Beyond the Cusp

November 21, 2014

A First Step to Immigration Reform Obama Did Not Propose

 

Last night President Obama decided that the new Congress which will be sworn in come late in January of next year had been dragging their heels and not addressing legislation proposing solutions of comprehensive immigration reform. Since he will be giving his speech after my deadline for submitting my article, I will just assume, always somewhat dangerous but I feel confident my assumptions will prove safe and valid, it is distinctly possible that President Obama might give everyone a surprise, potentially a pleasant surprise, and actually suggest or even, drum roll please, promise to take his pen and enact any of my proposals. The first thing which must be resisted is the urge to take grand sweeping steps aimed at solving everything all with as few steps as possible starting with any form of blanket amnesty, especially a general amnesty with only the smallest of punitive requirements or inconveniences such as fines or complex forms. Unfortunately, President Obama has given indications that he will at least propose rigidly stringent guidelines he will expect, even demand, Congress meet within a relatively short deadline and put legislation on his desk meeting every last iota of his expectations or expect his veto followed by him using his pen and phone to enact exactly what he desires without Congressional input. We can expect some form of amnesty for the large number of those labeled ‘youths’ which were part of the huge tens of thousands of illegal children and young adults all unaccompanied by adults who entered the southern border to much media coverage, almost fanfare, this past spring and early summer. How much further President Obama may decide to go will be revealed before this article gets posted, but why guess when it will only serve to be anticlimactic, so on to what we believe is not to be expected but would have been a better course to have followed.

 

The first step to begin to solve the immigration problem has to separate those who are in the United States and are seeking to work within the legal system since their arrival, are gainfully employed, are paying taxes and simply desire to make a better life for their family from those who are here in pursuit of illegal activities, are chronic lawbreakers or are here to take advantage of government support programs designed to assist the needy and disabled such as welfare, food stamps, disability programs and other similar programs. Basically, one need differentiate between those here to gain from the system from those here who are working and contributing to the system. The American people are usually a forgiving people but not if they feel somebody has betrayed their trust and is out to game things and taking advantage of the Americans’ generous nature. Where the American people might be persuaded to accept somebody who may have entered the nation illegally in order to make a better life for his family and has worked steadily and even paid taxes, paid their rent, utilities and other daily bills, provided health insurance and were not causing any undue strain on the society, such a person would be more acceptable than anyone who had not shown such respect for the society and abused the systems instead of being fellow contributors to that system. This brings into consideration reports that the Justice Department gave its blessings, some even claim facilitated, the release of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who were incarcerated on felony charges across the nation. It was rumored that these illegal immigrants were released in a preparatory move in order for making them legal in some expected subsequent amnesty, an amnesty which, in all fairness, has yet to have occurred. There is an initial step which could be used to separate out those who are working within the system and being a contributive member of American society from those who are taking advantage of the various support safety net systems within that society. This would be to require that everyone who applies for government assistance give proof and be required to pass a citizenship check before being given any support. This would remove those on such programs who were unable to pass such a background check and might be sufficient incentive for many illegals realizing they would likely be dropped from any forms of government support to return to their nation of origin or perhaps become contributing members of society seeking out gainful employment. Either result would be a positive result which most American might find acceptable and possibly even advantageous.

 

The next phase would require formulating what is referred to as a path to citizenship for those illegal immigrants who would be capable of providing sufficient evidence and desire to become documented and even take on additional requirements as further proof of their honest desire to mitigate for their initial illegal entry. They might be required to also take and pass a one year comprehensive American history course on a college or community college level designed by judges and professors specifically to provide a general knowledge of the important points in American history as well as stressing legal codes and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and the important themes and origins of the triumvirate of America’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and their effects on the government and the legal code. They should be subjected to a full background check and also have to take the full citizenship courses and pass the test for citizenship all before being considered for final citizenship. The path should be more strenuous than the normal track to citizenship to make them have to pay a price as proof that they are aware that they have been granted a privilege which their effrontery of knowingly breaking United States immigration laws by entering the nation by illegal means. There have been discussions that those illegal immigrants permitted to seek citizenship should also be made to pay a fine as well as make good for any back taxes they may owe. The fine should be determined to some extent on a case by case basis on some established sliding scale which would take into consideration whether the illegal immigrant had paid taxes or avoided paying taxes amongst other criteria. Whatever the cost demanded from an illegal immigrant in order for them to achieve citizenship, that price will prove astonishingly low as it grants their family a prize others have applied for and waited what must seem to be a lifetime to achieve legally, a wait made that much longer by the numbers of illegal immigrants who reduce the numbers of legal immigrants accepted each year, they owe those people a debt which is impossible to repay or even determine a sufficient price. Whatever the United States government decides about what the price and path if any should be demanded from those who entered their country illegally, the people would very likely have demanded a much higher price if they would allow any price other than expulsion back to their nation of origin made to begin the legal immigration path from square zero. Whatever would be decided by the Congress, any such decision would better represent the people than whatever edicts fell from President Obama’s lips last night, but then President Obama has been showing a steadily growing lack of concern for the American voters which will only grow as his time left shortens. No matter what immigration policies the President will have introduced the world to last night; such ignominies will only pale when compared with what he has in store over the last two years in office. After all, did not President Obama claim that he will be listening to the two-thirds of voters who failed to vote in the midterm elections and would he not be able to claim that his intimate familiarity possessed with these silent voters is far more accurate than even they might know as he has already channeled their desires, he said so.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

April 26, 2013

The Untouchable Side to Illegal Immigration

Whether you call it amnesty, path to citizenship, legal registration process or other more involved description masking the true legal approach to illegal immigration, eventually deportation must be a part of the solution. Would I desire that every single person who can be technically described as an illegal immigrant be deported? Even in a perfect world that would be heartless solution to a very small percentage of what we now euphemistically call undocumented workers, paperless immigrants, extra-legal refugee or any other reference carefully crafted to avoid any mention of lawlessness. The case of an immigrant who was brought into the United States illegally at an age under ten and has spent as much as twenty years going to school who has a pliable skill and solid employment record or has sufficient grades proving their intent to live a productive life, for these exceptional cases we should find an inventive way of allowing them to remain as they have been raised pretty much as an American. But as far as the vast majority of illegal immigrants who are found in the United States should be deported and maybe, if they have no criminal record other than their illegal entry into the country, allowed to automatically begin the regular process to immigrate and be placed at the back of the line and allowed to go through the system in order to legally enter the United States. Should anything else be done regarding immigration? I believe most who have studied the immigration problems have agreed that the current system is extremely broken. We should definitely revamp and modernize our immigration processes and make the whole system more user-friendly and efficient. The stories of people going through decades of paperwork, interviews and other bureaucratic intricacies and requirements are completely unacceptable. There has to be a better way, a more efficient process, especially in the modern age of computers. The other side of any upgrading to the immigration system is to initiate a responsive system which can adapt to and shift in the nation’s needs or requirements for which immigrants can be chosen as a solution. It would only be logical to tailor the people we bring into the country with areas where the country has a need for additional workers immediately. We might also want to return to the previous idea of immigrants being required to have a sponsor or group of sponsors who will be responsible for aiding the new immigrant in their adjustments and making their way on the path to citizenship. The intent of immigration is to facilitate an orderly manner for integrating people into the fabric of the society as seamlessly and orderly as we are able.

The one statement that is used ad-nauseum which is really an insult and completely violates all sense of fairness is that we cannot deport these illegal immigrants as that would be unfair and impossible to accomplish. It is always pointed out that should we even claim to intend to deport these people that they will simply go further underground and become impossible to root out and we would not be capable of deporting all of them even under the best of conditions. The fact that it might be difficult to attempt to find and deport the vast majority of illegal immigrants who are deemed undesirable to offer a path to legalization or even citizenship, is not a valid argument under any consideration. An analogous claim would be that the police are unable to catch every person who exceeds the speed limit, then the police should simply ignore anybody they witness speeding. The same comparison holds for every single crime on the books such as murder, theft, armed robbery, or even acts of terrorism. The public would never accept the authorities to ignore terrorist acts so why should they accept such an approach to illegal immigration? Often the first step to perpetrating an act of terrorism is preceded by an act of illegal immigration. Even if the government simply required that whenever the police interact with people in the performance of executing their charge that they check their citizenship and for any noncitizen they run a full check on their immigration status and hold until deported any person found to be here illegally, whether they entered illegally or simply have remained beyond their visa limitations or otherwise are violating their visa requirements. The government cannot claim that they did not find a fair number of illegal immigrants simply through traffic stops for speeding or other motor vehicle violations, not to mention those who were arrested for more serious criminal offenses.

Another action which must be taken immediately is to disallow any State, County, City, Township, or other defined district from the practice of harboring illegal immigrants declaring themselves as sanctuary zones. Such designated places where Federal laws concerning individuals crossing the nation’s borders are disregarded and left unenforced are a breakdown of Constitutional law, particularly the Fourteenth Amendment. The concept of equal enforcement under the law enumerated within the Fourteenth Amendment is a double bladed sword in that it not only means that all people are entitled to equal rights and protections under the law but also they are required to fulfill equal obedience and face equal enforcement under the law. Your and my citizenship becomes meaningless when illegal immigrants are treated as equal to a citizen, and this is a compromise which should enrage the average citizen, especially those who are legal immigrants and went through what is a painstakingly drawn-out form-filled undertaking in order to be considered equal as citizens. What greater insult could any nation commit to those who played by the rules than to allow those who flaunted the rules and took a completely illegal shortcut and are granted equal rights, treatment and status as those who suffered the entire legal processes.

There is another reason for not granting the vast majority of illegal immigrants a path to legal status and that is the future treatment of illegal immigrants and the likelihood that such opportunists will do what it takes to gain entrance by other than legal means. When the United States first granted amnesty to the vast majority of illegal immigrants during the 1980s with a guarantee that tighter enforcement of the borders would be enacted subsequent to the granting citizenship a funny thing happened, the enforcement was never enacted and the border remained a sieve. That amnesty granted instant path to citizenship for approximately 2.7 million illegal immigrants. By granting amnesty the United States set a precedent of taking the easiest way to enforcing immigration law, namely ignoring it. This precedent was not lost on the millions who desired to become American citizens or at least gain some form of legal status to remain in the United States but felt they would be unable to gain such legally or simply had no desire to obey the laws of the country in which they desired to live. Thanks to the lack of dedication to the law or to their promises, the Congress did nothing in the follow-up to the amnesty legislation with even the slightest action towards closing the border. The truth is that in many ways the borders of the United States are less secure today than they had been before the 1986 amnesty legislation. The proof of this is the fact that there are now an estimated 9 to 11 million illegal immigrants with some estimates reaching past 20 million illegal immigrants. The border security has mostly remained the same as the tunnels and methods of infiltration have dramatically increased in capabilities and sophistication. There have been some minor improvements and half-measures with some minor local improvements which are mostly credited to the individual states’ efforts.

The Congress is once again discussing what they euphemistically call Comprehensive Immigrations Reform. If history is to be trusted as insight, they may as well call what they are discussing Comprehensive Blind Eye Solution Avoidance Amnesty Program. There does exist one item about immigration reform which makes it unique from everything else in Washington; it is bipartisan in that both the Democrat and Republican Parties are equally to blame as neither actually desires to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants, though for very different reasons. The Democrats see the illegal immigrants as future Democrat voters while the Republicans see the illegal immigrants as inexpensive and even sub-minimum wage workers. Both parties are showing a lack of respect for the individual immigrants as they both see them as faceless masses they can take advantage of with little regard for their humanity. It is probably the fact that these people are allowed to live at the fringes of our society and are only viewed as statistical objects which can be utilized to fulfill certain objectives without any concern for their actual wellbeing. Such attitudes are dehumanizing and should disgust any righteous person who holds their fellow humans as precious in their own way. Even if it is only so that all people who enter and live in the United States are legal, thus holding complete and guaranteed Constitutional rights and are equal before the law, granting all a status worthy of respect and equality while not forcing people to live in the margins with meager means and no recourse against mistreatment due to illegal status; that is a sufficient and noble enough a reason for proper and comprehensive immigrations reform. This can only be accomplished by making the border closed so tight that we will detect ants crossing in real time and also have the ability and staffing to intercept any smuggling of people or contraband with near 100% efficiency and effectiveness. It honestly is a matter of human rights and respect for all humanity that demands the border be enforced and all immigrants are legal.

Beyond the Cusp

Blog at WordPress.com.