An Immigration Solution

An Immigration Solution

 

On the heels of Congress’ failure to act yet again on any form of immigration relief, Washington continues to demonstrate it does not seriously seek a solution, remedy or even band-aid for what has become not just a problem for our nation, but a source of contention and division between families, neighbors, communities, states and even nations.

Contrary to popular belief, successful immigration reform is both attainable and beneficial for our entire nation.

Our immigration system is a mess. The employment visa process is antiquated and no longer adequately addresses the needs of our nation’s employers; family-based immigration frequently separates families, including spouses and children of U.S. citizens, for years; our porous borders practically invite illegal entry by anyone willing risk their lives to trek through the hot, dry desert; and minimum wage incomes are the norm for many immigrants who willingly accept substandard pay just to live under the radar.

Of course, the most palpable issue today relates to how to deal with the estimated 12-20 million individuals illegally present in the United States. This issue has become so divisive, many opponents of any reform seek arrest and deportation of all illegal immigrants while proponents of reform demand nothing short of full amnesty and fast track to citizenship.

Obviously, consensus on this topic never will be realized without some give and take.

While one side seeks justice, the other expects mercy.

Is there a proper balance between the two?

The answer is a resounding yes, attainable through sacrifice, compromise, understanding and a firm commitment to reform. Immigration reform should not be an amnesty that benefits solely the immigrant. American businesses, schools, neighborhoods, communities, churches and families must be considered a top priority. We all are affected by Congress’ inaction and we all deserve attention and action.

A multi-faceted approach to immigration reform will necessarily provide for border security, legalization (but not citizenship) of the undocumented, assurances to employers of more efficient hiring processes and promises to citizens that their concerns and fears will be allayed.

Let’s consider an example of how immigration reform could work and benefit the United States, its citizens and even the undocumented among us.

First, full funding for border security is a must. Whether we build an actual or a virtual wall, true border security is vital to the protection not only of our borders, but as a promise that the United States will not end up addressing this exact issue again in coming decades. Because no legitimate border security was enacted as part of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, we again face the problem addressed during the Reagan years. Border security is a must.

Second, an accounting of how many potential individuals are here illegally, and who they are, is essential. Let’s get an immediate count, via a registration process that should take no longer than 90 days. This process should specifically disallow use of collected information as an investigatory tool for potential removal.

Third, reform must address the status of all those identified in step number two, striking an equitable balance between the appropriate levels of justice and of mercy each side seeks.

One example of how this could work is the creation of a new immigration status we will call “Lawful Permanent Guest” or “LPG.” Similar, but not identical, to lawful permanent resident status, this status will be available only to individuals who entered illegally prior to a date certain and who have maintained the good moral character and clean criminal history already required by immigration law. It will apply equally to Dreamers, DACA and TPS recipients and all others illegally present in the U.S. LPG status will not be granted to criminals, gang members, or anyone unable to receive legal status under current law.

Once granted, the LPG will acquire all the rights and privileges granted to lawful permanent residents, except that an LPG will never be able to apply for U.S. citizenship or file a petition for a family member. As already allowed by law, an LPG’s children born in the United States will be citizens but will never be allowed to petition for their parents. This is not a removal of a citizen right, but a penalty on the LPG.

Part of the required justice is the penalty imposed for prior illegal presence, even for those brought by their parents as children. The primary penalty is that an LPG will never become a citizen. Of course, mercy plays an important role in this plan as well. Mercy allows for the LPG to live, work, study, travel, raise a family and enjoy the blessings of living without fear in the United States.

Such is the compromise that will result in actual reform.

Fourth and finally, employers must be assured easy compliance with the law and professional-level visas should be modernized to reflect current economic needs of employers. E-Verify should be easily accessible to all employers so they can confirm their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. Most employers should be granted immunity for having employed illegal workers in the past.

This proposal is not intended to serve as a final answer to these questions but provides a basic description of one option that will work. It demonstrates that solutions exist, if we will all come to the table to seek real, reasonable reform.

All we need is a legislature that will act and a president who will cooperate, with the goal of bettering the United States, its citizens and its visitors, with little concern or regard for political agendas.

Washington thrives on politics and politics results in gamesmanship and gamesmanship creates discord, but enough is enough! Let’s end the charade once and for all. In this instance, Washington has divided our nation – neighbor against neighbor, city against city, state against state and even family against family. Let us set it all aside and correct this national embarrassment that will only become more divisive and hateful if we do nothing.

You Catch More Flies with Honey than with Vinegar!

You Catch More Flies with Honey than with Vinegar!

 

This is not the way to appeal to the other side! Perhaps a little more honey and little less vinegar is in order in the immigration struggle facing our nation. We’re talking to all sides here.

The debate revolving around our nation’s immigration problems has become so divisive and hateful a workable solution seems impossible. Were you to believe everything coming out of Washington and the media, you would think all illegal or undocumented immigrants are bad and that all U.S. citizens abhor immigrants.

Nothing could further from the truth.

But that’s what we hear out of Washington, a city that functions on dysfunction, thrives on divisiveness and rules with disregard to the rule of law and the will of the governed.  Sadly, the answer to the legal issues surrounding immigration lies in this very place.

So, until our “representatives” in the capital can get it together and actually do some productive work, let’s not allow further division and derision to erode the national debate and engage in a constructive discussion on how to address and fix this national disaster.

There is a fair solution, one that is both just and merciful for all involved.

Let us set aside our profanities, differences, struggles, biases and misunderstandings to work toward a solution to what is indeed real news and a real problem.

Now, put away the vinegar and pass the honey!

 

Beware! Trump Does Not Really Want Latino Vote!

Beware! Trump Does Not Really Want Latino Vote!

 

For the past year, Donald Trump has been very outspoken about his plan to “build a wall” along the southern border of the United States.  His stated goal is to stop illegal immigration.  Sounds like a noble endeavor, when looking at it from the northern side of the border.  But, Trump has been pummeled ever since with accusations racism and bigotry, especially and most loudly from, not surprisingly, Mexico and Mexicans.  In light of the prognostication by Pew Research that Latinos will comprise about 12% of the total electorate in 2016, such accusations do not bode well for Trump’s presidential aspirations.

In spite of what appears to be an across-the-board dislike of Trump by Latinos, he is not swayed in his belief that his is genuinely loved by the Spanish-speaking (or those whose parents and grandparents are Spanish-speaking) populace.

Trump has predicted often in the last year something very similar to what he boldly stated to NBC News last year – “And I’ll tell you something, if I get the nomination, I’ll win the Latino vote.”

Perhaps he truly believes . . .

Perhaps he really does not care and it is all an act . . .

This seems the more likely scenario.  If Trump truly wanted to win the Latino vote, he would not have released his plan on how he intends to secure Mexico’s agreement to pay for the wall he says he’ll build.

The Washington Post reported this morning that Trump will “negotiate” Mexico’s cooperation by prohibiting those not legally present in the United States from wiring money to their family members in Mexico.  In a 2-page memorandum issued by the Trump campaign to the Washington Post, Trump outlines how an estimated $24 billion in annual revenue would immediately cease to be infused into the Mexican economy through such action.  Trump opines that Mexico will immediately object to such measures, but will ultimately agree to fund the construction of the wall.

The Washington Post reports that:

The proposal would jeopardize a stream of cash that many economists say is vital for Mexico’s struggling economy. But the feasibility of Trump’s plan is unclear both legally and politically, and also would test the bounds of a president’s executive powers in seeking to pressure another country.

In the memo, Trump said he would threaten to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act antiterrorism law to cut off a portion of the funds sent to Mexico through money transfers, commonly known as remittances. The threat would be withdrawn if Mexico made “a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” to pay for the border wall, he wrote.

What do you think?  Is this a legitimate action?  Or is it extortion?

You can be sure it will be viewed and reported as extortion by Mexico, Mexicans, other Latinos, Univision, Telemundo, the National Council of La Raza, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and any other group that advocates for further “rights” for illegal immigrants inside the United States.

Perhaps you believe such action concerning the remittance of funds to foreign countries to be warranted. Why would a nation seeking to prevent illegal employment of aliens for their illegally-obtained earnings to be sent to another country?  An excellent question that can and should be discussed and debated.

But not in the context of forcing Mexico to pay for a wall.  And not by a presidential candidate that keeps claiming with his traditional arrogance that he will win the Latino vote.

Whether you believe it is legitimate policy action or not, this proposal certainly will not win Trump the Latino vote he keeps promising.  In fact, today’s announcement will push Latinos further and further away from support of both Trump and the Republican Party.

The purpose of this article is not to debate the merits of Trump’s announced plan, but to directly and boldly state that Donald J. Trump cares not a whit about winning the Latino vote, and in fact seeks to push Latino voters further and further away from the Republican Party and traditional conservative voting ideals.

Let’s see if we can be more clear here – Donald J. Trump is not seeking to bring Latinos into the Republican Party, but is seeking to push them to vote Democrat.  Plain and simple.  

Do you agree or not?  Please tell us why.  Let’s start a debate on Trump’s real intentions as concerns legitimate conservatives, the Republican Party, and Trump himself.

We’ve long suggested that the GOP is not just a dying party, but on it’s last breath.  We wrote on November 7, 2012 an article entitled RIP GOP, republished in part on this website here.

That so many voters believe Trump is the answer to this nation’s woes is just more evidence of the pending death of the Grand Ole Party.

RIP GOP.

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