Our immigration policy needs to change now, and not just as it pertains to DACA.
We need to use the time we have to reform not just DACA but all immigration policy. Attempting to apply broad actions and labels to a diverse immigrant population in pieces causes more problems than solutions. The right steps could bring immediate changes, leading to real total immigration reform right now. Why take all this action just for DACA? We think we should let the immigrants themselves (legal and illegal) help by meeting with the President directly on the below issues. The President needs to take this away from Congress. They are incapable of coming to a resolution that works with the people and the immigrants.
A simple total immigration reform program can be implemented now if we make a short, in principle deal while we work out the details after a bill is passed. It will only take more focus from Congress.
1. Build the wall first – It’s a must for any immigration reform (especially as we wait for Congress to finish interpreting a bill)
We need to “Stop talking and start doing”. Start construction of the wall now (if we do total immigration the Democrats will go along or lose). The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already has engineers and builders on staff to save taxpayers money. Have them there as soon as possible (2,000 to 5,000 of them) to begin surveying areas where we are certain we want to build. Have them hire the best bidders. After all, if they can build a bridge in a day, imagine how quickly they could coordinate the building of a wall. At the same time, more soldiers could be positioned to immediately close the border and construct the wall at the same time, demonstrating our willingness to keep the border closed to illegal immigrants and to encourage legal immigration. Read Border Barriers Are The International Norm. There are about 600 walls being built around the world now, with over 50% of them being paid for in some form by the American taxpayers. Whats wrong with this picture?
2. Complete the deportation orders for criminal illegal immigrants now, not the law-abiding illegal immigrants and tell all of America this. Do away with sanctuary cities (if a few non-criminal illegal immigrants get caught up in a sweep, agree to let them go).
Not all illegal immigrants are the same, and our policies as stated by the President need to reflect this fact. Illegal immigrants who are criminals or are currently in prison should be deported – not those who are following our laws. The President should adopt this theory on a temporary basis until new laws are passed, and it should not be applied to sanctuary cities. If I were a law-abiding immigrant with no record, I would want to leave sanctuary cities. This should eliminate the need for sanctuary cities because the Feds are going there first. Outlaw them or send in Federal agents to take over law enforcement and start arresting the criminal illegal immigrants only. Just do this in one or two cities and see what happens. Sanctuary cities are harboring the criminals and no one’s talking because the criminals are putting fear in the minds of the potential whistleblowers because they are being released by their city. The idea that illegal immigrants won’t tell on the known criminals because of their status will no longer apply. They will cooperate if they know the criminals will be deported and will no longer be a threat to them.
3. Set up a program to protect all law-abiding illegal immigrants from deportation, including DACA immigrants (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Don’t let the Democrats use them as a bargaining chip.
All immigrants in the US now who want to be productive members of society should have access to green cards that expire in three years. The cost of each card should represent the cost of the program but be within reach – something like $300 (not paid by the taxpayers). DACA kids should get 15-year cards as part of this total proposal. Half of those funds would go to the individual states to make sure everyone is registered correctly (enforced through background checks) and must be paying taxes and not voting. These short-term green cards, which would help protect immigrants from deportation while making them legal, would have no promise of citizenship.
4. Illegal immigrants should be given the option to join one of the armed forces of their choice.
If they are registered, speak English well, and continue to obey the law, illegal immigrants should be given the option to join the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or any other of the armed forces. If they can’t speak English well, they will be enrolled in an English language immersion program, which they must complete prior to beginning their service. I think all illegal immigrants should have to do this. If they serve for a minimum of four years, they can then become U.S. citizens and get two years of college credits during that time. These same immigrants could be used to build the wall, protecting the border and providing a way for them to join America legally and – like all Americans who came before them – learn to integrate sooner into their new country without giving up their heritage.
The combination of Steps 3 and 4 allows us to build the wall, help illegal immigrants work towards legally joining the country, and keep the country safe, all at the same time. Once the wall is built, border patrol and the Drug Enforcement Agency will be able to staff and regulate the rest, with the support of high-tech parts of the military, when needed. The military exists to protect our country. Our borders should come first, before other countries.
5. Create a long-term plan that gives illegal immigrants possible paths to citizenship – but no guarantee.
If an immigrant in good standing wishes to become a citizen, after three years, they may purchase a 15-year green card for $700. (The definition of “good standing” would include paying taxes and having no criminal record.) The money would go to the state and federal governments to cover implementing the programs. If they have problems paying the $700 up front, then they could have some time to pay the full amount. These longer green cards would have no guarantee of citizenship or eventual voting rights. They would, however, grant cardholders the chance to apply for citizenship after five years.
If the legal immigrant can’t pay, (here’s the real kicker) organizations or political groups, like the Republican Party, could privately donate or develop private funding to help immigrants purchase these cards. Make them Republicans again. A move like this would instantly create incredible political goodwill, as well as legally provide all business owners with access to a larger, alternative, and legal workforce. All arranged by the Republican Party without government funding.
Why This Program Needs to Happen Right Now:
DACA immigrants need to be the leverage for this. Give them 15-year green cards and let the good ones apply for citizenship in five years. (We can’t do everything at once.) We must eliminate chain migration. It’s not fair – period. And let’s clean up our visa program. If immigrants abuse it, they will be deported and their sponsors will be fined. (See the article, Tackling The Problem of Immigrants Who Stay with Expired Visas).
These steps are more than just a way to provide illegal immigrants with legal ways to stay in the country. This program addresses several key issues at the same time.
1. Most importantly, the wall will help stop the drug trade and human trafficking across the border.
Closing the border is about more than just illegal immigration. Getting the border under control will help stop a major portion of the drug trade into the U.S. from Mexico and other countries. Slowing or even greatly stopping the drug trade could save our country trillions of dollars over the next 20 years in healthcare, law enforcement, and judicial costs, not to mention saving hundreds of thousands of lives and families. Where else can we do something so positive to save our children and families so effectively (and so cheaply)?
2. It saves lives and keeps families whole.
People are dying right now from drug-related crime. Others are dying from taking too many drugs or are being separated from their families for drug-related crime. Slowing the drug trade across the border will save those lives and help keep families from being torn apart by drugs. Read Opioid Epidemic.
Our prisons are overcrowded and take up incredible amounts of money, with about 80 percent related to drug crimes. Deporting criminal illegal immigrants will immediately free up funding and space in those prisons. We should also work on making rehab priority, rather than jailing drug users and mentally ill offenders.
3. It provides for future opportunities.
Providing future opportunities for other illegal immigrants to become productive citizens can also prevent them from becoming criminals by entering the system in the first place. We hope legal immigrants will look to improve their integrity within the U.S. system by helping authorities locate criminal illegal immigrants for deportation or prosecution. They need to trust our law enforcement agencies, and they will not be afraid of them if they are here legally. Sanctuary cities work against this ethic, and sanctuary status must be eliminated from these places. (See No. 5 below, as well as the article, Vote Out Politicians who Support Sanctuary Cities).
4. It provides the U.S. with the labor force it needs to grow its economy.
America needs all levels of labor, especially if we want to export more. Illegal immigrants provide those levels from the bottom to the top, as well as help the U.S. maintain its status as an agricultural leader, and grow our small businesses. Giving immigrants a way to legally join the economy and the labor force provides the U.S. economy with the strength it needs to grow, as well as encouraging legal, card-holding immigrants to assimilate. Also, learn a better level of English to assimilate better and faster.
5. Sanctuary cities are a problem and would go away under this program because they won’t be necessary.
Right now, there are sanctuary cities that encourage people to ignore criminal activity among illegal immigrants, using the excuse of trying to avoid breaking up families. It’s all politically motivated. But families are broken up all of the time when an American citizen commits a crime and is sent to jail. This system provides an alternative to wholesale illegal sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Families can be kept just as whole as the families of American citizens. In fact, sanctuary cities that remain will not qualify for this card system and their illegal immigrants will be deported.
It’s time for something to be done about illegal immigration. Something like the above program offers a solution to both sides. When it comes to the border wall, the government should “Stop talking and do something.” The wall will be built to secure our borders, while illegal immigrants who haven’t done anything wrong (other than coming to the U.S. illegally) will be given the opportunity to remain. Deporting them all is not a workable option and I think the administration knows it. So let’s do something.
This is a compromise that would be about the people involved, not about the political parties.
President Trump needs to forget about Congress and propose this privately to a few groups of illegal immigrants and recent legal immigrants. Then announce this with their support on television to the American people. It will work. Then Trump should assign a cabinet member to draft a bill. He can let the Democrats help and take some credit. (Throw them a bone! God knows they need it).
We don’t need a 100-point program; the principles stated above will do. Then give the bill to our elected lawyers – er, I mean Congress – to complicate. The President will be a hero for doing something no one has been able to do. Immigrants will be loyal to those who actually do something for them. Not just talk. It would take away a large political challenge.