A path to citizenship?

The other day, Bookworm posted on immigration reform and I put in a comment that somehow never got posted, so I thought I’d use it to reopen the discussion.  There’s been lots of talk about how there is no way we can round up 11 milion illegals and send them home, so what we need to do is provide for them a path to citizenship.  It seems to me this has it exactly backward.  Why would I want to give citizenship to someone whose first act on American soil (illegally entering the country) is an illegal one?

On the other hand, it is a bit unfair to permanently penalize folks who hand no reasonable expectation that we would attempt to enforce our immigration laws when they broke those laws (we’ve been far too lax for far too long).

 So I have a simple solution.  Give everyone who is here illegally 30 days to get out.  Once they are out they can apply through proper channels to re-enter the country legally.  Those who leave and enter legally will be given a path to citizenship.  Any illegals found on American soil after the 30 days are up are barred from ever seeking citizenship and will be deported as fast as we can find them.  Couple this with strong punishments for those who employ illegals, a complete end to benefits for illegals, an end to automatic citizenship for children of illegals born on American soil and other measures to make it undesireable for anyone to come here illegally and we solve the problem.   Okay, there’s that little matter of political courage to do it, but otherwise, what do the Bookwormroom readers think of my idea?  

7 Responses

  1. Don –

    I love your solution. And yes, the problem is that it would require political courage and that is unfortunately lacking in most politicians on both sides!!

    I would give them 60 days to get out but other than that – it’s good. It’s good because:

    – It allows illegal aliens (and that is the proper legal term for these people – no “undocumented workers”) to come back and immigrate legally – they would not ever be burdened with any sort of shame or feel the need to keep quiet about the fact that they were ever here illegally.

    – It forgives them for breaking the law. Most of these folks are really, truly good people. They shouldn’t be treated like criminals but they did break the law. We cannot reward those who break the law – it simply leads to people not taking any laws seriously.

    – It is backed up with punishing American businesses who employ people illegally.

    – It takes away the incentive for people to come here illegaly and have children. For many years, that has been a wonderful gift that America gave to immigrants but it is being abused so it must be revoked. Are there any other countries in the world that automatically grant those born on their soil with citizenship and its privileges?

    – It doesn’t make those immigrants who came here and did everything legally feel like they are being punished for following the rules.

    You ought to run for President.

    Deana

  2. You don’t into account Democrat political activities, Don. And check the akismet spam folders for your comment.

  3. Don,
    I posted a response to Bookworm on that post, saying in essence that by applying the right pressure to the right people (ie, those with the most to lose, the employers), those here illegally would drift back across the border the same way they came in–one decision at a time. They self-imported, and they can self-deport using the same reasoning ability.

    I say we immediately deport any illegal caught breaking any further laws, including the serious offence of identity theft, ie stolen SS numbers; sanction beginning immediately employers caught accepting fake social security numbers from illegals; and just begin showing in general we mean to enforce our borders and our laws, like oh, by building that fence, hiring many more border agents, allowing them to do their jobs, and continuing with the large scale raids.

    Mexicans are not different from any one else in responding to incentives and disincentives–they can figure out which side of their bread is buttered. We need to stop allowing them to believe we dont care about their being here, and that we really need their economic contribution.

    BTW, does the left (or the Wall Street Journal) ever subtract from their calculations of the “benefits” from illegal workers the billions in remittences Mexicans send back home? It seems to me that when that money which does not return to our economy is factored in on top of the cost in billions for health care and other welfare payments, the economic dislocation to US workers, and the free education we pony up for, the price of that head of lettuce is pretty damn high, and its not such a great bargain after all.

    Benefits accrue only to the specific cheaters involved, while the true cost is passed on to all the rest of us suckers.

  4. Don,

    Here’s one huge problem though. In the local newspaper here in Southern California, it reported that Hispanics will account for half of California’s TOTAL population by 2050. As it stands right now, Whites are 42% and Hispanics 39% and Blacks and Asians and others make up the rest. And this is not counting the illegal immigrant population. I’m willing to guess that a huge percentage of the 39% are children born of illegal immigrants since we are heading into the third generation of illegal immigrants here in California.

    The law right now is that if you are born in America, you are automatically a citizen. In Texas, you have medical teams on the US side prepped and ready to help deliver babies as pregnant women run over to the US side of the border from Mexico. The baby AND the mother will become US citizens.

    DQ, you plan might work but would you be willing to revoke the citizenship of all the children of illegals? Until then, I don’t think any amount of political courage will do because the Hispanic voting block— many, if not most, of whom are the children of illegal immigrants— is going gargantuan and decisive. Ultimately, I think the President knows this and all our Democrats know this, and both of them are trying to coax the Hispanic voting block into voting for them and their party.

    The case in point is the recent illegal immigration bill. It shamelessly pandered to the Hispanics and illegal immigrants. Yes, whoever controls that block will control the agenda of the country in the next 5-10 years. But the problem is, Democrat or Republican, the jig is up by then. Our leaders of both parties would have sold our country out to the globalists and the American nationalism would be defeated. Oh, to be sure, there will still be conservatives American nationalists by 2020, but they’ll be a distinct minority.

    The defeat of this recent illegal immigration bill is only a temporary cease-fire on this issue. It’ll come up again soon enough. We are rapidly reaching a point where it’ll be too late to act on this issue. After that point… we’ll reap the whirlwind.

  5. I love the idea in theory. I think Thomas has a practical point.

  6. Don,

    Nice idea but it’s just a minor treatment for the symptom. We’ve INVITED them to our party. Lax enforcement of current law is just a part of that invitation. The fact is that many of the 11 or 12 Million illegals are integral parts of our economy… not everyone is a drain on resources.

    Giving them 30 days to leave is just hot air unless the conditions they are here for are changed… economic opportunity, education, emergency health service, citizenship for their children, and providing money to relatives in their native countries… among others. Until you change that model nothing will change.

    If you believe, as I do, that we need some of these people here, then we must make it easier for them to get here legally. Only then can we expect to get any effective border control. We have to change the conditions that makes it attractive for illegals to come here. We have to change the cost/benefit ratio in order to make legal immigration the better choice. Sending them all home, building a fence.. or any other band-aid will do nothing.

  7. Deana, Thanks for the kind words, but I’d hate to be President.

    Thomas and Bookworm, You’ll notice that ending this practice and making the children of illegals themselves illegal is part of my solution. You have a point as to those born under the onld rules. I would not revoke their citizenship and I’d deal with them as the citizens they are.

    Oceanguy, I agree with you completely, but I said most of what you are saying in my post above: “Couple this with strong punishments for those who employ illegals, a complete end to benefits for illegals, an end to automatic citizenship for children of illegals born on American soil and other measures to make it undesireable for anyone to come here illegally and we solve the problem.” I do agree that we should make it easier for people we need here to re-enter legally. But they still have to leave and enter legally.

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