September 23, 2015
The candidates have spoken and made their views known on one of the major policy issues. By now, Americans get the message that immigration will help decide who wins the U.S. Presidency come 2016. Both democrats and republicans, have their solutions to the immigration troubles, but finding a lasting solution to the problem, is far from a one-sided liberal or conservative initiative.
If there is one thing we all agree on, it is the fact that current immigration laws need a complete overhaul. Our elected officials in Congress know the solutions but they’re failing to deal with the issue due to partisan politics and the fear of losing support of the groups most favored by the current immigration laws.
Illegal immigration will remain unsolved for generations to come, unless drastic actions are taken to deal with the problems once and for all. Finding a solution requires a hybrid approach that must include, both conservative and liberal initiatives to dealing with the problem at its source.
Some of the solutions offered here, may seem too harsh or extremely conservative, while some could be interpreted as too liberal but in reality, they offer the best ways to ending illegal immigration in America, if tested.
It is impossible for a nation to have a workable immigration policy without a secured border. Conservatives in Congress have long advocated protecting U.S. border with Mexico, while liberals have rejected the argument as impracticable. The fact is any liberal reform to immigration will fail, unless steps are taken to secure the U.S. border.
For the next president either democrat or republican to be successful on immigration, he or she must realize importance of protecting the border or else, no other initiative will work until the conservative demand for a secured border is implemented in any reform to the nation’s immigration issues.
Another controversy that has dominated debates on immigration is what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants in America. The liberal view is to offer those already here the right to work and stay, which conservatives have rejected as amnesty or a solution that promotes illegal immigration.
Sending back those already here seem unreasonable for the following reasons: Millions of those facing deportation have children that are U.S. citizens, some have families here and many have established their roots in America. Deporting 11 million will create a heavy financial burden on state resources, tear families apart and make some children to become wards of state.
Even in a situation where those children are sent to their parents’ home country, the U.S. will end up paying the price in the future. Those children are U.S. citizens and no matter how long they live outside the United States, they’ll one day return to claim their birthrights. The U.S. will end up with children raised in a different culture and language that may lack loyalty to the U.S. or be treated as second-class citizens on return to their nation of birth.
The solution is to incorporate the liberal approach by making the 11 million already here legal. However, they must pay the price for breaking U.S. law. Those qualified must pay a fine to be decided by Congress and there should be no shortcut to citizenship, a point that conservatives have long stressed. The path to citizenship for people in that class should take 15 years instead of 5 years for those who are here legally.
Conservatives have also asked for a tracking system to monitor the flow of visitors to the United States a measure, liberals are saying is unworkable. The point is for the U.S. to end illegal immigration, there must be a system in place to track those on visitor’s visa to the United States. Many have come here and refused to return to their home country due to the loopholes in U.S entry policies.
With the latest technologies, U.S. custom must be able to determine when a visitor comes in and when he leaves. Failure to leave should trigger a notice to U.S. immigration and a demand that such person leaves immediately or begin to incur a daily fine of $300 for as long as the visitor remains illegally in the U.S. This conservative approach may seem too harsh but unless liberals see it as a way forward, ending illegal immigration may become a difficult task.
Those who have a legitimate reason for overstaying their visas must show evidence and for those with no such excuse, total fine must be paid on the day they decide to leave the country. For those who choose to stay illegally, the day of reckoning would be when they apply for legal status and total fine due must be tendered depending on how long the person has remained in the country.
Also, both liberal and conservative members of Congress must see the need to relax U.S. visa requirements. U.S. visa is one of the most difficult in the world to get, a reason visitors remain here illegally for fear they wouldn’t be able to return. The strict visa rules apply to third world nations including Mexico, a country that borders the U.S. but yet, its citizens are unable to visit America freely.
In a recent CNN debate by Republican candidates, Sen. Lindsey Graham, stated that U.S. has two borders, one with Mexico and the other with Canada. He then went further, to say he has never met an illegal immigrant from Canada. The fact is, Canadians are visa free to the U.S., the country has a robust economy and as a result, there is no reason for a Canadian to remain here illegally.
As for Mexico the case is different. Mexicans do not enjoy the kind of visa waiver policy U.S. has with Canada and most Mexicans here in the United States are economic refugees. Because of their economic condition and the strict visa rules, most Mexicans stay here illegally when they get the chance to come.
The solution is to relax the visa requirements by making it easier for Mexicans and other visitors to come, while at the same time you make it easy for them to leave by implementing the measures initially discussed. Given the opportunity to come and go freely, most people will choose not to stay illegally, knowing there is a repercussion for illegal stay.
Conservatives headed by the leading Presidential candidate Donald Trump, have also called for an end to birthright citizenship. Their argument is that the measure is a catalyst for illegal immigration. On the other hand, liberals want to maintain the status quo and see no reason a child born in the U.S. would be denied citizenship based on illegal status of the parents.
To fix this problem, the Left must see the need to add new rules to the birthright law in place. A child born in the U.S. shouldn’t be stripped of his birthright. However, an amendment to the law must be in place to make sure that those here solely for that purpose don’t abuse the system.
The medical costs are enormous and become a burden on the state when a woman comes here illegally to give birth and then leaves with the baby and a U.S. passport without paying the medical bills. There are even hotels in the U.S. charging fees to harbor expecting mothers who come purposely for the same reason.
While there is no need to end the birthright citizenship in its entirety, a child born to parents with visa to work, study or reside in the U.S. shouldn’t be denied that right. In other circumstances, a child born to an illegal immigrant must have a waiting period of 20 years or be able to claim his citizenship at the age of maturity, if the child can prove he has lived in the U.S. his entire life.
Other immigration issue is what to do with criminals. Conservatives including Mr. Trump are calling for criminals to be deported to their home country immediately, while liberals use a softer approach by leaving such matter to each state.
To end illegal immigration, democrats must agree there is no benefit allowing criminals to stay in the country. While most criminals in U.S. jails are Americans, it is no justification for the undocumented to violate U.S. laws. A person in the U.S. illegally with the intention to remain must respect the law and be a law-abiding resident. If such person commits a serious crime, it is unreasonable and unsafe to give him legal status or let him stay in the country.
There are so many issues with the U.S. immigration law but the solution is not a one-way approach. To end the stalemate on immigration, both sides must see the need for a two-way solution that incorporates both liberal and conservative approach to the problems. A partisan solution will not work. Finding a way to end illegal immigration will require a hybrid of both conservative and liberal ideologies.