Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Plan For Illegal Immigration

What would I say if I were running for President? Not that it would do me any good to put my hat in the ring, but I look at that big long list of names and see their different ideas about things and I don’t know if I agree with them or not. I think some people choose one they like out of their favorite party and then look for ways to defend whatever nonsense their candidate is saying. And every one of them says nonsense part of the time.

I got into a discussion about illegal immigration. It started because some people in the Republican party have this idea that we don’t have to apply the 14th Amendment to the children of illegal immigrants. Ann Coulter has tried to say it doesn’t apply the Supreme Court ruled that it didn’t give citizenship to Indians. As true as that is, people at that time didn’t see Indians as people, so to apply that same rule to the children of illegal immigrants would require us to believe that they aren’t people because their parents are here illegally, but black people are people, even though their parents weren’t citizens. I can’t go for that. But if I ran for President and someone asked me what my plan for illegal immigration is, what would I say?

1. Close the Border

No plan will work if we continue to have people crossing the border without permission. Given our current state of affairs, something that resembles a fence may be called for on our southern border. Realistically, a physical fence will only make it more difficult to cross the border, no matter who you get to pay for it. People have shown their willingness to climb over and tunnel under. We can’t build a fence that will keep everyone out, but we may be able to increase the chances that law enforcement will catch the people who cross without permission.

2. Prioritize Prosecution

There must be justice. People have violated our laws by either crossing the border illegally or by overstaying their welcome. But when you consider that there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants, it is going to take a long time to work through all the cases. Some people have this idea that we can just round them up like cattle and herd them back across the border. I don’t know that you could do that with cattle, much less people who are smart enough to hide, but we must have due process or risk deporting people who shouldn’t be deported. That will take decades, so let’s prioritize the cases. If someone is involved with serious crime, they should be either sent to prison or deported. Then lesser crimes. Lastly, those people who are adding value to their communities.

3. Reward Work

Some people won’t like this, but I can’t get over the fact that there are more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States. Some of those have been here for nearly all their lives. For some, the only home they remember is in the United States. It is true that some are a burden on our resources, but there are citizens who are also burdens on our resources. There are illegal immigrants who are benefiting our society, just as there are citizens benefiting our society. In some cases, there are illegal immigrants who are willing to work jobs that US citizens won’t take. They also pay taxes. Aside from being here illegally, they may be law abiding. We may be going to church with some of them. They may be our neighbors. They may be our friends. In those cases where these people are the kind of people who are good for our communities, instead of looking for a way to get rid of 11 million people, let’s reward those who benefit our communities. Instead of deporting all of them, let’s allow those who have been here for at least five years to plead guilty to being here illegally, with the understanding that they will serve 5,000 hours of community service before they may attempt to become a citizen. And then an addition 500 hours per year after that, until they either become a citizen or leave US soil.

4. Work Toward Eliminating the Need for a Border Fence

Have you thought about why we don’t need a fence between the United States and Canada? It isn’t that we don’t have border checkpoints, but there are farmers with land on the border who plow land on both sides of the border. You could be out hunting and step across the border into Canada without realizing it. But we don’t have a bunch of illegal immigrants from Canada, because it isn’t worth the risk. Some people do move from one to the other, but they do it legally, because they’re more likely to be able to get a job that way. But people flow over the Mexican border because the chance of a better life in the United States is much better than where they came from. So let’s look for ways to help these people find ways to get rid of corrupt government, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and whatever else they are fleeing for a better life. I don’t mean just throwing money at the problem, that wouldn’t help, but if the conditions in the countries south of here improve, fewer people will want to leave those countries and we’ll have less difficulty keeping out border closed.

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