Senator Rand Paul has written an editorial piece for the Washington Times which makes a few good points regarding any sort of illegal immigration legislation
I am in favor of immigration reform. I am also wary of reforms granted now for a promise of border security later. In 1986, Ronald Reagan signed a deal that made just such a promise, yet we are still waiting for the border security that never came. Conservatives are also still waiting for the promised three dollars in spending cuts for every dollar in tax hikes. Fool me once … So, it is understandable conservatives should insist that any immigration reform incorporate the principle of trust but verify.
In that vein, I approach these efforts in good faith. I will advance both immigration reform and verifiable border security. Under my plan for comprehensive reform the US would begin with prioritizing Visas for immigrants with advanced degrees, the so-called STEM Visas and an immediate expansion of the work Visa program. These reforms would happen immediately.
Border Security, including drones, satellite, and physical barriers, vigilant deportation of criminals and increased patrols would begin immediately and be assessed at the end of one year by an investigator general from the General Accountability Office. Most importantly, and in contrast with any other plan out there, my plan will insist that report be presented to Congress for a vote. If, and only if Congress agreed that border security was progressing, then more reforms would ensue. If we can’t secure our border, and if we cannot prove we can modernize our system of issuing and tracking visas, we cannot take on the task of adding more people to our system.
The problem here is that he’s thinking that Democrats, and some squishy Republicans, would use common sense to determine whether or not that border security was “progressing” (and what, exactly, would the standards be?) , when, in fact, those same legislators would immediately determine that the border was secure, so they’d start “normalizing” the status of illegals. What if the Democrats control the House and the Senate? There’s a majority vote for legalization, which, under Rand’s plan would be up to 2 million a year. He can discuss “trust and verify” all he wants, but that won’t happen as long as Democrats are hell bent on amnesty.
Where he runs off the rails is wanting to give up to 11 million illegals a de facto amnesty, which worked horribly when tried under Reagan
Currently, undocumented immigrants have a pathway to citizenship. They can leave the United States and enter legally in about ten years. They just value staying in America, even with the pitfalls of being undocumented, more than returning to Mexico or Central America for ten years.
To those who complain that if anyone is allowed to stay without returning to Mexico that it amounts to amnesty, I say: What we have now is de facto amnesty. No undocumented immigrants are being sent home and no one is seriously advocating rounding up and sending home 11 million people. Immigration reform begins the process of bringing these folks out of the shadows and making American taxpayers out of them.
He ends by calling “immigration reform” the “right thing to do.” Many of these illegals may value staying in America, but so many do not value being American. And Rand forgets that approximately one-third of illegals are those who over-stayed their visas. Rand is apparently thinking that the GOP will pick up a whole bunch of new voters, which won’t happen.
You want a plan? Here’s my plan
- More border security, particularly using armed agents, rather than using drones and fences.
- Use convicts to drive thin metal poles into the ground throughout the border with Mexico in those areas where underground tunnels could be dug
- Increase the fines and penalties on companies who hire illegals to a point where it is extremely risky, and costly, to those individuals and companies that employ them (there would be no legal ramifications for those who have done due diligence to determine legality)
- Massively increase the temporary visa system for temporary workers, said visas to be for no more than a year. Hiring companies would sponsor those visas for the workers, and be responsible for providing health insurance for the workers. These same workers would “lojacked” with a subcutaneous tracking chip to ensure that they leave.
- For those who are already here, if they want to be a U.S. citizen they have to prove it before being put on a pathway to citizenship. They would have to speak and write at least high school level English (adults would also have to demonstrate that their kids can read and write English at the appropriate grade level). They would have to pass a 9th grade test on American history and civics. They would not be allowed to be on any governmental programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc.
- They can’t have a criminal record.
- The minute the plan is initiated, any illegal that is caught will be deported within one week. If they have a family, they can bring them. No long hearings. No whining about the family and kids. No fluffy bunny hand-wringing. Caught, gone. That’s it.
There are certainly more ideas that dive down into the weeds, such as ways to deal with illegals in jails for felonies and sanctuary cities, but, really, this whole “it’s the right thing to do” argument is silly. The illegals did not do the right thing. Furthermore, so many like being here, but do not want to be Americans. Many are calling for a return of the Southwest US to Mexico. Like liberals, they like the benefits of America, just not America.