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Voice of the Voter - This Week's Stories

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Cheating the System

Recently it has come to my attention that someone I know may have been the unwitting victim of someone perpetrating perhaps the most insidious type of immigration fraud. It seems that her husband has had a history of marrying women to obtain legal status in countries and then abandoning them to move on to the next woman. First he moved from his home country to Europe on a student visa. After his student visa became invalid he lived for a time as an illegal resident before he wooed and married a French woman to obtain French citizenship. He remained married to her for a few years until he met the woman I know and began to woo her while still married. After convincing her of his undying devotion he confessed his marital status and sought a divorce from his French wife in order to marry her. Once married to her he moved to the U.S. and obtained a green card due to his marital status.

Now, a few years later, he has moved out of their home without any real explanation and for the last seven months has been living at a location unknown to either her or Homeland Security. She has on several occasions asked him to at least notify Homeland Security of his change in residence as that is part of his agreement with our government granting him Resident Alien status only to be ignored and dismissed as if her concerns about his contract with our government is of no consequence. His contact with her is sporadic and when asked about his activities he tells her that it is his business and not of her concern what he does despite the fact they are still married and he is only here because of that marriage. He refuses to disclose either his address or phone number to her for unknown reasons. I personally think he is with another woman but can’t prove it so I support her and hope that she will come to see the light, divorce him and move on with her life.

This whole situation has opened my eyes in a very personal way to the fact that the problems with immigration go far deeper than simply increasing border security. When people can use and abuse the system to gain entry into our nation under false pretenses, it cheapens the efforts of everyone who takes the proper path to U.S. residency and citizenship. These abusers of our system should be given no quarter and allowed no excuse. They not only hurt those who use the system properly, they inevitably hurt people in the process and the damage is often irreparable. That realization made me come to the conclusion that the individual in this case needed to be reported to Homeland Security for his actions leaving them to determine if he has violated the law or defrauded our government. Since his wife doesn’t have the heart to report the man she married to the authorities it was up to someone who actually cares about her to try to make sure he is held accountable for his actions and that she doesn’t get into trouble because he refuses to follow the rules. In my view, if there is any justice Homeland Security will ship him back to his birthplace and refuse him any future entry into the U.S. If they share the information with the French government France might determine he is unwelcome there as well. Nobody likes being played for a fool by unscrupulous people.

From a policy standpoint readdressing the way that people obtain legal residency and citizenship in the U.S. is long overdue. If residency comes as a result of marriage there should be a ten year minimum marriage to even establish permanent residency and fifteen years to support application for citizenship. If the marriage is dissolved prior to the ten year benchmark, the immigrating party should be required to have another sponsor who will assume responsibility for their actions or be made to return to their country of origin. For work residency employers should be responsible for the actions of the immigrant while on U.S. soil and for making sure that the immigrant either has another sponsor or has returned to their country of origin upon termination of their employment at the job for which they received resident status. In re-examining work visa policy we should also establish a six-month temporary worker permit allowing migrant workers to work harvest seasons to support our agricultural industry.

Common sense legislation is needed to address the abuses of our system by more cunning people than those who simply come across our borders undetected. At the same time we need to address the root causes of the type of illegal immigration perpetrated by those who do simply sneak into America without going through the proper process. If the issue is employment of workers in industries that need workers that can work below the nationally established minimum wage to remain viable we need to look at establishing special employment conditions that allow for employers having the workers they need while preserving the security of our borders. For other industries where Americans typically are displaced by cheaper foreign labor simply to increase profit margins, we need harsh penalties for the employers without any loopholes to let them get away with cheating the system. If the issue is intentional deception of Americans to gain legal status the legislation needs to be one of zero tolerance and harsh penalties. Comprehensive reform requires common sense legislation and penalties that actually address the causes of the problems as opposed to one-size-fits all policies that have proven to be ineffective.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer| E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

New Era of Cooperation?

With the incoming administration naming cabinet positions from both sides of the political aisle there is a belief among many pundits that the Obama administration may differ from previous administrations in a genuine desire for bipartisanship in policy making. The question many are raising is whether or not the Republicans will be willing to work with the White House to move the country forward.

In recent years both Democrats and Republicans have had a reputation for using the policy making process to align themselves for the next election. By standing in stark opposition to the other side of the aisle on issues in public only to acquiesce when it comes time to vote has led to policies that have allowed the vocal minority to dictate policy to the detriment of the majority. Moving forward it is clear that this type of behavior must stop if we are to find a way out of one of the worst economic downturns in American history.

The ray of hope in this election cycle has been a toning down of the rhetoric since the election by both sides. Since November 4th most Republicans and Democrats speaking publicly have left behind the highly charged accusations of the past election and have been following the lead of President-Elect Obama in setting a more conciliatory tone. It seems that the message from the American people has been heard and understood by the leaders in Washington. The people have called for change and the real change that we want to see is a group of leaders that actually get work done instead of spending all their time positioning themselves for the next election.

What remains to be seen is whether or not this newfound tone of cooperation will last beyond Inauguration Day. For the next month and a half there will be no new legislation coming out of Washington and no real opportunities to test the resolve of the politicians to make good on their promises to cooperate. Once January comes we will be better able to tell whether the politicians truly intend to cooperate or if it has just been post-election positioning. One thing we should all remember is that they have committed to cooperation now. It is up to us to hold them to their words. It is fine to talk about cooperating but it is an entirely different thing to actually cooperate. For all of our sake, let us hope that they match their words with deeds come January.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to:

Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to


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