.

The path to residency and citizenship for an illegal immigrant should be more difficult if we allow them to stay in this country. Amnesty for an illegal immigrant should require full vetting of that person and their family. My wife had to be vetting, pass a physical and a background check. Illegals should require even more vetting. If they choose amnesty they should pay a reasonable fee that is in line with what legal immigrants pay, pay a stiff penalty for being illegal and then receive temporary status. During this temporary status period they should be fully vetted and checked for anything that would indicate they would be a danger or an extreme burden on our society. They should show that they can support themselves as I had to show for my wife. I had to provide all sorts of banking and personel information to the government to prove I could take care of my immigrant wife.

They would be required to obey every law. If the vetting provides information that would disqualify them from living here then they would have the opportunity to sell any property that they cannot carry with them and then be deported. Basically an eviction from the United States.

For the qualifying illegal to legal immigrant, the period for becoming a citizen should be double or longer what is allowed to a legal residence. During that time if any felonious laws are broken their residency will be revoked and they will be evicted. The probation period should be harder for an illegal immigrant than for legal ones.

The window for registering in this ammesty program would be narrow. Anyone caught after the window closes would be immediate deportation, loss of any property gained while here and any attempt to reenter the United States would be a felony violation.

I believe this would be a fair and compassionate way to provide illegal immigrants a pathway to amnesty and still be fair to the many people who waited long periods of time to come here legally. For the many who never get the chance to come here at all because on a lottery in another country, the amnesty plan should not be an encouragement to come here illegally as a path to US citizenship.

As with many criminals, Americans who have gone to jail for a crime, their right to vote was taken away. One penalty for being an illegal alien in the first place is to never have the right to vote or a waiting a long extended period of time before being allowed to vote. One of the appealing political reasons to allow amnesty is to increase the voting rolls in favor of one political party. The sole intent of having amnesty to increase voter rolls should be removed. This is a temptation for more corruption and again a slap in the face of those who came here legally and paid the price to do it right. The biggest privilege of becoming an American citizen is the privilege to vote. That privilege should not be granted to illegals easily.

 As I stated at the beginning, any amnesty plan should require securing the borders first to prevent the continuation of the illegal flow of drugs, guns, people, and slaves, terrorist or other contraband. Without secure borders there can be no amnesty, period.


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