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American Borders Forum

What should American immigration and border policies be? Submit your ideas to The American Borders Forum today.
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How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?: Left of Center View

Reforming our current immigration system will be a long and complicated process. But the first step should be amazingly simple: Stop demonizing immigrants. Nothing can be resolved until we humanize the process. America has been selling her dream to the world for almost two and a half centuries. "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me." This invitation is printed on the gateway into America. But then, as the Native Americans can attest, America is not too good at keeping her promises.

Ours is a culture of scapegoats. We are all victims, even when we are the aggressor. Undocumented workers are the reason for our faltering economy. Welfare, Medicare and Social Security are in danger of failing because of the strain immigrants are putting on these fragile systems. The quality of education is slipping because of the diversity of primary languages spoken in our public schools. Immigrants don't pay their fair share and use up all the available public resources. We cry en-masse because it is so much easier to point a finger than it is to actually lift one. God knows that none of these problems could possibly be our own fault.

Part of the problem also lies in the seclusion of recent immigrants from the rest of American society. Little Italy, Chinatown, every major city in America has areas where immigrants from a similar global region have banded together and recreated their homeland. These are closed communities. The street-signs are in Chinese or French or any number of other languages based on the ethnic makeup of the community as is the language spoken in the shops and restaurants. People come from a world away and find themselves trapped in a foreign province simply because they can't speak or read the language outside of their 10 or 15 block comfort zone. They work and live in a small community, their opportunity restricted by the language barrier. Perhaps English should be the official language in the U.S. just as Mandarin is in China. But if the point of an official language is to unify rather than separate us, such a policy must be carefully introduced and tactfully handled. My suggestion to solve the problem, and feel free to critique once you have submitted one of your own, would be to combine language with community service.

Foreign nationals who wish to apply for citizenship would be required to perform a certain number of hours of community service, related to their field of expertise and language skills, combined with classroom hours to help with English proficiency. Volunteers who had already obtained citizenship, or naturalized citizens, would earn tax credits for their participation in the program. This would create interaction between immigrants and their new community and offer opportunities otherwise unavailable to them. By expanding the tax credit/community service for citizenship program to include individuals formally trained in skilled fields, for example a free clinic staffed by doctors attempting to obtain a different kind of residency, some of the pressure applied to our public systems would be relieved by the group blamed for creating them in the first place.

Hey, it's not perfect, but it's a start. With the economy failing at the rate it is and with inflation still out of control we may soon find ourselves on the barter system sooner than we think. The communists were able to adopt aspects of capitalism and use it to their advantage, why shouldn't we do the same?


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: Could Open Borders Ever Be A Viable Option For America?

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:
What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
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




How Should American Immigration Policy Be Reformed?: Right of Center View

In this world of threats and economic upheaval the question of immigration reform needs to be tackled on multiple fronts. While we need to provide for national security we also need to make sure that business has the tools it needs to function including access to inexpensive labor within our borders. This will require that we look differently at the entire process of legal immigration. It will also require an immigration policy specifically for those workers who wish to work in the United States while supporting families abroad.

On the national security front we need to secure our borders. If nothing else September 11th, 2001 showed us that we need to be more aware of who is in our country at any given time and have ways to track their movements and activities so that we can head off any threats before they can harm innocent Americans. To this end I would propose making our borders lethally impassible except at monitored checkpoints and using RFID tracking bracelets for entrants into the country from abroad with encoded information for law enforcement to be able to identify them and their country of origin with a simple scanner. These bracelets could be made to be small and inconspicuous but effective for monitoring the activity of foreigners on American soil. Some might find this Orwellian or Draconian but in the light of the attacks against us on our own soil it is not completely unreasonable.

On the legal immigration side we need to simplify and streamline the process for those people with needed skills who wish to come into America. Business needs workers in order to survive and in many cases there are no willing or able workers available to do the job for the wage a company can afford to pay and still remain profitable. To fill this need we should institute something like a firearms instant background check to check the criminal records of would-be workers and issue them worker visas without a lot of the red tape that has tied up our immigration system in the past. Businesses could then go to the federal government and let them know how many workers they need and for how long so that the government could allow those workers that are needed in for the amount of time they are needed for and send them back home after the job was completed. This helps them earn money and lets our businesses compete globally with companies from other nations where government subsidies help them offset their operating costs. By using the RFID tracking devices we could also keep track of these workers to make sure that they return home when the job is done.

In addition to simplifying the immigration process for needed workers we need to make sure we control the hemorrhaging of cash that has accompanied the illegal employment of undocumented workers by setting up an exchange voucher program where workers would receive vouchers for cash in their home countries for their family and vouchers for living expenses here in America during their stay. Employers could also opt to provide housing, health insurance and food as well as access to communications to their home country in place of vouchers for living expenses for the workers if they chose to do so. By doing this we could control costs and limit the amount of cash being pulled out of the American economy happening under current immigration policy.

The problems with immigration in America are many and complex but these steps would be a good start to solving the underlying problems with the current system.

Tony M. - California | 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: Could Open Borders Ever Be A Viable Option For America?

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:
What Would The American Economy Look Like Without Undocumented Workers?

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Can International Trade Save American Jobs?
How Much Impact Will Our Faltering Economy Have on Illegal Immigration?
Would Harsher Sentences for Undocumented Criminals Lower Crime?
Will There Ever Be Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America?
Do Undocumented Immigrants Pose a Health Risk for Americans?
How Will the Oil Crisis Impact Foreign Policy?
What is a Fair Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Workers?
Which of the Presidential Candidates Will Bring the Best Immigration Policy Into Office?
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 Immigrant’s 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 “The Race” 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 isn’t 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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