While many anti-illegal alien groups and supporters would like to, we simply can not round up and ship some 12+ million illegal aliens back to their home countries. Even if we could, children of illegal aliens who are born in the United States are, by commonly held interpretation of current law, American citizens. Even if the 14th Amendment was changed or reinterpreted it would not be applied retroactively.
Additionally, it would not be just to punish the children for the sins of the parents so even children who were not born in the United States but have lived in the US most of their lives are, by default, Americans, at least in name. It is uncompassionate to deport otherwise law abiding illegal aliens who have been working in the United States for many years. It is also un-American to break up families that have been living in the USA for years.
Thus whatever we do we should make a compassionate allowance for otherwise law abiding illegal aliens who have lived in the United States for many years and for the parents of children born in the United States. That is the American way.
However, it is also the American way to play by the rules. To become a naturalized citizen of the United States, there are quite a number of requirements that must be met. To see how difficult and stringent the process is refer to A Guide to Naturalization.
Becoming an American citizen is one of the most coveted opportunities available on planet earth. For those who have not done it or are not aware, it is not an easy or timely process. In summary, the main requirements to become a naturalized citizen of the United States are as follows:
- Lawful entry as permanent resident.
- Continuous residence in the U.S. for at least five years prior to filing a petition for naturalization and three years for spouse of citizens.
- Physical Presence in the U.S. for at least half of the period of continuous residence
- Read, write, and speak good English. People who are over fifty-five years of age and have lived in the U.S. for at least a total of 15 years are not required to fulfill this requirement.
- Knowledge of U.S. History & Understanding of Fundamentals of U.S. Govt.
- Good Moral Character and Attachment to the Principles of U.S. Constitution. NOTE: All naturalization applicants must comply with this requirement. There is no exception to this requirement.
One of the requirements to become a naturalized citizen is an Oath of Allegiance to the Constitution and the United States. In that oath, the citizen want-to-be swears:
"That I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; That I will support and defend the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; That I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law ... "
Should anything less be expected of an illegal alien before we even think of granting them citizenship? How is granting de facto citizenship to illegal aliens, especially through a guest worker program with its Mickey Mouse "path to citizenship" being fair to the millions who are waiting in line to become legal immigrants? The price for an illegal alien to receive one of the most coveted rewards on planet earth should not be simply that they picked lettuce for a few years or faithfully flipped burgers, cleaned toilets or dug ditches. There are millions of potential legal immigrants who would gladly do those jobs.
Nor should we allow an illegal alien to simply pay some miserly fine to receive amnesty - becoming an American is not for sale at any price!
Given that there is a legal way to become an American and millions have eschewed that way and are in the United States illegally and it is not plausible to round the law breakers up and send them back, what are we to do?
First and foremost, no purchased amnesty! America is not for sale! Becoming an American is a privilege, not a right of "being here." Too many Americans have died preserving freedom to allow citizenship akin to paying a ticket for parking fines. The violation of our sovereignty and the law breaking must be punished and citizenship must be earned. It is because of the failure of our elected politicians that we have the problem and it is only through the magnanimity and generosity of America that we would even consider granting citizenship to lawbreakers.
So what do we do?
Well, we could simply adopt Mexico's immigration policies but that would be too cruel and very un-American. While I may agree with former US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan from Texas in "those who should not be here will be required to leave" and may be personally inclined to round up all illegal aliens and their families and return them to their home countries, making them get in line for becoming legal immigrants, I recognize that that is an unworkable and unrealistic solution for a variety of reasons.
The biggest obstacle to such a draconian solution is political, as most of our politicians do not have the fortitude or integrity to enforce the laws of the land. For this reason alone it is unrealistic, unless we vote them all out. But that would take time and in the meantime the tsunami keeps pouring in and the collateral damage keeps mounting.
If you don't think that aspect is important, go back up to the CRIME and TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS sections and start clicking on the links of Americans who were molested, raped, killed, and murdered by an illegal alien. Especially take note of the crimes that were committed by an illegal alien who was previously deported or who should have been previously deported.
Every day that nothing is done the damage mounts. We can't wait to replace the SOBs in Congress who don't seem to give a damn but hopefully we can force them to uphold the laws of the land under the threat of replacement.
Thus, I have taken a different approach in a comprehensive solution which will solve most of the problems, including getting many illegal aliens out of the country and preventing new ones from entering, which should be the two primary goals in any real immigration reform. Since it does not involve rounding up and deporting 12+ million illegal aliens, it should be able to get enough support from both parties, with enough pressure on individual members.
Remember, the number one goal for most elected politicians is re-election. Pressure from fed-up constituents will cause them to protect their sorry asses from potential replacement as they finally carry out their Constitutional responsibilities and protect the sovereignty of the United States and enforce the laws of the land.
To accomplish the primary goals, which rectifies much of the collateral damage, the following are ten specific suggestions to solve the problem. However, the most important thing is that we as a nation and people must get serious to fix the problem.
That starts with recognizing the problem and understanding the cost-benefit tradeoffs which results in an acceptable level of collateral damage. To do that, you must first ask yourself:
Exactly how many Americans are YOU willing to allow to be ripped off, infected, molested, raped, killed, and murdered in toleration of illegal immigration?
Only when you have an answer to that question can any solution begin.
My ten suggestions are as follows:
- Build the border fence! All of it.
Proper border security is absolutely necessary to keep people out who do not belong here. However bad the problem is now, it is only worse with more illegal aliens. As this paper has detailed, we are being overrun by foreign nationals and when we catch and actually deport the really bad ones about 60% of them simply come right back in. Additionally, the fence is mandatory to significantly decrease the amount of drugs that are pouring across the southern border.
- Implement the REAL ID act now. If anything, the time table needs to be accelerated.
We need to know who is in the country illegally and what their intentions are. As much as I do not like having a national ID card, even a de facto one like a counterfeit proof Social Security Card, we are no longer living in an era where vast oceans protect us from the bad guys that mean to do us harm.
As it is now, States are backing out because of the implementation costs and a September 2006 NewsMax article, Congress Delays Border ID Program, notes:
"A plan to tighten U.S. borders by requiring passports or tamper-resistant identification cards from everyone entering the country by land from Mexico and Canada has been delayed.
House and Senate lawmakers agreed to push back the program by 17 months, saying they want to make sure new ID cards being developed by the Bush administration will better secure borders against terrorists without slowing legitimate travelers from Canada and Mexico. The new ID's will be required for Americans and all others entering the U.S."
9/11 happened over five years ago. Have we forgotten the horrors of of that day?
The MSM still won't show the pictures of the Americans jumping to their deaths from those burning buildings. They do not want to "offend" us.
As noted in Identity and Immigration Status of 9/11 Terrorists "the 19 terrorists on Sept. 11 were holding 63 state driver's licenses for identification." See Illegal Immigrants in a State of Disarray on how sanctuary policies in Wisconsin's Department of Motor Vehicles facilitates this practice.
How many more terrorist will gain access during those 17 months? How many more Americans will be molested, raped, killed, and murdered by illegal aliens? Will anybody be held accountable for those allowing those crimes to happen?
As it is now, when, not if, the next big incident happens, Congress will still be pointing fingers, holding hearings, and asking "How did this happen?' Of course, it will not be their fault ... it never is.
- Dramatically increase the fines, penalties, enforcement, and prosecution for hiring illegal aliens.
If there are no jobs available it will seriously reduce the incentive to come here, make staying here less desirable, and provide a strong incentive for many illegal aliens to return to their own country own by their own accord. Having a REAL ID will actually take much of the burden off employers because they will know that they are hiring a legal worker.
If the INS isn't having to spend so much time having to track down illegal alien criminals that are "only" molesting, raping, killing, and murdering Americans, they will have more resources to go after the "really bad" illegal aliens that would like to nuke a city or two.
- Dramatically increase the fines and penalties for making and having forged documents. Making, selling, providing, or possession of forged documents is grounds for immediate deportation.
- Enforce existing law.
In case you don't know what the laws regarding illegal aliens are, see US Code, TITLE 8 (ALIENS AND NATIONALITY), CHAPTER 12 (IMMIGRATION and NATIONALITY), SUBCHAPTER II (IMMIGRATION), Part VIII (GENERAL PENALTY PROVISIONS) which contains the following provisions:
§ 1321 Prevention of unauthorized landing of aliens
§ 1322 Bringing in aliens subject to denial of admission on a health-related ground; persons liable; clearance papers; exceptions; "person" defined
§ 1323 Unlawful bringing of aliens into United States
§ 1324 Bringing in and harboring certain aliens
§ 1324a Unlawful employment of aliens
§ 1324b Unfair immigration-related employment practices
§ 1324c Penalties for document fraud
§ 1324d. Civil penalties for failure to depart
§ 1325 Improper entry by alien
§ 1326 Reentry of removed aliens
§ 1327 Aiding or assisting certain aliens to enter
§ 1328 Importation of alien for immoral purpose
§ 1329 Jurisdiction of district courts
§ 1330 Collection of penalties and expenses
- Make violation of our immigration laws a conditional felony.
If nothing else, this shows we are serious and we are a sovereign nation.
- Adopt and enforce English only provisions of being part of the United States.
This includes the current naturalization process where there would be no language waivers, regardless of age. If you really wanted to be part of another country, wouldn't you learn the native language of that country?
- Immediately reduce the number of legal immigrants to 250,000 per year for the next ten years.
If the INS has a whole lot less people to process, maybe they can start finding and deporting the many hundreds of thousand of criminals with existing deportation orders against them.
- Create a Conditional Citizenship Program (CCP) in the Immigration and Naturalization Service to provide a way for existing and otherwise law abiding, illegal aliens to stay and work in the United States and earn citizenship.
The CCP would be designed to specifically address and solve the problem of existing illegal aliens. It would not be a guest worker program. That is a whole separate and independent issue. The CCP would have an electronic registry allowing employers to have immediate verification of the working eligibility of illegal aliens. The CCP would have its own judiciary to swiftly handle any disputes, appeals, and deportations, not the cumbersome and illegal alien friendly bureaucracy of the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). NOTE: see Deport Aliens for information on the failure of the EOIR to enforce immigration policies
- Implement the other suggestions in the Solutions to the Illegal Immigration Problem section of this report.
While the ACLU and various other unlimited and illegal immigration individuals and support groups will have a fit and squeal like a stuck pig, the collateral costs are simply too high to allow things to stay the way they are.
The conditions of the Conditional Citizenship Program would be as follows. Violation of any of the conditions means denial of CCP participation and immediate deportation.
- Applicants to become a naturalized citizen must register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and comply with specific rules and regulations to become a citizen.
Nothing less should be expected of illegal aliens. Therefore, all illegal aliens and their children must register with the Conditional Citizenship Program (CCP) within 3 months of activation of the CCP. Initial registration will be nothing more than a serialized, simple, post card application. The applicant keeps the other half with the serial number. Failure to register means automatic deportation. It is imperative we find out how many illegal aliens are in the country. At 3 months plus 1 day the program is closed. If an illegal alien misses it, too bad. They can always apply to become a naturalized citizen like everybody else who wants to come to the USA.
Similar to and part of the US Immigration Services' Naturalization Program, complete registration will require a photograph, fingerprints and issuance of a Social Security Number. Any illegal alien that is not registered with the CCP is in the country illegally and is subject to immediate deportation. Registration with CCP binds the registrant to the terms and conditions of the program.
- To remain in the program, the illegal alien must prove residency in the United States before some date which is at least three months prior to the passage of the CCP to prevent a tsunami of illegal aliens trying to get in before the CCP deadline becomes effective. Children under 18 on that date are covered by their parent(s). Illegal aliens that are 18 or over on that date must independently prove residency and register with the CCP. The CCP will define what constitutes proof of residency but the burden of proof is on the illegal alien.
- Similar to the requirements of Section 212(a)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, all illegal aliens and their children must have a health screening as part of the citizenship process.
The alien's CCP work status is defined as "ineligible" until the health screening is complete. A first time exemption is granted for an employer to hire an alien with an ineligible status as long as the screening is done within 30 days of hire at the employer's expense. Should the alien not get or fail a screening, the work status remains ineligible and work is not allowed until a successful health screening is completed. Any employer hiring or retaining a CCP registered worker with an ineligible work status will be subject to a fine of $1000 per month, or fraction thereof, of ineligible employment. Should the alien have a communicable disease that is being treated, the work status is changed to "provisional" until the alien receives a clean bill of health. Some industries, such as food service, are not allowed to hire or have workers with provisional work limitations. All school age children are required to have a successful health screening before being allowed to attend any public school.
- The illegal alien must meet the "good moral character" requirements for becoming naturalized citizens. See A Guide to Naturalization. Any felony conviction or three or more misdemeanors is grounds for denial.
- The illegal alien must not be on public welfare when applying with the CCP with the exception of treatments for any contagious disease, child preventative medical treatments, and school feeding programs.
- The illegal immigrant must not be convicted of driving a car without a license or insurance or have illegally voted anytime after the day the CCP is activated. Violation of these provisions will result in immediate deportation.
- An illegal alien is only eligible for citizenship after 10 years of law abiding residency in the United States.
This is twice as long as required for a legal immigrant and the additional 5 years is the penalty for entering the United States illegally. Yes it is a form of amnesty but it is part of a realistic solution. For illegal aliens that have been residing in the United States for 10 or more years and comply with conditions A-F they are eligible for naturalized citizenship after an additional 5 years – the same as a legal immigrant.
Illegal aliens who take an Oath of Allegiance and honorably serve in the military for two or three years are eligible for citizenship 5 years after joining the service, if they were are honorably discharged. For a 4 year commitment, eligibility is granted on the day of honorable discharge. For a longer commitment, the alien is eligible for citizenship on their 4 year anniversary of joining. If an illegal alien in the service is discharged with less than an honorable discharge, they go back to square one but the time in service counts towards the 10 year residency requirement. Should the illegal alien die while serving in the military of the United States the alien is made a citizen on the day of death. The "law abiding" provision is to be similar to what is currently required for legal immigrants.
As noted in Military Shortcut to U.S. Citizenship: "Mexican-born Gabriela Begaye, 30, who joined the Army at the age of 25 and became a citizen last week in Fort Bliss, Texas, says she feels proud to wear a military uniform. I would die for this country. I would do it," she said."
This attitude was once expressed by President John F. Kennedy, who said to the nation:
"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it. And the glow from that fire can truly light the world.
And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
These are still the kind of people, immigrants and citizens, we need and which made this country great.
- All illegal alien children under age 12 on the date the CCP is activated must graduate from 12th grade or complete a high school equivalency by age 21 to become a citizen.
Those that otherwise meet all the other conditions but do not comply with the education requirement will be granted permanent visas and green cards but not citizenship. Children of such people can become citizens as noted above but all non-citizens are not allowed to bring in relatives.
- All illegal aliens must complete and pass the INS naturalization citizenship test and take the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens. This includes all children who were not born in the United States.
US citizenship is a prized privilege that must be earned. The test may be taken at any time prior to the residency requirement being fulfilled but must be completed within 1 year of eligibility. The only exemptions from this condition are those granted by the US Immigration and Naturalization Services to other legal immigrant applicants.
It is worth noting that the test is not actually that difficult. Like many things in modern education, you can't have anybody flunking so the INS gives out the questions and answer, and has a low passing grade. To see how "hard" it is go to Questions and Answers for New Pilot Naturalization Exam.
When these conditions are met, the illegal alien receives a full pardon from the conditional felony and becomes a naturalized citizen, entitled to all the benefits and privileges of being an American.
The CCP does not provide blanket amnesty for illegal aliens, but provides compassion and opportunity for law abiding, illegal aliens, as well as for their children, who have been working in the country to earn citizenship. It punishes lawbreakers, does not move illegal aliens to the front of the line and, most importantly, puts similar requirements on illegal aliens as we have for legal immigrants.
While acknowledging that any program that allows illegal aliens to remain in the US is a form of amnesty, the CCP is a common sense compromise and realistic solution to an existing problem that does not include unwarranted blanket amnesty or "buying citizenship." However, it also includes compassion for otherwise law abiding time spent in the United States and recognizes the commitment of illegal aliens in the armed forces.
The CCP stems the flow of illegal aliens, encourages many to go home, penalizes the remaining illegal immigrants for breaking the law, and denies citizenship to illegal aliens who really do not want to be Americans and play by our rules. In the American way, it provides justice, forgiveness, earned opportunity, rewards, and punishment.
The CCP also spreads out the burden of naturalization of a few million illegal aliens on the INS over 10 years which will mitigate the number of additional INS agents required to process the applicants in the CCP.
This is the cost of fixing the "victimless" crime. While unpalatable to some, and not as effective as rounding up and deporting 12+ million illegal aliens, it is a realistic compromise and is a whole lot better than allowing the horrendous collateral damage to continue year after year while the problem keeps growing bigger as the number of illegal aliens continues to climb.
The alternative is to allow things to continue the way they currently are with the collateral damage mounting every day.