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As Long as We Remember...

February 4, 2013

Defining the Terms of “Immigration Reform”

Steven R. Berryman

Count me as being pro comprehensive immigration reform, as long as I get to weigh-in on rational national goals, as well as on the traps, such as unwittingly allowing chain migration in the guise of some family re-unification program under a de-facto amnesty.


It’s not engineers, doctors and lawyers jumping our fences and sending tribute back to some home country; in many cases, it’s semi-skilled workers unable to make it in their own country of origin. Two of three, in the case of Mexican border jumpers, end up on the dole of the American safety net in some fashion.


You carry that cost, especially in Maryland, where the governor seeks to raise your taxes, including the gasoline tax.


A comprehensive plan for how to handle normalization with any of the 20,000,000 illegals already present (the correct number, according to the C.I.S. Center for Immigration Study) must be considered carefully.


Anti-illegals groups like Help Save Maryland insist on a system including payment of back taxes after an accounting, fines if any, criminal background tests, medical evaluation, proof of ability to support themselves and an approved sponsor, English language skills evaluation, classes in citizenship and American culture, and any appropriate waiting period.


Some of these should be put into place as requirement even before the issue of a driver’s license, depending on reciprocal laws in neighboring countries.


An automatic qualification for social safety net programs cannot be part of the deal.


Illegals advocacy groups are promoting the other vision, a tad closer to an amnesty.


From The Washington Post: “Citizenship question roils both parties,” by Peter Wallsten and Rosalind S. Helderman, Published: January 31:

“Immigration advocates close to the White House have vowed to pressure [Barack] Obama if he agrees to what they consider unreasonable preconditions to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Conservatives are either insisting on strict contingencies or refusing to back the idea of citizenship.”


Some Republicans are having an identity crisis over this!


The article continues…


[President] Obama is under pressure to deliver on citizenship from supporters who believe they made his re-election possible. Moreover, many Hispanic leaders think that in his first term, Obama broke a promise to pursue an immigration overhaul. Some advocates remain wary that the president and Democratic lawmakers might be tempted to bargain away their best hope for a clear citizenship path in their quest for a bipartisan deal.”


Are we confusing a “clear path” with an easy path here?


Citizenship, in order to have value, must include strings.


Democrats seek to pay back a political chit from the Obama re-election, continuing a steady stream of would-be party members. Republicans seem ready to betray their previous platform positions, in part to mitigate the above, in part out of their absolute failure to convey conservatism on this issue.


In the old days, we used to call the above a “cop out.”


The devil will be in the details. The president will claim his election mandate to force a final end-product in new immigration policy to his own liking. My guess is that this will end up looking like Obamacare, in that he has no incentive to truly negotiate any position. He does not need to run for the presidency ever again!


Please note that this is not simply about the Hispanics. Asian, African, and Middle-Eastern visas are violated at a record pace now. It is widely known that overstaying a lawful visa is the easy way to “come to America,” and it is equally well known that Homeland Security/ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) does not have the resource to follow up on even a small percentage of violators.


Advocates for undocumented – or “illegal status – immigrants allow that there should be some kind of squatters right to becoming automatically American, and allowed to stay, unfettered and unencumbered after some period of presence, yet undefined.


There are currently between 16 and 21 million illegals present today; which ones to keep, and which ones to deport? If you can prove you’ve been here for two years, is that good enough? One month? Five years?… How is this proven? Present an advantageous utility bill record to any ICE office?


Hopefully we won’t be forced to “pass the bill in order to see what’s in it” again… You know how that one worked out!


[Editor’s Note: Mr. Berryman serves on the Board of Directors of the group Help Save Maryland.]


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