“Nation: a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.”
“Country: a region that is identified as a distinct national entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. Regardless of the physical geography, in the modern internationally accepted legal definition as defined by the League of Nations in 1937 and reaffirmed by the United Nations in 1945, a resident of a country is subject to the independent exercise of legal jurisdiction.”
Whether or not you agree with the definitions of “Nation” and “Country” shown above, it is unquestionable that The United States of America for the better part of 250 years has been and is under attack from those with polar opposite perspectives: should the U.S. close its borders to all from outside its historical boundaries with restrictive immigration laws, or should the U.S. adopt “globalist” rules allowing all into its boundaries with few or very limited entry restrictions? Globalists point to the inscription on the Statue of Liberty that says “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door,” as justification for U.S. open borders. Most think those words are from either the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution. Not so. “The New Colossus” is a sonnet that American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–1887) wrote in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the pedestal’s lower level. That famous “Liberty Cry” did not exist until 120 years after the United States was established. Many who decry illegal immigration in the U.S. have countered the globalist cries for open borders by quoting John Adams who penned the often quoted principle that says “Our nation is a nation of laws, not men.” But for many in the immigration battle, laws do not matter — immigration laws are antiquated and unfair. How can a nation exist without rules/laws? How can a nation actually BE a nation if it does not have, keep, and maintain real borders? Those questions and their answers are key to the U.S. immigration struggle that has existed for many years, but has escalated to its almost unbearable current status.
Illegal immigration is not a new issue. And U.S. politicians develop and change their positions on it often — always determined by the direction of political winds on particular days. That holds true on a national, state, and local level. Former President Obama issued sweeping Executive orders on illegal immigration during his second term that would have legalized millions of illegal immigrants granting them the right to stay in the U.S. However, the Supreme Court struck down that executive action in a 4-4 tie. Then President Obama made several scathing charges against the Court as did then candidate Hillary Clinton, excoriating the Court for that opinion they stated would “tear apart millions of families.” However, Obama before becoming President was not so friendly to illegal immigrants. As a Senator he said, “We agree on the need to better secure the border and punish employers who continue to hire illegal immigrants. We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States, but those who continue to enter the country illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they are showing disregard for those who are following the law. We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants.” (CSPAN)
Most Americans are shocked at the blind eye turned toward the southern border as the Feds have allowed illegals into the U.S. by the tens of thousands. Those illegals, many from South and Central America, are looking for opportunity. Many wish to escape bad social and economic conditions that plague them where they live. Some Americans believe the life hardships suffered by these in their home countries justify their illegal entry into the U.S. They do so with no thought about that action breaking federal laws.
So what do we do? What you see below is a skeleton of what I feel is a fair and equitable “fix” for our immigration debacle. Please understand this is a concept and is mine. Though well thought through, I am certain there are parts of it that need to be refined if not completely changed and that there are some things I have not thought of. But this is a plan that I think substantively would work, would be fair if and when implemented could at least jump start and get us well into doing away with the rampant illegal immigration into the U.S.
DAN’S IMMIGRATION PLAN
I don’t think there should be a shortcut to citizenship that rewards those here illegally. Actions have consequences as we heard from politicians for decades. Breaking the law has consequences. But, even knowing that, simply deporting the number of illegals would be almost impossible. Some estimate there are 12 million illegals in the U.S., but I think it’s actually closer to 30 million. But here’s my suggestion for how to go forward:
- The first step in this process has already begun. That is (upon ICE identification) illegal immigrants convicted of felonies will be immediately processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
- Simultaneous with the above step, the federal government will launch an aggressive process to secure the southern border of the U.S. This will include any and all measures necessary to gain control of the border to assure the Nation that illegal immigration has been completely eliminated or as much so as feasible. This may include an actual wall or multiple walls as geography dictates, electronic and air surveillance and security, ground and water surveillance, and the addition of whatever equipment, vehicles, and personnel are deemed necessary to secure the border. (None of the next steps will be enacted unless/until the border is secured)
- Illegal Immigrants are granted a 12-month window to “get legal.” That “get legal” means this: they voluntarily register themselves and any family members with U.S. Immigration or Homeland Security. This registration is simply the demographic and identity details for application into this “get legal” program. Upon registration they will then begin a formal “revised” 5 year application for U.S. citizenship. This process includes the current requirements for citizenship plus a penalty payment of $2500 per illegal family member to be paid during this 5 year period along with normal income taxes due federal, state, and local municipalities as applicable. To be accepted into this program, they must provide proof of employment sufficient to support all those who are part of each application.
- Upon completion of this process, each is eligible for U.S. citizenship on the same basis as those who have entered the U.S. legally who go through the normal immigration process. If any registrants do not complete the process including payment of the penalty payment, they will immediately be processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
- “Dreamers” (who are those who were brought here illegally by their parents) will be given a similar opportunity: they will receive a 12-month window to “get legal.” They will go through the same 5 year application process for U.S. citizenship but will not be obligated for payment of a penalty. Upon completion of this process, each is eligible for U.S. citizenship on the same basis as those illegals above and also those who have taken the path of legal immigration. If any Dreamers do not complete the process they will immediately be processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
- Any illegals that fail to register in this immigration process during the 12-month period will be as they are identified processed for deportation immediately and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
- Any illegals that do NOT complete the 5-year application process will be immediately processed for deportation and will not be eligible for re-entry into the U.S.
- This process applies to ALL illegals, including men, women, and children.
- After initiation of this program. any U.S. employer who employs any illegals who do not have proof of entry into the 5-year application process will be assessed a $25,000 fine per illegal in their employment. Second offense of such carries a $50,000 fine per illegal. Third offense and any subsequent offense carries a $100,000 fine per illegal and termination of their Federal Tax ID Number, which is required for businesses to operate legally in the U.S.
- This system will be costly. But after a burdensome startup, revenue generated from legalizing these immigrants, getting them into the system in which they pay taxes, work and create legitimate income that goes into the U.S. economy, financial benefits will more than take care of the startup expense.
- While U.S. Immigration will be charged with overall supervision of the program, this will be implemented and managed at the state level. Funds for doing so will come through federal block grants to the states. Each state’s immigration issues are not identical to other states, therefore states know better how to manage this process than the federal government. Any state found to be non-compliant with any and all process guidelines that must be in this program will not only lose their block grants, but will be subject to further financial penalties in other monies paid to them by the federal government.
This is just an idea…a plan. Please shoot holes in it. Let’s put a plan together and give it to the Feds. Why can’t we as Americans come up with ideas that work and pass them upstream? Far too many programs created at the federal level are immediate failures. Our ideas come from grass roots Americans and not from politicians. I think we can all agree: grass roots ideas usually trump federal ideas. (no “trump” pun intended)