This is one of the current ‘boogeyman issues’, and it is somewhat important to me, and I’ve been intending to address it for awhile, and that time is here. I will outline my rough vision for how immigration should be handled, and some of these already exist, but it is my intent to make my list as complete and comprehensive as possible, as if we’re starting from scratch. But first some disclaimers…
- My views on legal and illegal immigration are wholly separate and different… make no mistake, I make a distinct difference… albeit somewhat interrelated.
- My views apply to all. Doesn’t matter where they come from, so spare me the racial and/or ethnic accusations. You’re wrong.
- My views are not necessarily warm-and-fuzzy. I do lean to the right on this issue, somewhat significantly to the right, but not to the absurd right that has been in the forefront the last couple years from our illustrious President Trump and his minions.
- While I am to the right, I believe that I am fair. Fair does not mean believe or give in to everything. “Seeking asylum” has become almost the ‘get out of jail free’ card that “I feared for my life” has become after a police officer shoots someone. Fair includes reasonable and rational, and yes sometimes difficult and unpopular decisions, that takes into account both sides. The people already here are important, too, and should be factored in.
- I am not sympathetic to the “Native Americans are the only true citizens” mantra. Just shut up now. What has been done to Native Americans was indeed tragic, but it’s done. It’s not going back. Ever. We need to learn from the past, but this is not even a relevant point. I’m more concerned with here, now, and the future. Get over yourself. And you can stuff your “We are all immigrants” protest sign.
- Economic and/or political ramifications should not be a factor.
- End the so-called “War on Drugs”, for its own reasons and as a side issue, as it does impact greatly both legal and illegal immigration.
- This post is intended to be fluid, and subject to revision (without note or citation) whenever someone provides me a good point and/or my opinion evolves. This post is intended to be a running outline of my views on immigration at a given moment, not a historical document. Consider this post one of my “Position Papers”.
So, here we go…
- I fully support legal immigration. I think we should have more legal immigration. I lean against quotas or limits, either in total or from any one nation.
- I dismiss the “We’re full” mentality.
- I fully support ending “birthright citizenship”. In fact, I do not believe that any of this would work if we retained it. I do not care one whit if other countries also have it, they don’t have the immigration numbers that we do. We should change it to born in this country AND one parent, either male or female, already a citizen. Adoptions acceptable. Born outside this country to military or diplomatic personnel also acceptable. This would most likely require a Constitutional Amendment… so be it.
- I support a clearly defined “path to citizenship”, and it should be much quicker and more simplified than it is now.
- Minors should have legal representation in immigration proceedings. What kind of adult in the first world in the 21st century doesn’t believe the same?
- I am fine with “chain migration”… to a point. If you as a legal immigrant are granted citizenship and/or legal residency, you can sponsor your immediate family and grandparents only. That means parents, minor children, minor siblings, and grandparents. That’s it, no one else. Not adult siblings. Not adult children. Exceptions would be made for adult children & siblings that have issues such as Down Syndrome, or whatever, and are simply unable to care for themselves.
- If you sponsor someone, it is on you to be financially responsible for them. We can make accommodations for elderly people regarding things like medical care.
- Relating to chain migration above, if you came in on a “chain” you cannot extend your chain and start bringing your families, etc. No, you were it. Your outside families need to qualify for legal immigration on their own.
- Short- and long-term work and study Visas would still be available, and expanded, made easier to get, but overstay just once and you’re forever banned from citizenship and/or residency. Visas would not qualify for ‘chain migration’.
- Contrary to current popular belief, we have never ever been a country that let’s everyone in. Even at Ellis Island in its heyday we rejected people for a multitude of reasons, i.e. criminals, diseased, etc. Not a lot, percentage-wise, but we have always had standards, and we should always have standards.
- I’m somewhat of a hardass on illegal immigration. I’m not overly sympathetic. And I believe that if we enact my ideas listed above to expand and streamline the immigration process, combined with other measures I will outline below, then this should become a much smaller problem. There will still be some, the above does not mean ‘open borders’, but it would be lessened.
- Spare me “The Wall”. That’s nothing but a shiny object to lure gullible people… “The Suckers” I call them. It’s dumb, it’s expensive, and it won’t work. The only places in the world where they are somewhat effective are when minefields are involved, and guards are told to shoot on sight… and we all know that’s not going to happen here.
- A legitimate “path to citizenship” does not include people who are here illegally. That’s cheating to those who do the process orderly and correctly. This should be a scenario where ‘It’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission’ does not apply.
- This one will earn me some detractors, I’m sure, but I am not sympathetic to the so-called “Dreamers” (if you have to attached a euphemism to make it sound better you’re admitting your argument is ethically weak). I’m sorry, but you’re here illegally, regardless how well you’ve behaved. You have an issue with your parents who knowingly put you in this situation, they’re the ones you need to have a deep talk with, not the government. Now, having said that, I do not believe in retroactive laws, so while I am strong on this issue, I would not break promises from before. I would enforce no DACA stringently going forward, though.
- Upon arrival, an illegal immigrant should expect the following in services: Nothing. No healthcare (excepting true emergencies). No education. No financial and/or housing support. No government assistance whatsoever. Now, let’s be fair. There are two sides to this point. Included would be real and significant penalties for any employer who knowingly hires an illegal immigrant. Yes, we’re talking real prison time for American citizens who break this law… including corporate leaders, including people who hire domestic help off-the books (including Congresspeople). An illegal immigrant should expect absolutely nothing. Interdiction clearly does not work, but removing pretty much all incentives before they even begin their journey would. No incentives means no reason to come.
- We will not ‘entrap’. We will not invite people in to apply, only to separate the families because they are now illegally on American soil. No, if denied, we will simply turn them around and send them back, families intact. We are not a camping host nor are we a hotel.
- We will not have ‘sanctuary’ anything, not cities, states, colleges, anything. Anyone who is charged with enforcing the law should be doing just that. No one would be required to pro-actively seek out illegal immigrants, but if they stumble upon one by chance they should be legally obligated to notify the immigration authorities.
- States would be prohibited from issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. They’re not supposed to be here to begin with, remember?
A patchwork of these points would not work. In fact, that could make the problem worse. That’s always our problem, we try to put a bandage over critical issues while leaving the core problem unresolved. For this to work, we would need to scrap the entire system, as if it literally never existed, and implement all of these together.