The post I made yesterday has drawn a fair number of comments for this little blog, and I've been thinking and studying and considering it myself. Let me clarify a few things.
Without immigration, I wouldn't be here. My great-great-great grandparents came over so their not-so-great grandson could live here. Immigration is key to the historic success of the United States, and I don't oppose anyone who wants to immigrate here legally.
To a singular person, the Mexican people I know are fine, gentle, hardworking people with good family ties and wholesome moral fiber. I like every Mexican I know. They are a credit to the United States.
My problem is with illegal immigration. We should at least be able to screen the people who show up on our doorstep to make sure we aren't allowing criminals to enter the U.S. Then, the new residents should at least make a generous effort to assimilate. Learn the language, go to school. Work for a living.
I don't have a problem with immigrants who pull their own weight. The agricultural industry, and the nursery industry would collapse like a shot if we make all the foreign workers go home. I understand that.
However, there has to be some accountability, and we have to control our borders, and the bureaucratic nightmare of deporting an undesireable should go away. We have prisons in this state that were built to house violent illegal aliens that the government was having trouble deporting. Many states play "catch and release" with illegal aliens. This has to end immediately.
And I put the blame for this mess squarely on the head of President Bush. He has waited too long to take control of our borders.
So, I propose:
1. A 60-day grace period for all undocumented workers to apply for a guest worker card. Any not applying after 60 days should be immediately deported. One hearing, immediately after arrest, then get on a plane. You leave your guest card at home and get caught at the 7-11? Tough shit, Gomez. You shoulda had your card.
2. Immediately close all borders. Anyone trespassing on the border will be shot and bulldozed into a shallow grave.
3. Unskilled labor can enter the United States at regular points of entry and will be issued a guest worker card after a brief processing. Picture, fingerprints, basic data. They have 15 days to find a job. After those 15 days, if the employer doesn't enter their number into a job database, they will be hunted down, given a hearing, and deported. US companies seeking unskilled labor can set up offices near the border crossings to assist in hiring the numbers of workers they need.
4. After being in the United States for three years, guest workers can choose either to apply for naturalization, or return to their home country. Any children born to guest workers while in the United States will not be considered native citizens. Those children can apply for native citizen status when their parents apply for citizenship.
5. Companies or individuals that employ illegal aliens will immediately be fined in an amount equal to their net worth on the balance sheet. Companies using contractors who employ illegal aliens are to be fined at the same rate. Companies who survive the fine are prohibited from hiring anyone but a native-born citizen for fifteen years.
That is a guest worker program I can live with. I'm sure it will be promptly adopted by the US Congress.