The illegal immigrant should be forbidden any unemployment or welfare benefits. Medical insurance, or the cost of any care, should be provided by the employer. Immigrant children can be educated in public schools (and taught English) provided their parents pay property taxes. If an illegal immigrant is renting or living with others, he or she should pay a certain amount to defray the cost of education. If a child is born in America to illegal immigrants, that child should not automatically receive U.S. citizenship (a court ruling reinterpreting the Constitution would be required to change the automatic granting of citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the U.S.)
After two or three renewals of the illegal's special visa, the person must return to his or her native land for a specified period of time and then apply for re-entry.
Should the illegal immigrant desire citizenship, that person should first learn English and American history. The path ought to be rigorous so that we know the person is coming to America for more than just the goodies the U.S. government provides.
Most importantly, we must protect and secure our country's borders. Gingrich's hero, Ronald Reagan is credited with saying, "A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation."
Something else troubles me about this debate. Why is it compassionate to suggest ways for people who have broken our laws to escape the consequences but cruel to require that they obey our laws in not entering the country illegally in the first place?
Everyone wants a better life for themselves and their children. American citizens mostly seek that better life by conforming to the law. Illegal immigrants should do the same.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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