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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Plan for Dealing with Illegal Immigration

I am not a member of Congress, and I have no authority to write legislation. However, for what it's worth, this my comprehensive plan for dealing with the problem of illegal immigration.

Any law addressing the problem of illegal immigration must address the following:
1. Securing the border
2. What to do with the 12 million illegal aliens already in the United States

Securing the Border
To secure the border, I would propose a four-pronged approach:

1. Build a wall similar to the one proposed in House Bill 4437. The difference is that, unlike the proposed wall in House Bill 4437, which would be built along only 700 miles of the U.S. – Mexican border, the wall in my bill would stretch along the entire U.S. – Mexican border. Construction of the wall would begin as soon as possible after this bill became law. The construction would, of course, take several years to complete.
2. Enhance the effectiveness of the wall by installing a system of electronic monitoring equipment. Instillation of the electronic monitoring system would begin immediately.
3. Increase border patrol. Training of addition border patrol personnel would begin immediately, and the additional personnel would begin to monitor the border as soon as training is complete.
4. Any person caught illegally entering the United States would be permanently barred from residence in the United States. This provision would go into effect 30 days after the bill became law. That would give the Mexican government and media time to make its citizens aware of the new law. The idea here is that this provision of the bill would act as a deterrent while the first three provisions were being implemented and would continue to act as a deterrent even after the other deterrents were functional.


What to do with the 12 million illegal aliens already in the United States

1. Any illegal alien who has been convicted of a crime in the United States would be deported and would be permanently barred from residence in the United States.

2. All other illegal aliens currently living in the United States.
I don't believe it's practical to attempt to deport 12 million people, nor do I believe that deportation of all illegal aliens is the right answer. As a nation, we have been content for years to look the other way as people have entered our country illegally, and we must, therefore, accept at least some responsibility for the situation we’re in. We now have people who have lived illegally in the United States for 15 or 20 years. Some of these people have children who were born in this country and who are, therefore, U.S. citizens. I don't believe we should now say to these people that they have to leave the country.

At the same time, those who have entered the country illegally should not be rewarded for doing so. They should not realize any advantage over those who are attempting to immigrate to the United States through the proper legal channels.

My proposal would give illegal aliens who have been living productive lives in the United States the opportunity gain citizenship, without moving them ahead of those who are already going through the proper channels. It would also provide a way for the U.S. government to immediately identify illegal aliens currently living in the United States.

REQUIREMENTS
1. Illegal aliens who wish to remain in the United States must register within 90 days to become a “registered illegal alien.” Any illegal alien not registered within 90 days, if caught, will be deported, and permanently barred from residence in the United States. Employers who employ or continue to employ an illegal alien after the 90-day registration period must require the illegal alien to possess a "Registered Illegal Alien" card. Severe penalties would be imposed against any employer who employs or continues to employ an unregistered illegal alien. Registered illegal aliens can then take the next step toward naturalization (citizenship).

The combination of permanently barring from residence in the United States any illegal alien who does not register, requiring registration for employment, and providing opportunity to work toward naturalization for those who do register will be a strong incentive for illegal aliens to comply with registration.

A REGISTERED ILLEGAL ALIEN WOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
1. Live and work anywhere in the U.S.
2. Apply to become a permanent resident.
3. Apply for a driver’s license in his or her state or territory.
4. Attend public school and college.

A REGISTERED ILLEGAL ALIEN WOULD HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO:
1. Obey all federal, state, and local laws.
2. Pay federal, state, and local income taxes.
3. Be and remain continuously employed.
4. Pay a special yearly “Illegal Alien Tax.” This tax would be based on the registered illegal alien’s income and would be used to help offset the cost of educating registered illegal aliens who attend public schools.

2. A registered illegal alien may petition for an immigrant visa number as required for all others seeking permanent resident status under current immigration law.
Because U.S. law limits the number of immigrant visa numbers that are available every year, visa petitions for registered illegal aliens would be placed, along with all other visa petitions, in chronological order according to the date the visa petition was filed (priority date). Registered illegal aliens would then be given an immigrant visa number based on the priority date and on the preference category of the illegal immigrant as determined by current immigration law. Preference categories are based upon relationship to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, or upon employment qualifications.

As with all others seeking permanent resident status, several years could pass between the time an immigrant visa petition is approved for a registered illegal alien and the time that he or she actually receives an immigrant visa number. No special priority will be given to the registered illegal alien.

3. Once the registered illegal alien receives an immigrant visa number, he or she may apply for permanent resident status.

AN IMMIGRANT WITH PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS WOULD HAVE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAW, IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE RIGHTS FOR A REGISTERED ILLEGAL ALIEN, THE RIGHT TO:
1. Apply to become a U.S. citizen once he or she is eligible.
2. Request a visa for his or her husband or wife and unmarried children to live in the United States.
3. Get Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare benefits, if he or she is eligible.
4. Own property in the U.S.
5. Leave and return to the U.S. under certain conditions.
6. Join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
7. Purchase or own a firearm, as long as there are no state or local restrictions saying he or she can’t.

AN IMMIGRANT WITH PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS WOULD HAVE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAW, IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE RESPONSIBILITIES FOR A REGISTERED ILLEGAL ALIEN, THE RESPONSIBILITY TO:
1. Register with the Selective Service (U.S. Armed Forces), if the immigrant is a male between ages 18 and 26.

*Once the illegal immigrant obtains permanent resident status, he or she would no longer be required to pay the Illegal Alien Tax.

4. When the registered illegal alien obtains permanent resident status and has remained a lawful permanent resident for a period of five years in accordance with current immigration law, he or she may then file for naturalization (citizenship). The criteria for all immigrants filing for naturalization will apply, including the five year residency criterion, maintaining good moral character as defined by current law, demonstrating that the immigrant is able to read, write, speak, and understand English, passing the U.S. government and history tests, and taking the oath of allegiance.

I believe this plan accomplishes the following:
1. Secures the border against further illegal immigration.
2. Provides the United States with the means of identifying those illegal aliens already in the country.
3. Helps to ensure that illegal aliens help to pay for public education and other government services by paying income and other relevant taxes.
4. Provides a fair solution to the problem of what to do about illegal aliens already in the United States, without allowing them to realize any advantage over those immigrants who have been working within current immigration law.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the comments you made are what majority of Americans want. Also following issue may be addressed in current immigration system.

Removal of per country limits for those immigrating.
I consider this the worst part of current immigration system.
According to current law in any year not more than 7% of
green cards may be issued to the citizens of a country.

Lets consider a scenario of year 2012 when current illegals/legals
become eligible to apply for GreenCard
(provided the bill is passed this year).

For 100 GC's given per year, with 70 mexican applicants and 30 rest of the world applicants with each country having < 7% applicants, it would take 10 years of wait for a Mexican to get a GC while an Egyptian would get it in the same year of applying.

This provision which was originally intended for keeping the diversity of immigration would cause a quota system in which some are preferred over others. I feel this is quiet unfair. I think the priority should be purely
based on some combination of merit and seniority.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

Anonymous,

I agree with you on removing the per country limits.

Thanks for your comments.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Malott said...

Bryan, would you please be my Congressman?
...Or better yet, my Senator?

Great ideas. Great post.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous bkammela@yahoo.com said...

According to current employment based immigration,
the employee should remain employed by the employer
sponsoring his visa. I have seen many people who have
been here legally and in immigration process leaving
the country as soon as this relationship was terminated.
The immigrant visas should be portable (like the
the health insurance which does not terminate with
someone moving from one employer to another).

2:33 PM  
Blogger Bryan Alexander said...

Chris,

If you will finance my campaign, I'll run.

Thanks for the comments.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Peter W. Heck said...

I know Malott has a personal fortune, but he is ridiculously stingy. Uses it all on gardening supplies and Kung Fu movie rentals. It's embarrassing how loaded the man is...but don't expect to see any of it. Word on the street is he's planning on lining his casket with his cash...his nephews and nieces weren't even in his will.

On another note, Bryan, this was an excellent post. Comprehensive and sensical. That's exactly why it would never fly in today's political climate.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bryan,

I must agree with the other posters. Your LOGICAL plan for dealing with the illegal immigration problem is exactly what we need to do. Maybe you should consider sending this plan to someone in authority in Indiana...(though I think I'd skip Sen. Bayh). Even if they claimed total credit for the plan, your ideas might get heard.

I also agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Malott. I'd love to see someone like you, with your common sense and values, run for public office. But I also understand that pesky funding issue.

EXCELLENT post.

2:22 PM  
Blogger SkyePuppy said...

Bryan,

Great plan! You missed one important factor, though:

Employers who hire (knowingly or not) illegals need to be prosecuted. Many employers right now claim that the documents they're given look good. But there's already a system in place (which I understand is easy to use) for employers to enter their new worker's documents and have them verified.

Currently, the use of this verification system by employers is voluntary (I think it might still be in the pilot stage), but only a tiny percentage of eligible employers are using it. The rest prefer to claim ignorance about the documents, so they can keep hiring cheap, illegal, cheap workers.

If employers had an incentive to obey the law, then the illegals wouldn't have a reason to come. Then the only immigrants we'd get would be the ones who really want to become Americans.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bryan, Your common sense is exactly what this country needs in the worst way. Sure wish I had the money to run your campaign, you would help this country a lot. Not many politicians, sad to say, use common sense.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

Your proposition is well thought out and practical...in theory. My issue is, where do you propose we get the money to finance all of this? Building a wall will cost billions of dollars as will implemeting an electronic system. Our lacking finances is also currently the resaon they HAVEN'T already increased border patrol. The U.S. is already spending outrageous amounts of money to provide education and social services to the illegal immgrants, most of whom, do not contribute anything in return. With the decreasing dollar and the already extravagent defecit, I don't think any of this would be financially feasible, at least not in my lifetime.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous MostlyRight said...

Funding for building the wall is easy: Fine those who currently hire illegal immigrants 10 years salary (of the person who does the hiring) for each illegal immigrant hired. Reward those who turn in companies hiring illegal immigrants by giving them 20% of the fines generated in this fashion.

Since this would likely dry up all chances for illegal immigrants to get hired, they now have very little reason to try to get into the US.

12:11 AM  

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