Being a Hispanic and a law school graduate, I get asked a lot about the current immigration debate going on around the country.
I am in a unique position, being that I grew up with many illegal immigrants, but am also a Conservative. This being the case, I do not believe the issue is as black-and-white as everyone tries to make it seem. Let me explain…
First, we must acknowledge that laws exist for a reason. Without laws, anarchy quickly follows. Similarly, if laws are not enforced, anarchy also follows. We can all agree that some laws are good and others are not so good, some are moral and some are not. This is common sense and should be easily understandable.
That being said, the United States has been blessed with great wealth (though that can be argued given its current state). Naturally, many want to take advantage of that blessing and have come here both legally and illegally for many years. We must also recognize that the U.S. has not properly enforced its immigration laws and has mostly looked the other way for decades. We, as a people, are not innocent and it would therefore be grossly unfair to deport all 12+ million illegals currently residing in the U.S.
Why? Because despite the fact that they were wrong in illegally (yes, illegally) coming into our country, we were okay with it for a long time. We loved cheap labor and the benefits it provides such as not having to pick all those tomato. avocado, and tobacco crops for less than minimum wage or the drastic reduction in prices. We enjoyed the drop in prices and had no qualms with it while the economy was booming. Now that the economy sucks, we have become extremely concerned with illegal immigration. To be fair, some Conservatives such as Mark Levin have been sounding the alarm for many years about the dangers posed by not securing the boarder. He is in the vast minority of Americans. Most did not care as long as it did not affect them.
So, should we let them stay and give them citizenship? Not quite.
On the other side, illegal immigrants know they are breaking the law and that they have no fundamental right to be here, regardless of what Jorge Ramos or other race-hustlers say. Every country has boarders and most enforce their immigration laws far more than we do, including Mexico.
It is wrong to steal and it is wrong to break into the home of another. This is the same thing. Not all steal, but if you are on Social Security, Welfare, Medicare/Medicaid or any other subsidized program and you have not paid taxes and/or are not a citizen, you are stealing. It’s that simple.
So, as you can see, both sides have blame. The difference is that the United States is a sovereign country that is trying to decide what to do with illegal foreigners that have absolutely no right to be here, but have been allowed to enter through negligence, corruption and greed.
Can there be a fair and just plan? I believe so. This is the plan I would propose if I was a Senator or politician:
1) Secure the boarder before anything else. How? A wall takes time to build, but there are things you can implement immediately until the wall is built.
a. Drastically increase the amount of boarder patrol officers in the field. I would raise the budget and increase the amount by up to 4x the current number.
b. Use drones to enhance surveillance of hard to see places, especially rocky terrain.
c. Place sensors at even intervals that can read human heat and movement. If it exists, I would also add sensors in the ground to detect drilling and tunneling or dump tons of concrete 20 feet deep for miles. If we can build bunkers, we can reduce drilling.
d. I would place guard posts every 5 miles or so.
e. I would provide the boarder patrol with the ability to deport quickly.
2. Once the boarder is relatively secure, I would reduce the amount of people allowed to enter through visas by 40%. Most of the illegal immigrants stay on expired visas.
3. I would immediately deport every illegal immigrant with a violent felony. No appeals, just deportation.
4. Once the above three steps are complete, I would allow all of the current illegal aliens to apply for a work permit. Once approved, they must pay a fine and taxes.
5. After 10 years of good behavior and no felonies, they can apply for residency and ONLY residency. They can never become citizens. This is to encourage proper immigration.
I know some are fuming because of all the restrictions.
Remember, amnesty advocates argue that all they want is for illegal immigrants to come out of the shadows and not be afraid of being separated from their families. This accomplishes all of that and more.
There is no logical reason why citizenship should be awarded to a person who came in illegally. That is quite discouraging to those who have followed the proper channels. By providing residency, we are allowing them partake of most of the great things this country has to offer, but we are also punishing them for breaking the law.
That is fair and just.
I urge you to look beyond ideology and emotion and focus on finding a solution that is beneficial for all involved, not just illegal immigrants. Neither mass deportation or mass amnesty meet that goal.
My plan is not perfect, but it’s a plan.