Immigration is not going anywhere as a political issue, as much as some would like it to.
Although Democrats and the media whine over the term “anchor baby” and the concept of our national sovereignty, adults have to address real problems, and millions of people in the country illegally is a problem. So let’s address it, shall we?
Big business and big government love the idea of amnesty; cheap labor for one, a dependent voting bloc for the other. To that end, both agree to the lie that amnesty would be a boon to the economy.
Somehow we’re meant to believe employers of these low-skilled workers suddenly will decide the added expense of having legal workers on the payroll (payroll taxes, worker’s comp insurance, etc.) will be worth their clean conscience, or the fear of a previously unenforced fine will force their hand. They’re already willingly breaking the law. Why stop simply because those who’ve enabled you to do so are threatening to enforce it at some nebulous date in the future?
As for the illegal aliens, their desires never should be considered a priority over Americans. Those not on public assistance either knowingly work “under the table” or with stolen identities. Either way, who cares? Any choice they’ve made was a choice made of free will knowing the consequences.
The only reason to consider anything other than deportation is the expense. But there’s a way around that and to fix the mess politicians of both parties have created.
I’ve written about this before, but allow me to clarify and expand on it again in the hope that one or more of the feckless Republicans running for president decide meaningless platitudes does not a plan make.
First: Seal the borders. No one gets in, from anywhere, until we deal with those who are already here. That means heavy patrols on the southern border and immediate removal of those sneaking across. No excuses, no exceptions. Those seeking refugee status have the rest of the world to choose from; we have to get our house in order.
Second: Create a “Purple Card” to be offered to those here illegally who can prove they are employed. For lack of a better word, it is a form of amnesty. It will allow them to continue to work legally for a set number of years, after which it can be renewed if no crimes, not even misdemeanors, have been committed. If convicted of a crime, you’re out, no matter what.
Illegal aliens will have one year after the border is sealed to apply for a Purple Card. They must provide fingerprints that will remain on file permanently and be accessible to law enforcement. There will be a processing fee. If they can’t come up with it, they add so little to the country that they should not qualify.
After they are checked out and receive a Purple Card, they are free to work in this country for the specified number of years, renewable in perpetuity, as long as they are law abiding. They must verify they are working six months of every year. If they are unemployed for more than two months in any given 12-month period, they’re out. If they’re here to work, as we’re told, a work requirement shouldn’t be an issue.
By accepting the Purple Card, they receive the right to work and freely move about the country, as well as to leave and return. But they never, ever can obtain U.S. citizenship. Their children, guests in our country just as they are, cannot become U.S. citizens, even those born here during their Purple Card time. We will educate them, but they are not Americans. For that they must go through the legal process in their home country.
Third: They will pay all taxes owed from their earnings, including all FICA taxes. But they will be barred from ever collecting Social Security, qualifying for Medicaid or enrolling in Medicare. That is the price of admission, the price for violating our laws.
If, as Democrats say, immigration reform is about getting people “out of the shadows,” this does that. If, as Republicans say, they’re only here to work and help their families, this does that too. If it’s about something else, like creating voters who will undercut Americans’ votes, this will be opposed.
We’re told illegal aliens only want to work to support their families. This allows for that. There will be minimal disruption of the economy since those illegal aliens actually here to work will be free to do just that. Others, criminals and non-contributors, will be weeded out.
This must be coupled with an expedited deportation process. Anyone not willing to meet the criteria for this generous new plan made a choice, and that choice must have consequences. Committing a crime is another conscious choice, Americans must be protected from guests who would do them harm, in any way.
Citizenship, or even the right to live here on a temporary basis, is too precious to be handed out like Halloween candy.
Any or all of this idea is available, free of charge, to any politician who wants it. Mix it, mold it, change it, but keep the concept. Citizenship, the end result of amnesty, is what Americans dislike the most. Show some innovative thinking by removing it as a possibility.
On a personal note, thank you to everyone who sent well-wishes and generous gifts in response to last Sunday’s column about my impending wedding. I will be sending each of you a personal thank you once the “I do’s” are done and I have a moment to breathe.