Ten Simple, Direct Steps to a Legal American Immigration System
1.Keep the 1986 Simpson-Mazzoli commitment and control the border. In The Reagan Diaries (HarperCollins, May 22, 2007), President Ronald Reagan wrote that he was going to sign the Simpson-Mazzoli bill because “it’s high time we regained control of our borders and [this] bill will do this.” For national security reasons, it is vital we regain control of our border. Congress should pass a narrowly written emergency border bill to finish the necessary fence in less than a year and to have complete border control within two years.
2.Announce an immediate shift of Internal Revenue Service resources to audit companies that are deliberately hiring people illegally. We do not have to focus on deporting those who want to work. We need to focus on the Americans who are getting richer by deliberately breaking our laws, hiring people illegally and failing to pay taxes. These people are cheating their own country. We should focus on fining and making it economically impractical for Americans to deliberately encourage law breaking. Economic penalties for knowingly hiring someone who is illegal should rise dramatically with each employer (including subcontractors) conviction, making it simply too expensive to cheat. This will eliminate the magnet of illegal jobs, will begin to diminish the flow of new illegal workers and will lead some illegal workers to return home voluntarily.
3.Outsource to American Express, Visa or MasterCard the job of building a real-time verification system so that honest companies can confirm the legal status of all workers and identify people with forged papers before they hire them as fast as your automatic teller machine identifies you and gives you money in a matter of seconds. We must distinguish between companies that deliberately hire illegal workers and companies that hire people who they believe are legal. It is the government’s duty to help this second group of companies by providing a real-time verification system for identifying the legal status of all workers so that it is possible to screen out those with illegal documents. The government should outsource the creation of this system so that it is easy, fast and accurate.
4.Focus deportation efforts on criminals. Those who claim that opponents of the Bush-Kennedy-McCain bill support mass deportations are simply wrong. We want a system in which honest work is available for law-abiding workers and in which the natural attrition of declining job availability will reduce illegal behavior. However, there is one group that should be deported immediately, and the law should be modified to make it easy to do so. Criminals have no future in America. In every major city and increasingly in small cities and even small towns, gangs have become a problem and people feel a rising sense of insecurity. There are at least 30,000 illegal gang members now in the United States. The system should focus on deporting criminals so that people who are here illegally understand that breaking the law will get them deported immediately.
5.Cut off all federal aid to any city, county or state that refuses to investigate if a criminal is here illegally. These so-called “sanctuary cities” are in effect abetting the violation of American law and increasing the risk to honest, law-abiding Americans. They should be cut off from all federal aid if they refuse to help enforce federal law.
6.Offer intensive education in English to anyone who wants to learn English, and make English the official language of government. This will begin to reassert the commitment to assimilation and Americanization that has historically been part of legal immigration to America.
7.Ensure that becoming an American citizen requires passing a test on American history in English and giving up the right to vote in any other country.
8.Within the context of these proven changes, establish an economically driven temporary worker program like the Krieble Foundation proposals. Any temporary worker would have to pass a background check to ensure they are not a criminal, would have to give biometric information (retinal scan and thumbprint) for a special card that would be outsourced to American Express, MasterCard or Visa so it would be harder to defraud and counterfeit, and would have to sign a contract committing them to pay taxes and obey the law or be removed from the United States within two weeks without recourse to long court processes.
9.Create a special open-ended worker visa for high value workers who bring specialized education, entrepreneurial talent or capital that will grow the American economy and make America a more prosperous country.
10.Workers who came here illegally but have a good work relationship and community ties (including family), should have first opportunity to get the new temporary worker visas, but instead of paying penalties, they should be required to go home and get the visa at home. This way they are beginning their new career in America by obeying the law. It is amazing that those who advocate a large fine and the new Z visa, which would be administered in a hopelessly expedited manner, suggest that going home to get a new legal admission to the U.S. is somehow too complicated. If people can break the law by entering the county illegally, they should be able to obey the law and enter America legally.
These 10 steps would lead to a controlled border, a profound revitalization of the core values of American civilization, a renewed respect for the law and an economically driven system of legal temporary workers in an orderly and controllable manner.