Reader Comments on Immigration Issue
For all of the reasons previously stated in this forum, I believe that we as a
nation should not act to discourage legal immigration. Nor, however, should
we necessarily encourage greater numbers of immigrants. I know of no facts
that would justify either course.
That having been said, it remains to discuss how we approach a solution to
the problem presented by the vast numbers of illegal immigrants present in the
United States. For practical and in my view, humanitarian reasons, mass
deportation is not a viable option. Besides, illegals are good for the economy,
which is precisely why the problem has persisted. They can be and are easily
exploited by employers who can make them work for substandard wages. They
can be and are easily exploited by landlords who can make them pay high prices
for substandard housing. This is possible because the illegals are afraid to
make a fuss or insist on good treatment. They believe, rightly or wrongly,
that if they do not keep a low profile, they will be caught and returned to
wherever they came from. Fear is also the reason why illegals utilize fewer,
not more, government sponsored services than their “legal” contemporaries.
That, coupled with the fact that they are simply not eligible for many aid
programs, makes the burden they impose on society minimal considering their
relative income status. Add the fact that they collectively make a
significant contribution to the Social Security system because they are
working under false social security numbers and will NEVER be able to claim
those benefits. Now add the fact that although many illegals send money out
of the country to care for families they left behind, they do spend a significant
portion of their income right here. On balance, viewing the matter objectively,
one is forced to conclude that illegals are far more desirable than are the home
grown bums who clutter our street corners, schools and jails, suck up welfare,
send the crime statistics soaring, and endanger our fellow citizens with their
gang related activities. But I digress. We have a problem. How do we handle it?
Just as Mass deportation is a bad idea, so is any form of amnesty. Amnesty was a
bad idea when Reagan tried it in 1986 (a point which our so called “conservative”
brethren conveniently forget), and it will always be a bad idea. We simply cannot
reward individuals for breaking our laws. Every illegal breaks our laws every
day he or she wakes up in this country. If we are truly a nation of laws, then
we must not take the position that if one gets away with breaking the law long
enough, all is forgiven and we will pretend it never happened. To do so is to
undermine the very fabric of our society and make a mockery of our legislative
and judicial processes.
In my view, a workable solution might be to grant green card (legal non-resident
worker) status to those illegals that are employed; give them a coded social security
card so that their contributions can accrue to their benefit, and let them alone.
Of course they should be allowed to choose to return to their country of origin
and wait their turn under the quota system if they want to become citizens, but
if they elect to stay on green card status, they should never be granted
citizenship. An exception might be considered if they serve in the armed forces,
but I have no opinion about that one way or the other.
Whatever we do with the illegals presently in the country, a necessary predicate
to any reform is to establish and maintain control of our boarders. If we have
to seal them off, then we should do so. We should utilize every legal,
humane means possible to accomplish a complete choking off of illegal
immigrant trafficking. If we lack the political courage and national
resolve to accomplish that, then there is no solution to the problem.
I appreciated your impartial approach to this subject; frankly, it is more
truthful and objective than what people like Lou Dobbs report almost on
a daily basis. Mr. Dobbs uses information from the Heritage foundation;
an organization devoted to portray illegal aliens as a tragedy to this
country. Only emphasizing the on the cons and not the pros of illegal immigration.
As a country we should have a cost-benefit analysis of the impact of
illegal aliens and let the chips fall where they may. Let me explain:
Government resources; while it is true that illegal aliens consume these resources
is it not also true that these people pay state and local taxes when the buy food,
medicine, clothing, fuel…etc. Are they part of this country’s GDP? Are they
the reason why a carton of orange juice costs $3 and not $5 or $6? Are low labor
costs beneficial to the population at large? I am only using orange juice as an
example and symbol there are many more examples like this one.
So let’s do the math and come up with the truthful results and not the obscure
opinions of some impartial and intellectually dishonest critics.
Furthermore; the Heritage foundation insists on calling immigration reform
amnesty and that illegal aliens will immediately bring their families here
bringing the number of foreign aliens to 30-40 million people. Let me offer
some fresh ideas to make this exaggerated view a moot point.
Instead of immediate citizenship, what about making illegal aliens temporary
residents with a probation period of 3 years, any felonies during this period
resulting in deportation and disqualification to the program. The requirements being:
* Proof of being in this country for more than 10 years
* Background checks to make sure they have not committed any crimes
* Fingerprinting all of those coming forward and assigning these people legitimate documentation
* Pay the fees (self funded)
Since there are clauses for deportation and disqualification it is not amnesty.
After this probation period ends they would be allowed to become full time residents;
which would not allow these new residents to bring family members from their
respective countries of origin.
The next level would be temporary citizens; these are the requirements:
* Five year probation period with no felonies (as full time residents)
* Knowledge of the English language and American history (according to the age of the applicant)
* Pay the fees (self funded)
In order to qualify for full time citizenship these are the requirements.
* Three years as a temporary citizen
* Pay the fees (self funded)
Those who become full time citizens will have all the rights as any natural
citizen (except to become president). As you can see it will take 11 years
before anyone can become a full time citizen with high standards (no felonies).
Let’s not forget the enforcement part. In my view a virtual fence (cameras, drones etc)
would be more effective with helicopters and patrols strategically placed along
the borders. Any illegal aliens caught should be booked (fingerprints) and
automatic disqualified for any guest worker program or any legal opportunity.
Furthermore; any illegal alien costs should be passed along to that country (primarily Mexico).
If they refuse to pay then any financial aid can be suspended or deducted to any
associated cost with the illegal aliens.
Humbly; these are some ideas that can be changed but it is a fresh great start and
solution to this problem. These are difficult and critical moments where character
it is not build but rather revealed.