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What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?: Left of Center View

There is no "fair" path to citizenship for undocumented workers. Any path that is put in place to assist undocumented workers on the path to citizenship is going to be unfair to the folks that didn't break the law and sneak across the border. However, the reality of the situation is such that we must go with what is plausible rather than what is fair, because as we all know, "Life isn't fair." To be fair, we would have to agree to treat everyone exactly the same, no matter the circumstances or consequences.

The truth about undocumented workers is that the only way to eliminate them is to eliminate their reasons for coming. Simply put, stop American employers from hiring undocumented workers and you will put an end to the cycle. But the other side to this is that it is just as impossible to stop the employers as it is to secure the border. But do we really want to put an end to this cheap labor force, or is it the only realistic way that American business' can compete with the China?

What about folks that came across the border years ago, and though their entrance into the country was illegal, they have been productive members of society ever since? Do these hard working, upstanding citizens, who have been here for most of their lives deserve to be treated the same as the drug-dealer who crawled through the sewer-pipe last week? OK obviously not, but then what is the statute of limitations on immigration violations. To be fair, you would also have to include all the folks who actually entered the country legally, student / work visas, but then let them expire. Or people caught in the system, unable to finish the process through no fault of their own. To be fair, these folks belong in the same group as the pipe-crawler. To be fair, they should all be sent back to their country of origin. But let's actually be fair for a minute - nobody wants this.

Undocumented workers are a part of this nation and its economy. They may not be eligible or able to access all public services but they certainly use some of them - I understand our underground sewers are a huge draw. So, it is only fair that they help pay for the costs to keep the toilets flushing and the busses running. But how do we accomplish this? How about anonymous tax id numbers, payable from both inside and outside of the country? Just like Social Security, you pay into the system and the number of years and amount accrue. Since it wouldn't be fair to allow folks to just buy their way to citizenship, the number of years paid into the system would also be taken into account. This way people who are working their way through the citizenship process while following the rules are given the same chance as those here in the shadows.

There should be consequences for those who do choose to ignore the process. Persons interested in citizenship, or resident status should be allowed into the country to work on their claims. However, since the temptation is great so should the consequences. Get caught working illegally, over stay your visa, and you are no longer eligible for citizenship or allowed in the country. Of course since there will always be mitigating circumstances, a review system should also be established. Since immigration cases are already clogging our judicial system, why not create a separate branch, for the sole purpose of hearing immigration cases. (Perhaps we should do the same thing for drug-related cases.)

Oh and to keep things fair, any immigration official caught taking a bribe, or otherwise improperly using their influence should have their citizenship revoked and immediately be deported to the country of origin for the offending party. Talk about a deterrent.

Finally, if you actually took the time to read all of this and find yourself angry at any part of the above, thatís fine. I don't profess to know all the ins and outs of the immigration system. The majority of my experience has been traveling to other countries and then trying to re-enter the U.S. I have read what I could find on the subject, and I have spoken with people from all walks of life about this issue, and the only constant is that there is no constant. But as citizens we are all responsible for this issue. We are quick to point out that this is a Democracy, so come on people let's start acting like one.

"The perfect human being is all human beings put together, it is a collective, it is all of us together that make perfection."
--Socrates--


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Left:
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date




What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?: Right of Center View

Truth be told, there is nothing in life that is completely fair to anyone. We all have advantages and disadvantages that come with being who we are and the choices we make. When someone asks about fairness in the immigration debate I think about the legal immigrants who stood in line, got poked and prodded, learned English and passed a background check. What would be fair for the illegal immigrants to achieve their goal of citizenship would be for them to do what the legal immigrants did to come here. They need to go to the back of the line and wait their turn just like everyone else.

Some apologists for the undocumented say that we are being too harsh when we say that they are lawbreakers and donít deserve special treatment. The truth is what they are asking for in some kind of path to citizenship is for us to excuse the fact that they broke the law and give them preferential treatment over those who took the legal path to come to America. Thatís like asking for a person who embezzled money to be given a pass and allowed to earn more money legally because his family needed the money and it was a crime of necessity. Itís a total BS argument that insults the intelligence of thinking people. How is it fair for people who cross illegally to be given the same privileges as those who spent months and years going through the legal process? To be blunt, itís not.

When we look at setting immigration policy we need to be conscious of the legal immigrants and the things they have had to do in order to come here legally. Whenever we talk about amnesty we are doing a disservice to every legal immigrant who has ever come to America by telling them that they were silly to take the time and effort to do it the right way because if you break the law and wait long enough you will get what you want anyway. If you are looking for a way to give the illegal immigrants a path to citizenship that is fair to them and the legal immigrants it has to include consequences for their breaking the law and close the loopholes for future illegal immigrants to avoid a cycle of lawbreaking that cannot be broken.

If we turn a blind eye to this type of lawbreaking it will lead to even more disrespect for our nationís laws. We have these rules in place for reasons. These rules are to keep the psychos out and stop the spread of disease across borders. These are not pointless laws. They are there for a purpose. Without those laws we would have immigration anarchy and people coming and going as they please with no way to know who they are or what they are about. There may be ways to change the laws to make safe and legal immigration more attainable for people wishing to be a part of America but we have to make sure to weigh the risks before we start opening our borders to those who might wish to do us harm or take unfair advantage of our system.

Americans need to know that our laws stand for something and those who wish to be Americans need to respect those laws if they want to be a part of our society. I have no ill will towards the people of other nations who want to live here but I also donít feel like our laws should be put aside to accommodate their impatience with the legal process. We need to find that balance between welcoming newcomers and keeping out the riff raff. Yes, I said the riff raff. We need to keep the lawbreakers and system draining shiftless bums out of our nation whenever possible. If we could kick out the ones who were born here I would be the first to applaud the effort. America needs thoughtful intelligent workers to drive our economy forward. We donít need a bunch of self-serving system abusers being given all the same advantages as the hard working folk who do things the right way.

The only truly fair way to give illegal immigrants a ďpath to citizenshipĒ is to make sure they go through every step that a legal person does and that they are sent to the back of the line of immigrants applying to come here. They should not be granted immunity of any kind. Penalties need to be imposed and they should be held to the highest standards for immigrating to this country before being allowed to stay. We are a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws. We cannot forget one simply to accommodate the other.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Outsourcing, Bad Trade Policy and Recessions
Is America Capable of Breaking Free from Foreign Oil Dependency?
What Does the Globalization of Big Business Mean for America?
Are American Car Makers Ready for the Oil Crisis or Will Japan Reign Supreme Once Again?
Does Dependency on Foreign Oil Endanger America?
What is a "Real" American?
Racial Profiling - Is It Ever OK?
Who Wins When Undocumented Workers Come to America?
NAFTA and the Election
How Can We Curb Illegal Immigration?
Fear Mongering and Illegal Immigration
Border Security and the War on Drugs
Outsourcing or Undocumented Workers: Which Hurts American Workers More?
Sierra Club vs. Border Fence
Who Owns America?
Redefining Immigration
Racism and the Immigration Debate
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade
Migrant Farm Workers and the Cost of Groceries
What Does a New Leader for Cuba Mean for America?
High Tech Worker Visas and American Unemployment
What's Wrong With Our Current Immigration System?
How Will The Upcoming Election Impact Immigration Policy?
National ID Cards for American Citizens
American Children of Undocumented Immigrants
Globalization and Immigration
Human Rights and Immigration Policy
Archives by Date

A Legal Immigrantís Perspective

If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so am I. I came legally to this country at the age of five with my parents who worked hard, paid taxes (even Jesus paid taxes), lived by the rules of this great nation and never took or accepted a penny from the government. We came seeking FREEDOM from a communist country. It was months before we were able to enter the US legally. I remember us getting medical exams, shots (small pox), background check, references, and going through numerous interviews once we arrived. I also remembered people coming to the US from all over the world who waited years since it was based on "Quotas". Read more...

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally ďThe RaceĒ in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isnít really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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