I’m now less upset about the initial protests where they were claiming that they wanted to take over the southwest and kick everyone there back to europe. I guess that means I can outline the plan I thought of over the past few months about how to deal with immigration without being unfair to legal immigrants already here. Basically, you have to punish those who came here illegally for that crime, then allow them to transfer back to the legal path after that punishment.
First phase: Revamping INS and creating a Provisional Immigrant status. People would be able to apply in an embassy outside the US, or in the US if they are here under a valid visa. One example would be a temporary visitors visa where they could come in for 2-4 weeks if they enter through a legal entry point. Student Visas would be another example. Mark their passport information down every time they enter or leave, perhaps with biometric information. They would then become Provisional Immigrants after a short background check and be able to enter the US as such. In that time they would need to prove they could earn their way in the country and study for immigration tests. Emphasis should be switched on these tests to willingness to join in the whole melting pot thing and merge into our society in a positive way. Certain things would be eliminated (such as access to welfare programs as a way to demonstrate that they will be a net positive to the society.) On taxes, they would be taxed as any citizen would, with appropriate deductions for children who are citizens or children who were legally brought with them. (Children who were citizens of other countries would need to apply separately once they reach 18, likely, but would be given a temporary visa until then.) If there is an immigration quota in effect, those who score best on the immigration tests as well as other factors (such as having been a legal provisional resident for more years) would be used to determine who would get first shot at the citizenship slots.
From the time they take the test and are run through the whole immigration process and are put into the selection process should be short. 6 months would be overkill. There should also be a much shorter time for applying as a provisional immigrant and getting legal resident status. A month or so would be a reasonable amount of time for the background checks. One of the major problems right now with the immigration system is how long it takes to accomplish it legally. This way they would be able to become legal residents and immigrant candidates much quicker. No more waiting 6-8 years before you can move in.
Second phase: Dealing with the present illegal immigrants. There will be two ways. One would be anyone who is here illegally but has never been caught nor deported here would be able to go back to their home country and apply as above. They would not be able to apply while here because they never entered in a legally track-able manner.
The second part is the people who have been caught breaking our immigration laws. These people violated a law and thus would need to be punished in order to discourage future illegal immigration. This would come in the form of Probational Immigration. They would be given 1-2 years from the passage of the bill to comply and register themselves as probational immigrants, or go back to their own country. During this 1-2 years the goal will be to hire many more border patrol agents as well as beefing up the technology, including unmanned drone aircraft and military helicopters and bases along both borders. Detection equipment to listen for underground tunnels being dug as well as ways of detecting and collapsing existing tunnels would be a priority as well. At the end of the 2 year period we sweep the entire country as much as possible and deport everyone who is here illegally. This may take a good deal of time to accomplish and may be slightly expensive, but must be done. Punishments for those who continue to employ illegals will be stepped up after the application period has expired.
What’s the difference between probational and provisional? The probational immigrants would pay fines in the form of taxes. Their employers would be required to register them immediately with the government. They would be required to enter 0 on their W4 forms and would not be able to claim any dependents, (even themselves.) They would not be eligible for any social programs such as food stamps and welfare. When they go to hospitals their ID would be taken down and their employer would be required to withhold medical bills from their pay up to a certain percentage. They would remain a probational immigrant for a period of time as described by the crime they committed. 5-6 years seems to be a reasonable range. At the end of their probational period they would be required to take a test similar to the immigration test, but much more rigorous. A diverse array of constitutional questions, legal, cultural, and knowledge of the prevalent language of the country. They have been here a long time so they should be able to handle it. After this they will become a Provisional immigrant until a slot opens for full immigration. For these people, renunciation of their original citizenship should likely be required. Committing other serious crimes could mean deportation and loss of any oppourtunity for immigration. One possibility would be to have a slightly lower minimum wage for probational immigrants. I don’t agree with this myself though.
If they do not register by the cutoff date and ever want to immigrate in the future, they would need to undergo a much longer probationary period than those who complied with the new law.
The real key is making sure the culture is maintained, and rewarding those who legally immigrate over those who violate the laws.
For those who think this is some sort of amnesty idea, I’ll point at a scenario that Glenn Beck put forward and then carry the metaphor through. He said that by coming in and breaking the law, then getting to stay here legally it would be like stealing a big screen TV from the store, getting caught, then getting to keep the big screen TV anyway.
What my idea would be is them stealing the big screen TV, getting caught, getting probation for 6 years and fines, then going back and purchasing the TV like anyone else did.