With regard to our nation's illegal immigration problem, the goal should be to solve it -- not win some political battle.
If you want to solve a problem, and not win some fight, it means no one will get everything he or she wants but will have to compromise (give up some things) but in the end we achieve a workable solution.
The solution, to work, must but be simple, not complex. The more complex, the more problems that will arise from it. Complex solutions are not solutions and a recipe for more fights and confusion.
So... I thought I would take a stab at a simple, not perfect, solution for illegal immigration. I may be missing something (you will tell me) but I am trying to make this bare bones easy while achieving the goals of the nation. Read the entire proposal below, and tell me what you think. DO NOT EXPECT MY PROPOSAL WILL BE 100 percent of what YOU want -- instead ask yourself if it is a giant step forward and addresses the issues in a simple and manageable way.
Problem 1: Every day we get people entering the USA illegally (or staying beyond visas -- I will get to this later.)
Simple Solution: Seal the Borders: Don't tell me we don't have the money -- we do. We can stop doing stupid thinks like the IRS, in just two years, spending $50 million on conferences involving line dancing and trinkets. (They don't have receipts for the other years and you can expect the same absurd waste.) We can sell empty government buildings (the number of buildings is staggering!) and everyone, including the president, can tighten the belt (is this really the right time to be going to Africa to the tune of $60-100 million dollars?) Cost overruns and waste at the Pentagon are breathtakingly large... and I could go on and on and on. We just need to start being smart about our money.
We can figure out how to seal the borders (it just isn't that hard!) and we can afford it.
Problem 2: What about the 11 MILLION IN THE USA ILLEGALLY NOW? If you speak to the 11 million, you know their big fear and that is that ICE will deport them. That is what THEY want solved.
Simple Solution: Give them green cards (we already know how to do that and have a mechanism), but make them ineligible for citizenship since there should be some price for violating our laws. They can stay and work forever and be good neighbors with green cards -- but they can't be citizens for violating our immigration law and then getting lucky. Green cards are a solution in that they will give them the wanted security ICE is not coming for them in the middle of the night and we will have them working legally and paying taxes. They will be good neighbors.
If by chance some want to become citizens, there is a path -- the old fashion one that every immigrant who became a U.S. citizen followed. They should follow the rule for immigration that have been in effect for decades. The person with the green card can return home to his or her country, stay there for a period of time and make application for citizenship. We don't have to invent any new red tape under my proposal -- do it the old fashion way. It takes some work to become a citizen -- and inconvenience of going home for a period of time -- but it will show the level of desire and commitment. It will also confirm to us the person really wants to be a citizen.
The green card solution simple and fair -- it does not allow someone who has violated our law to 'jump the line' or unjustly annoy those who HAVE followed the legal path to citizenship. The person illegally in our country under my proposal is already getting rewarded with a green card and security from deportation -- that should be enough. Their children born here will be citizens. The foregoing should be enough for those here illegally and who are good neighbors to each of us and it is generous.
This is not amnesty. No one gets handed citizenship. This is a solution to solve a tough problem.
Problem 3 -- Overstayed Visas: In the future, we won't have to worry about borders being penetrated but we will run into issues of people staying beyond visas. I am told that 40 percent of those in this country now illegally are in that category.
Simple Solution: Here is how we do it (and it is simple): If after the point of enactment of this law someone comes to the USA on a legal visa and overstays, if that person gets caught (he or she won't have a green card), there will be deportation back to the home country and no USA visas will be granted that person for a period of time (five years?) There are already in existence laws to punish employers who hire people illegally in this country -- enforce those laws and perhaps increase the penalty.
My solution is simple, cheap, enforceable and fair.
What do you think?
Do you like the proposed 1,200-plus page one that Capitol Hill is fighting over? Or do you prefer my one-page immigration bill? If you like my idea, send it to others...
This post was originally published on GretaWire.