The U.S. could follow the same policy: ALL immigrants must be legal. And our legal immigration policy could be generous, humane, and charitable.
What to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants here now?
Of course, this is the big question. We can’t have this discussion without looking at the current problem: 11 million illegals, many of them with children born in the U.S. and many of them having lived in the U.S. for many years.
Of course, the irresponsible idealists simply say: “Let them all become citizens.” In the 2016 Presidential election this was the policy of the Democrats. Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said they would not deport one illegal immigrant.
The problem with this Progressive, “humane” policy is that American citizens have been fooled by it before, in 1986!
Fooled me once, shame on you.
Fooled me twice, shame on me
In that year, President Clinton and Senator Simpson of Vermont promised the American people that if the, then, millions of illegal immigrants were made citizens, that would be the end of illegal immigration. We could enforce the border, deport illegal immigrants, and fine employers who employed them.
What happened? Democrats got all the votes from the, now, Hispanic American citizens and Americans got 11 million more illegal immigrants in the next 30 years. There was an inadequate effort to deport illegal immigrants and businesses that hired them were rarely fined. There was virtually no effort to discourage illegal immigrants who were working independently and off the books.
Does it take a rocket scientist to see that this will happen again if we make all the illegal immigrants citizens? Every person in the whole world will have the idea that:
“If you want to, anyone who can get their feet on American soil can eventually become a citizen. If American citizens try to stop you, they are racists and anti-immigrant.”
But to give the American working citizen another kick in the groin, after granting around 4 million illegal immigrants citizenship in 1986, not only did we get 11 million more illegal immigrants by 2017 — all demanding citizenship and equal rights — but we got hundreds of thousands of criminals, an increase in drug traffic, and a loss of thousands of factories and tens of thousands of jobs.
Regardless of what one may think of Donald Trump, he was accurate in saying that Americans got a bad deal with NAFTA and Clinton’s immigration policy.
We have a constitutional law that says anyone born here is a U.S. citizen, with full rights. There doesn’t seem to be any chance to have this amendment overturned. In addition, Progressives scream and yell about how the government can’t:
“Invade homes and yank the mothers and fathers away from their children and deport these mothers and fathers, leaving their children abandoned.”
So, what does idea this mean in current immigration practice? It means that any woman from Latin America, or elsewhere, can come to the U.S. illegally or with a visitor’s visa, have a child, and her and the father of the child must become citizens. Anything less is “yanking parents from the child’s arms.”
And since many Progressives champion the policy of “family re-unification,”the policy of anchor babies also implies that these new citizens should be allowed to have their brothers, sisters, and grandparents also become citizens.
Currently, I don’t have a solution to this complex and painful problem, but I feel that there is a rational solution if all sides are looked at and understood — without demonizing the average American citizen, nor demonizing the illegal immigrant or her anchor baby.
However, one possible solution would be to send the whole family back to their native country, and then let the American citizen child, return to the U.S. when he/she is 18. But this may not pass muster with the Supreme Court and be to painful for the American voters. But it would slow down the flow of anchor babies.
A possible solution to the main illegal immigration problem
A law could be passed that every American and every immigrant — illegal or not — must have a valid ID card.
If the person is an illegal immigrant, it must be noted on the card, with something like, “Undocumented.”
To encourage illegal immigrants to get such a card, the law would say that this person has a legal visa for one or two years. After, say, two years they would have to apply for another extension. They would not be guaranteed an extension of their visa.
Thus all the illegal immigrants who complied with this law could be safe from deportation for, say, two years.
Concerning new illegal immigrants, there would be no more of these “visas” given in return for the new illegal immigrants. There would be a policy of sending new illegal immigrants back, just as Canada and Australia does. We would have a generous legal visa and immigration policy, just as we do now.
It would be decided — through political compromise and reason — what benefits and what right to work these undocumented immigrants have with their two year visas.
A blood sample for a DNA record and fingerprints could be necessary for these new two year visas. Thus the U.S. would have a complete record of all undocumented immigrants in the country. We would have a solid, realistic assessment of the immigration problem, and thus be better able to create practical policies.
In this way the government would be more able to find the illegal immigrants who are involved in drug trade and other criminal behavior. It would allow the government to be better able to handle all the false ID’s and other deceptions of illegal immigrants.
If undocumented immigrants refused to get an ID card, and they were caught, there would be an immediate deportation. If the illegal immigrant cooperated with the deportation and didn’t fight it legally, he would be allowed to apply for a visa in future years. If she did fight it, and lost, she would be permanently banned from entering the U.S.
In this way, much of the exorbitant legal costs could be avoided.
It must be recognized that many illegal immigrants will do anything possible to stay in the U.S. Much of this desire is for purely economic reasons. The average daily wage for industrial work in Mexico is around $13 a day. Nannies and housecleaners in the U.S. make on an average of $60 a day. Illegal day laborers and other workers make much more.
Thus, there is currently an economic self-interest for the illegal immigrant to invest all the money she can afford in legal fees to fight deportation which, in turn, costs American taxpayers exorbitant amounts to enforce the current immigration laws.
The long-term goal
The long-term goal would be to have a legal, rational, humane, and generous immigration system where the government would know exactly how many undocumented immigrants there are and who they are.
Implicit in this goal is the right of the American people to have a rational immigration system, like most other countries in the world, including all of the Latin American countries. This is not racism, anti-immigrant, Islamophobia, or xenophobia. This is not disrespecting any illegal immigrant. (Most of them are doing just what Amerivan citizens would do if they were in the illegal immigrant’s shoes: sneak into the U.S., work illegally and try to get dual citizenship.)
This proposed immigration policy is only asserting the right of the United States to have a rational immigration policy and one that is enforced.
This described immigration policy is rational, humane, and ethical. It is based on the self-interests of the American citizens, just as all the immigration policies of most other countries are based on their citizen’s self-interest.