Arizona's new law which intends to enforce unenforced Federal Laws. What did the White House expect? It is time to do something, and please, make is sane!
Immigration has been the backbone of a free and prosperous United States since we became a nation. Why can't we make it work?!?
Not one of us wold be here in the US if it were not for the process of immigration. I am a second generation American. My grandfather (mother's side) came over from Ireland to New York in the late 1800's. He worked hard and gained a lot of success in business but lost it all during the cash of 1928. He joined the US Army and was a decorated Captain until his retirement. My grandmother was a southern belle from a well-to-do farming family in Virginia who's family came to America (from England!) on the Mayflower - I am a descendant of Governor Bradford. My grand parents on my father's side immigrated to Upstate New York from Montreal, CA to work at Alcoa Aluminum during WW II.
My family has a rich history both in and out of the US. I bet yours does too.
The United States of America, the land of the free, and the home of the brave, has always accepted those from less fortunate political and economic circumstances, as well as being a place of opportunity for wealth, success and the pursuit of happiness (not the promise!). The transition for most immigrants is not an easy one. Language barriers, cultural differences, and uncertainty plague them. (Uncertainty because there is no guarantee of citizenship, nor a line to get into any longer) Amazingly, many have adapted and become successful and productive citizens. Who hasn't enjoyed the an ethnic meal or celebration? From sushi to coffee, banking to industry, we have cultural influences too many to list - all as a result of immigration.
During the World Wars, it was imperative that we have an easy, and streamlined immigration policy to let the victims of tyranny, war and political unrest come to our country. Beneath the Statue of Liberty, virtually anyone that was able to pass through New York's Ellis Island Immigration office, was given citizenship. But those were times of war. This is when the arcane law of "born on US soil" = citizenship was made law. This was a privilege that was given to those who's parent(s) were legally immigrating to the US. It saved a lot of time in terms of paper work for the overburdened Dept. of Immigration.
Today, and for a number of decades after World War II, foreigners have been able to come to the US both with legal visas, and illegally walking across borders, stowing away on ships and using false documents.
In the illegal alien debate, let's try differentiate between those that come into the US legally, and those that do not. My common sense tells me that someone the "breaks in," should be treated differently than one that gets a visa, and comes legally. One breaking in, should bean automatic deportation back to safe political countries IE: All of South and Central America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia and Australia. I have compassion for one who escapes genocide or war. Those were the immigrants of the last century. The so called "anchor babies" of those entering the country illegal should NOT be made citizens.
There are many issues for those that come here legally and want to stay - and that is the biggest problem. Of course there are also issues for those that want to come, applying for citizenship from other countries.
THERE IS NO LINE!
That's right, there is no queue to get into, and not much in the way of requirements. This is one reason that legal aliens become illegal. They languish here trying to get citizenship in an ineffective bureaucracy the has no specific criteria! The parking meter runs out quickly, and it can take years to get an INS hearing. Many have spent their life savings to get here, and hang on burdening family and friends as they wait for the opportunity to become and American. They are told, if you leave, you will never be able to come back.
THERE ARE NO STANDARDS FOR CITIZENSHIP!
Why can't we just do the following?
-1 Background check. This can be done as part of the visa process. This way we don't let criminals come here. We have enough trouble with that right here at home.
-2 Have a guest worker program. This allows companies to express their need for x amount of workers. They would have a prerequisite to run ads locally to try to find these workers. They would have to abide by federal, state and local laws regarding worker safety, pay and hours. Companies should be fined big time for hiring illegals.And INS could get their computer system on the web so companies can check credentials real time..
-3 All aliens here on work, religious, and student visas should be photographed and given a picture visa that has an expiration date just like a driver's license right at their port of entry. They can pay for this as part of the citizenship application process. BTW - Many foreigners can only get tourist visas. These are an open door, and need to be monitored.
-4 Learn English - a basic level of understanding is an investment in citizenship, and a tool for success in the US. If you can speak one language - then you can speak English.
-5 Require a clean criminal record - any felony convictions here, and say good bye. Jailing illegals is not a way to build a society.
-6 Required them to pay all income taxes as US employees except social security. But be certain, many will be lower income, and should not be eligible for EIC or any other rebates. Someone needs to run the numbers. Citizenship could be worse tax wise.
-7 A 5 Year waiting period - if all the criteria is met, then let's give citizenship to those that have adapted (not be changed) to American culture. We could make it shorter for military service - say 2 years. We want Americans on the battlefield should we need them.
In response to Arizona's new law, we've just rounded up 596 criminal illegal aliens in the Southeast. Bravo - so let's keep up the good work, while we make progress in other laws that better fit our society.
Regan-esk amnesty is not good for anyone. It teaches people that breaking the law is OK, it burdens us with costs for schools, health care, justice and entitlement programs. Some are already benefiting from these services. It is not fair to those of us who uphold the law, work hard, and pay taxes.
Fixing the mess, even with new laws as I suggested above, is not going to fix much of the current problems. We have let this go on for so long, that we will have to bend, or be seen as tyrants. Here are a few thougths on that.
-1 Deport the criminals.
-2 ID and evaluate all those that have overstayed their visas. This is a tough process, some are land owners, business owners employing Americans, and many have children - some that are in college whom were born here and are citizens!
-3 All should pay a fine for overstaying based on the years they have been here. $500 or a $1000 a year - we need to fund this insanity. I suppose that we will basically have to give amnesty to those that meet the criteria of knowing English, and having a clean record. After all, it is partially our fault they are here and definitely our fault they were allowed to stay here.
-4 Get those working into a guest worker program and fine the companies that hired them.
-5 For those that have entered the country by "braking in" we need to put those that we cannot deport at the very end of the line and fine them. Even 30 days in jail. I am sorry, I can't see breaking up families that have been here for years. Remember, our government allowed this to happen to people. They are not fish we can just throw back.
-6 Those that are married to Americans would get citizenship anyway, let's just move those that speak English and are not criminals through.
America is a great country and immigration is a wonderful way for us to help our fellow man, we just need to get it under control for national safety and economic reasons.
As Christians, when we allow immigrants to be illegal, we cause them to sin, and that is on us as well. It is time to love our neighbors as ourselves.
I am sure that I have missed something - let me know. Think I am wrong, let's debate it.