Certainly we do need to address the more than eleven million people who crossed the United States border illegally. I am a firm believer that people should be able to come to America to better their lives. That being said, we have to address the fact that the people who came here illegally broke the law, and we cannot allow for them to get special treatment. We are a nation of laws and we must have respect for those laws.
What the “Gang of 8” is currently proposing is not within the spirit of the law. Essentially they are willing to compromise our system, and screw over the estimated four million legally waiting in line for entrance to the United States. This is unsatisfactory.
I have addressed this before, and there is a very simple way we can address this without breaking up families or skirting the laws we have. I will reiterate my plan, and I honestly believe this will address the entire situation.
(1) We must secure our borders, air ports, and our sea ports. We need to find more efficient ways to stem the tide of illegal entry into the United States. If this means cutting certain programs (like pet shampoo studies) so be it. We have to secure them, or no plan put forth will fix the problem. That is what happened in 1986 during the Reagan administration. The security never came, and now we are worse off than before.
(2) After we secure the borders, we must have a more efficient tracking system for those who enter on either work or student visas. This is all about national security being the top priority. It is estimated that there are close to 15,000 unaccounted for illegals that came in on student visas that have either expired or the person never showed up at the supposed destination. This is unsatisfactory and cannot be tolerated.
(3) Once we have done the first two steps, we can begin to initiate a legal way for people already here to eventually gain their citizenship. My first step would be requiring all to register with an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and begin to immediately pay taxes on their incomes. They must also declare they are here, and we will help process them as legal residents, but not citizens. This must be done within six months of the law being passed.
This will help with two problems: one is the current levels of deficits and two, require papers on everyone to verify their status.
(4) As a resident only, the people here cannot apply for any assistance from the federal government. Should a state decide to offer them aid, that is up to the state, but Federal tax dollars will not be used for non-citizens. The issue of where money should go is an entirely different matter.
(5) If an illegal does not register in the time frame given, and are caught, they are to be immediately deported back to their country of origin. No exceptions.
(6) If a non-citizen is convicted of any high misdemeanor or felony, they are to be immediately deported to their country of origin, working with the host country to ensure that they are flagged and can never again step foot on U.S. soil. No exceptions. And their will not be a lengthy trial. It will be a process out. No more three hots and a cot in one of our jails on our dime. They are deported and their country gets to deal with them as they see fit.
(7) After ten years on a residency program, they will be able to go to the back of the line to apply for citizenship. If they apply they can stay in the United States while awaiting citizenship. If they do not apply, they have six months to leave the our country and return to theirs. Any violations will be met with immediate deportation. There are only so many chances, and there have been plenty through this process to help them.
(8) After they gain citizenship, they do not get automatic voting rights. Just as you cannot run for the House of Representatives for seven years, I propose that you must wait three years before being able to vote, however, all other rights will be allowed. This will ensure that they have no more foreign ties, as was the intent of the citizenship requirement outlined in the Constitution. It will also ensure that no political favors are granted for any sort of “amnesty” granted, or special deals to accommodate a certain voting block.
I believe that through this plan, we would see a dramatic shift in how politics are run in Washington, as well as a decrease to illegal border crossings. While we may never get to a 100% secure border, this will help protect the sovereignty of the United States, and also assist in the fiscal crisis our nation faces. It is also more than reasonable for the people who came here looking for a better life. I want to give them a chance, but they must earn it.