Watching U.S. members of the House and Senate, and the president's Cabinet in a joint session of Congress stand and applaud Mexican President Felipe Calderon's slam of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, I thought, "What a despicable act of disloyalty to one of their own states and a ludicrous leadership move to boot, especially when 71 percent of Arizonians agree with its new immigration law. "
President Calderon, how can you possibly criticize the state of Arizona about its newly passed immigration law, when Mexico's immigration law states:
-- Immigrants can't be an economic burden.
-- Immigrants must be healthy.
-- Immigrants must have no criminal record.
-- Immigrants must show a birth certificate.
-- Immigrants must provide their own health care.
-- Government can ban foreigners due to race.
-- Illegal entry is a felony (resulting in jail time).
-- Illegal immigrants can receive no government assistance of any kind.
-- Illegal immigrants' children may not attend public schools.
-- Document fraud is subject to fine/jail.
-- Incarceration and deportation of illegals occurs without due process or a trial.
-- A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the goal of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison.
-- Federal, local and municipal police must enforce immigration laws, including checking "papers" of suspected illegals
Mexican law actually shares similar strictness with how America's founders dealt responsibly and forcefully with immigration law. In Part 1, I concluded by outlining key criteria for citizenship from the Naturalization Act of 1795, which remain part of American law. These include: "1) five years of (lawful) residence within the United States; 2) a 'good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States'; 3) the taking of a formal oath to support the Constitution and to renounce any foreign allegiance; and 4) the renunciation of any hereditary titles."
In order for us to regain control of the chaotic mess and national disunity posed by illegals and press on to achieve the success our forefathers had in immigration, I believe we must apply those four criteria to our naturalization process in a more practical way.
First, Congress must stop the flow of illegal immigration by putting up a viable border fence and reinforcing it by whatever means necessary. Then it must refocus the streams of immigration.
In order for the sheer force of Niagara Falls to be harnessed into usable energy, it must be intentionally funneled through proper and restrictive channels. I believe the same must be done with immigration or ultimately we will hand our sovereignty over to other nations on a populous platter.
Our forefathers increased and decreased the influx of certain peoples because America was not only building a melting pot of ethnicities but securities and degrees of productivity. Today, with America having achieved that great diversity, of course we shouldn't regulate the flows of immigration based upon ethnicity. Rather, we should regulate them based upon societal needs for balance, stability and growth, just as our founders did.
James Madison spoke for most founders as he gave the purpose for immigration: "Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community, are not the people we are in want of."
As I mentioned, we can't properly deal with the illegals within our borders until we've stopped the flow of any more at our borders. Then, and only then, can we turn our attention to the millions already residing in our country. What I then propose for them is not amnesty in any package, but a onetime solution based upon the 1790-1795 immigration law that would separate the wheat from the chaff, straining out potentially productive and law-abiding citizens who will pay their fair share of taxes as residents.
I would give illegal immigrants already here a three-month grace period to apply for a temporary worker's visa. If they failed to apply within that time frame, they would be considered fugitives, and would be found and deported. Once they applied and qualified for a temporary worker's visa, these immigrants would be placed on a two-year probationary period (the original 1790 requirement of residency). At the completion of that time, and if they remained in good standing, they would be issued a permanent worker's visa. And, after an additional three years (completing the five-year residency requirement from the Naturalization Act of 1795), they would qualify to apply for U.S. citizenship.
During their two-year probationary period, it would be their responsibility to check in to assigned governing officials and prove their productivity and progress as a part of the American landscape. Criteria would of course be established by Congress (as the Constitution requires), but enforced by local probationary personnel from the departments of naturalization, in a similar way that probation officers monitor people on probation. If immigrants don't "check in," and do not have a good reason for not doing so, they will be deported. If they are law-breakers, they will be deported. If they don't demonstrate a good moral standing and aren't productive members of their community, they will be deported.
This is how America was built, and it is how it can be rebuilt again today -- if we finally secure our borders, better regulate the influx of immigrants to meet and build up societal needs, and offer a responsible path to citizenship for immigrants who are already working here and want to become productive American citizens. Next week in Part 3, Chuck will discuss what he believes is, "The greatest obstacle to border enforcement."