Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Essential Components of Effective Immigration Reform


A few days ago, I published the first part of my article discussing immigration reform, “Enough With The Outrage – Fix Immigration!”. Hopefully you already read it, but if not, maybe go check it out!

So what is the answer to our immigration problem? What kind of solution would address the issues at hand, without being entirely partisan (even though we all know that democrats will vote against anything that doesn’t give them every single thing they want)?

Well, while the rest of you idiots were freaking out about President Trump maybe using a naughty word to describe another country, I’ve taken the liberty of finding the solution for you. You’re welcome.

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1. DACA/Dreamers

There is a misconception out there that Dreamers are all young kids who came here as babies and never knew any country other than America. But the DREAM Act states that in order to be eligible, the person must have been brought to the country under the age of 18 and have lived here for no less than 4 consecutive years. Additionally, at the date the law was enacted (2012), they must have been between the ages of 12 and 35. Now if you do the math, this means there are Dreamers out there as old as 40. Not quite the picture being painted for you by the Democrats.

Say what you want about the DACA program, but the fact remains that we will never deport them as a whole, so we need to find a common ground. And Republicans, this is just an issue that you’re going to have to budge on.

The Dreamers should be given the opportunity to stay here, but they need to be properly vetted. They should be given a set amount of time to apply for a more permanent status, and those who apply, should have their criminal history checked, as well as their employment or enrollment in school or college.

Anyone who applies and has any infraction on their record more serious than a speeding ticket, should not be approved to stay. We already have enough criminals here, so we sure as hell don't need to allow any more to stay. Depending on the severity of the infraction, we can allow them time to voluntarily leave the country. But if they have committed any type of violent crime, they should be deported immediately.

Those who fail to apply for residency within the allowed time period, should be deported, with no questions asked.

Those who apply and are granted a new residency status, should have some limitations - this is NOT amnesty. Remember, we are still talking about people who are here illegally. They must secure employment or be enrolled in a school or college. If they want to own a firearm, vote, or have access to government welfare benefits, there should be a mandatory 5-10 year waiting period after the enactment of the bill, before they are eligible.

"Then don’t deport them" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Joe in DC


2. Merit-Based Immigration

This should be a no-brainer. There should certainly be exceptions made for some people who are underprivileged and just want a better life for themselves. But the vast majority of legal immigrants should have to show that they will be an asset to our country, rather than a drain on our resources. Most developed countries, including our neighbors to the north and the south, have similar requirements. So I really don’t see any justification in arguing that this is in some way discriminatory.


3. Refugees

There will surely be times when the residents of certain countries will need to leave and seek refuge from war, natural disaster, or persecution by violent regimes. And as a world superpower, we have a moral duty to assist with this when possible. However, this should not alleviate the process of checking to make sure we are not bringing in criminals or religious extremists.

We should make every effort to settle the refugees closer to their homes, and provide financial support, rather than bringing them into our country. It should also be made clear that their refugee status has an expiration date.

If they want to stay permanently, they should be required to apply and go through the legal process in order to be considered, just like anyone else, but with the benefit of being allowed to stay here while completing the requirements. It should be mandatory that if they are not fluent in English, they must enroll in an ESL language class and prove fluency before being given permanent residency.



4. Diversity Visa Lottery Program

Unlike President Trump, I see the benefits of giving some preferential consideration to a select number of people from under-represented countries. However, I think the current 50,000 per year being allowed under the Diversity Visa Program, is a bit much. This number should be significantly reduced to a more reasonable number, and these “winners”, should still be vetted just like any other legal immigrant.

"Muslim Ban Rally" (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by vpickering


5. Repeat Offenders

This one is going to make some people mad. One of the downfalls of our immigration system, is the lack of negative consequences for coming here illegally. These people don’t fear being caught, because deportation is the worst thing that happens. Then many of them turn around and come right back multiple times.

I know we are supposed to be a humane country, and are “better” than some other countries out there, but if the repercussions of illegal immigration aren’t scary, it will be difficult to end. That’s why we need to make a change.

I’m all for a one-time freebie. If you come here illegally, and you’re caught, you shouldn’t have a right to a trial. If we can prove that you are not allowed to be here, you should be expeditiously processed through the system, photographed, fingerprinted and maybe even have a blood sample taken. Once you are added to the database, you should be shipped back over the border as quickly as possible. And I am not opposed to the deportation being done by catapult – but I guess that's probably a little extreme.

After that one strike, if someone comes back again, we will be able to prove it with our database entry from their previous deportation. Those repeat offenders should be sent to a prison camp. I’m not talking about $30,000 per person, per year, cozy prison with decent food and a room with only one roommate. I’m talking a prison camp with electric fences and barbed wire. No amenities, no indoor restrooms, and barely edible food.

I know, it sounds inhumane, because it is. But that’s the kind of consequence it will take to make someone question whether it’s really a good idea to come back again. Additionally, each time someone returns and is caught, their length of stay in these accommodations should be exponentially increased. It might be extreme, but I don’t think we will continue to see people being deported 5+ times and still continue coming back, as with the man who killed Kate Steinle.

"the matrix" (CC BY 2.0) by mitchell haindfield


6. Sanctuary Cities

How is this even a thing? I can’t believe this is even a debatable topic. It utterly blows my mind that any sane person could justify having cities and states which choose not to enforce our law, and in many cases, actually obstruct federal law enforcement. Sanctuary cities and states should not receive one single penny in federal funds, because they are violating the law. I don’t care if you disagree. I don’t care if you find some judge somewhere to say it’s unconstitutional to de-fund them. You’re both wrong. No federal money should ever go to a city or state that refuses to follow the law, and the elected officials who choose to declare “sanctuary status”, should all go to prison. Period.


7. Extreme Vetting

Yes, we need extreme vetting. We have to take every precaution to make sure that the people we allow into this country, are here because they love the place and not because they want to harm us or take advantage of us. But, we should also look into what can be done to make legal immigration a faster and less expensive process. I’m amazed that this hasn’t been brought up by either side of the debate. But Democrats are too focused on letting illegal immigrants stay, and Republicans are too focused on keeping illegal immigrants out. If both sides could take a step back and look at the bigger picture, perhaps they could work together to simplify this process. My belief is that if we make the process easier, we will in turn reduce illegal immigration, since the thought of going through the process won’t be so overwhelming.


8. Chain Migration

If a legal immigrant wants to bring their spouse, or kids, or parents, or grandparents here, I don’t have a problem with expediting the process. The odds are that If the original person checked out, we probably don’t need to look as closely at their immediate family members. I can only assume those family members were probably checked out during the original vetting process, so let's focus the extreme vetting elsewhere.

However, there is no way in hell that we should be giving a free pass to aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins once removed, and step-father in laws, or any of the other ridiculous extended family that democrats want to allow in. Again, I don’t care what you or some biased partisan judge might think. Chain migration is a benefit - not a right. And we have every right as a country to put whatever constraints on it that we see fit.
 
"Philadelphia Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes" (CC BY-NC 2.0) by joepiette2


9. E-Verify

If you want employment in the United States, you should have to prove that you are here legally. And if you are an employer in the United States and you want to hire someone, you should be required to verify they are here legally. Anyone who violates this, should face stiff penalties.

The end result of this, will be higher wages. I know, Democrats all say that illegal immigrants are just doing the jobs that no one else will do. No, they are doing the jobs that no one else will do “for the amount of money they are being paid”.

If hiring an illegal immigrant for $5 per hour isn’t an option, and people who are here legally wont do the job for minimum wage, guess what! That employer is going to have to pay more than minimum wage to fill the position! It’s almost as if capitalism works to organically increase wages, rather than a mandatory increase in minimum wage!


10. The Wall

Yes, we need a wall. It’s common sense and it is absurd that we even have to debate this. Democrats and Republicans all agreed on this until it suddenly became racist for us to want to control illegal immigration into our country. Trump has already said that this must be a part of any bill brought to him, so those of you who are against it, you better just suck it up and embrace our “big beautiful wall”, because it’s going to happen, and whether you agree or not, it will pay for itself.

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So there you have it. All of the components listed above are essential parts of reforming immigration laws. Both sides are going to have to concede on some things, but at the end of the day, Republicans are in control. I just hope the Democrats will be willing to negotiate rather than obstructing at every turn, and I hope Republicans remember how to win. Otherwise the fake Republicans like John McCain will end up being the deciding vote to either pass or kill the legislation.

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