Immigration Solutions

Last month, after President Obama announced the beginning of a discussion on immigration reform, I wrote a blog discussing the fundamental political conflict at the heart of the matter:  Legalization for twelve million or so immigrants, whose status is currently illegal.

The two solutions offered by opposing sides are:  (1) strict enforcement of current law, leading to deportation of the illegal work force and those family members without legal residence; or (2) legal status and a path to citizenship with a fine for breaking the law.

The first option is not realistic because of the human costs, economic disruption and political beliefs of the majority of Americans and their representatives.  Those who see this as a black and white issue, where illegal means “no rights” are missing the historic context of a nation built on immigrants and hard work, not entitlement and status.  It’s not that illegal immigation is right, it’s that this solution is not right.  The nation may or may not be capable of policing its borders, but it is not capable of ten million deportations.

The second option is essentially the same “Amnesty” program that was implemented under President Ronald Reagan, with the addition of a potentially significant fine to punish and discourage the immigration law violations. 

There has not been much discussion of the fine or potential restrictions of this type of legalization.  This may be where there is some room for compromise.  There is no reason that the fine could not be substantial, that the path toward citizenship could not be long, or that some immigrants could not be put in legal worker programs, where they would not be entitled to a path to citizenship without further application along with other non-resident applicants. 

A stricter, more “punishing,” legalization program would serve to discourage illegal immigration in the future, especially if legal quotas for immigration kept up with the labor needs of U.S. employers and employers who broke the law were sanctioned.

If the second option (legalization) can be achieved politically, then the 12 million people who can take advantage of the program will come out from the shadows of the law and establish legal identities in the American system.  If this option cannot be achieved politically, the status quo may continue for another period.  This option has many negative consequences.   For the illegal residents, they suffer exploitation and lack of legal participation in the society in which they live.  Society loses their number in the census, in some tax collection and public allocation of resources.  Unfair competition with the legal workforce is also a problem.

So far, anti-legalization forces have not shown an interest in creative compromise.  It’s time they did so.  The failure to enact legal reform does not create a better real-world solution.  Helping to create an immigration program for the future that is realistic and firm is the best way to get the legal framework in line with an enforceable legal reality.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/macsurak/235542375/

407 comments

Past Member
Past Member 9 years ago

..Cont'ds from below...
D) Many doc. immigs, US citizen and even born citizens can not speak English. Therefore, speaking or not a language has really no correlation with status. Presently 85% visas are issued to family members of US citizens/permanent residents merely based on a sponsor application. There is no requirement for language, education or adaptability skills. Whereas, those with no sponsorship have really no chance regardless how educated, well-spoken, or well-adapted they may be. I know many who have been living for over 20 years with all the education domestically, and all, and have no way of legalizing-Now that is unfair. Therefore, the language "card" may also apply to legal immigs. Thus, the claim "I have no problem with legal immigs" is deceiving or misleading. You do not know the person in front of you is legal or not-no stamp on his forehead. And therefore, such compromise "no prblem with legal immigs" is based on false premises. Such people do have a problem with immigs in general then.

E) Two presidents, on the opposite sides of the spectrum, from two opposing parties, tried just that to fix it somehow.

F) Not too long ago, "freedom riders" were arrested in (AL/TN?) for sititng in white only waiting area of the bus station because they had broken the law. What was wrong with the law?

(The above is for educational purpose only based on facts, not opinions. Any response with a hint of diatribe, hate, name-calling will not be read through)

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Past Member
Past Member 9 years ago

A) About half of undocs. are NOn-Hispanic. Contrary to common belief, most undocs are not what you see on side of the street looking for day labor, and are illiterate. Believe it or not, many more are educated, speak the language well. If law were to bar you from driving forever for getting one single traffic ticket, then it would sure be unfair. Add to that if it did not matter if you drobe one day or 100 years. This how immigration laws are broken. A person "out of status" for one day or 100 years in the US, does not matter-There is no way for them to legalize.

B) Breaking immig. laws is a civil offense, not a crime. They are not criminals. If you were to run a red light because a man in car behind you is shooting to kill you, I am sure you would not be stopping at red light just becaus eit is the law. Survival instinct is much stronger than a text written in books.

C) Over 45% undocs came legally, but due to bureacracy and broken laws, they became "out of status" and if out of status for one day, then the laws bar them from ever legalizing. Therefore, there is such a backlog; and laws are not working.

Cont'd.. above................

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pam w.
pam w9 years ago

I suspect most of us here have no problem with LEGAL immigration. ILLEGALS, by their first act in coming here, have scoffed at federal laws--why should we respect and accommodate criminals who don't respect our laws and culture?

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Sherri O.
.9 years ago

Oops! Should be 'hear', not 'here'.

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Sherri O.
.9 years ago

Pilar Perez....

No need to feel sorry for me. My guess is you are probably an illegal yourself. And not a very bright one. You come across as a functional illiterate...barely able to express yourself.

Not all immigrants are bad, but we have imported too many bad ones. Don't like it? Tough. Illegals should be booted out. Their children as well.

Call me 'racist' if it makes you feel better. That is always the word you lot love to throw around when the truth is being spoken. God forbid anyone white should have an opinion that is not politically correct. Get used to it. You will here more of it in the future.

I have friends of many cultures and am a fervent defender of Native rights. They agree with me.

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Shannon S.
.9 years ago

Past Member, I'm an Assistant Manager with Walgreens. I am in Milwaukee, WI. Walk the streets sometime here and you will see what they are doing. I have a great life. I live in West Allis but work in a bad area since I used to live near it. English is the country's official language. Half of them walk in demanding somebody to speak Spanish. Now, I know Spanish, I just refuse to accommodate them, since they are old enough to get those classes for free to learn English. The classes are free, for crying out loud. I can speak my own language, Spanish, Urdu, Punjabi, and Arabic. I learned those three when I travelled to some Muslim countries while married to my ex husband. Why can't they be bothered to learn 1? Many are crying "Oh, they're caving to the Muslims!! Oh me oh my!", but you don't see arabic on most packages and in most stores here. You see Spanish. We need to stop that. They need to be forced to learn English before even coming here, so they can truly "Assimilate" with the population. It's not the country's duty to learn Spanish, it's the immigrants duty to learn our language. I won't speak your language in my own country. You speak the official language of the country or don't come here at all. Oh, yeah, get rid of the EBT card (food stamps) and work for a living. You're not crippled. If you can work on your car and use our tax dollars to decorate your house, you can work for it, too. Apologies on the misspellings. Slow computer today.

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Pilar Perez
Pilar Perez9 years ago

Oh dear Sherri O. I fell sorry for people like you.
The undesirables you say!!! Have you read intelligent statistics on the last 10 years? there are not more undesirable people (in many countries) than Americans, since Bush made it as President... so... nothing can ever be able to change a racist mind like yours... but you would be very full by thinking... you´re not as undesirable as Mexicans are for you (and people like you)... even in your own country!!!
You would be even more full and ignorant to say -People like them are the problem... because not all Mexicans are problematic people, there are MANY North-Americans killing, dealing drugs and doing so many wrong things ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD!!!
But i would never say ALL North-Americans are like that (only the must of them) because you see... i´m not that ignorant.

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Mary C.
Mary C9 years ago

Here ya go!!

Back in July, doctors in New Zealand promoted the idea to ban fat people from entering their country. It sounded crazy. It was crazy.

But now, it has happened. 35-year-old Rowan Trezise has been rejected from entering New Zealand. Her husband had applied for a work visa and, in fact, chose to lose weight to get admitted himself.

"It cannot afford to import people into the country who are going to be a significant drain on our health resources.

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Past Member
Past Member 9 years ago

..........cont'd from below...........

Regrettably, they turn to other people from other cultures who actually do well (called displacement in Psychology) to target their anger. People from other cultures live a happier life than they do, have happy marriages, have children who take care of their parents, good relative who take care of each other and so on... yet the bashers can not stand that and for their miseries, they blame them. They live a life of irrational fears and paranoia. It is further fueled by politicians seeking power and by propagandas afforded to them. Such bashers are lashing out at one group today, they are most likely to turn to another tomorrow. Unfortunately, nothing convinces them that they are hurting themselves more and more....

They are the same people who lash out at gays, corporations, and foreign countries and nations. They are the same people who whine and complain at their jobs that they have to do too much. They are the same people who lash out at corporations for exporting jobs overseas. Today, they blame immigrants, and now Muslims for the problems, tomorrow they will certainly find something else-you wont miss it-it will be on these boards.................

The "They" is losers

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Past Member
Past Member 9 years ago

Today, "they" blame immigrants, yesterday they blamed Red Indians and massacred millions of them. For their own insecurities, they blame the world and have made the world a battlefield. They are the same people who condone bombing civilians in their mudhouses as long as it makes them feel secure so that they may sleep better tonight. Scapgoating that is, is a deceptive defense in order to cope with their own inner unhappiness and emptiness. They are the people you see on this board. Blaming their miseries onto others, they lash out at any group that is vulnerable. They are highly vocal in that they are ready and willing to call names and turn defensive when others bring sound and sane arguments before them.

You will notice that they are people usually with lower income, not much going on in their lives, have a host of problems in their lives, including health. Typical profile of an "American" basher seeking scapegoats, is a middle aged to old-aged man or woman with broken life, not much education or have no use for it, perhaps multiple failed marriages/relationships, and occasional flings in that bar and that place and yet still empty life despite so much around him/her. There is no peace in his/her personal life. Fellow "Americans" ignore him/her as if he/she were a melting ice cream. Their own parents/children are unknown to them. Such bashers live lonely and empty lives with no control over their surrounding and free people around them.
.......cont'd............

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