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First Things First

In yesterday's discussion of the illegal alien problem, James H put forth a version of the "Hope Act" that made a bit of sense:

1) The applicant has to have been brought to this country at least 10 years prior to applying.

2) The applicant must be 18.

3) The applicant must apply for the residency within six months of his 18th birthday, and must do so of his own accord. That is, he has to apply for it when he becomes eligible, NOT when he is caught violating immigration laws as an adult.

4) The applicant must have an educational institution or an employer willing to sponsor him on the initial steps to legal residency. He must also present at least three character references.

5) The applicant must register for Selective Service.

6) The applicant must submit all of his identifying information, including name, place of birth, residency, etc., etc.

7) There will be a limited number of slots avaialble on this path each year. An applicant who is not chosen for this path must be deported.

I think it's a good, sensible, reasonable solution to those folks who were brought illegally to this country as minors. Their illegal status isn't their fault, but it recognizes that their situation is their responsibility.

But I have one caveat I'd put up before we enacted James' idea, though: first, we secure the borders. Because if we don't, we're going to be deluged with a surge of illegal aliens looking to get in on this amnesty program. Oh, they wouldn't qualify, but that wouldn't stop a lot of them -- they'd be working to line up phony documents and getting their supporters to water down the "James H program" so they would sneak in under it.

Just like we saw in 1986, before Reagan signed that infamous illegal alien amnesty bill, and in 2007, when the Kennedy-McCain Amnesty bill was being considered.

Likewise, I have a bit of fondness for the Flat Tax and the national Sales Tax proposals, but I won't support them. Not unless they are hard-coupled to the repeal of the Income Tax, to the point of repealing the 16th Amendment. Otherwise, I think it inevitable that these taxes will not supplant the income tax, but supplement it.

There's nothing we can ever do to completely prevent good intentions from going to hell. But we can foresee certain probabilities, especially based on past experiences, and take steps to minimize or eliminate them.

And if we don't, then it's our own damned fault when they blow up in our faces. Good intentions just don't cut it. Never have, never will.


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Comments (30)

The problem with criteria 2... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The problem with criteria 2 and 7 is that you run into the problem that if the number of slots available is allocated annually, then you run out of slots well before the end of the year and applicants with late birthdays may face a shortage of slots. The fact that they can apply for 6 months after their birthday only means that they can slide their application into the following year, but that would mean the following year's slots fill even earlier. After the first few years the slots would all fill up in the first quarter or two and the other half of the year would be screwed.

I would predict two things: 1) the dems never do anything to secure the border and 2) they wold like this plan because it creates yet another victim group they can exploit.

I would change it to within... (Below threshold)
MunDane68:

I would change it to within 6 mos of your birthday (6 before and 6 after), which is the earliest you can register for the Selective Service. Also, people can enter college before their 18th birthday and that tiny change would encompass that.

I would also add that the applicant can not have, as an adult, any felony arrests of any kind while the process going on.

I like serving in the armed... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

I like serving in the armed services for 4 years, then move to the head of the line for citizenship provided they obtain an honorable discharge.

Otherwise, send them back across the border.

Mass immigration is a funct... (Below threshold)
gsr:

Mass immigration is a function of LIBERALISM - it affects those on the left (mostly) and (some) on the right. It's the inability to differentiate between "us and them".

We are Americans. We support legal immigraion IN LOWER NUMBERS than we currently have had for the last 20 years or so.

We are filling our nation with poor, uneducated Latinos who very often retain loyalty to the beloved Mexico (or Central American country of origin). Furthermore, we are also filling up with Moooslims, who even more than Mexicans, retain loyalty to the stateless "state" of Islam.

We are killing citizenship, killing American heritage, history, customs and JOBS.

Q. Why?
A. Liberalism is a mental disorder. Unable to understand adult wisdom like "good fences make good neighbors" and "if I invite you in my home, you're a guest (legal immigrant) but if I don't invite you and I find you in my home, you're an invader (illegal immigrant).

However, mass, endless, family (chain) immigration is an even bigger problem than illegal immigration.

It's the immigration, stoopid.

"But I have one caveat I... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

"But I have one caveat I'd put up before we enacted James' idea, though: first, we secure the borders. Because if we don't, we're going to be deluged with a surge of illegal aliens looking to get in on this amnesty program. "

How can they cross the border in 2010 and qualify for an amnesty program that requires "the applicant has to have been brought to this country at least 10 years prior to applying?"

"Their illegal status isn't... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"Their illegal status isn't their fault, but it recognizes that their situation is their responsibility."

I disagree.

WIth anyone over 18 if they are in the country illegally IT IS THEIR FAULT. THEY ARE WILLINGLY BREAKING THE LAW.

That if someone is robbing a bank then the illegality of their actions isnt their fault but it is their responsibility.

It is like being pregnant. EITHER YOU ARE OR YOU ARENT. If they were over 18 and came in the country illegally IT IS THEIR FAULT AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITY.

If they were under 18 and brought into the country illegally then the day they hit 18 if they havent left the country then IT IS THEIR FAULT AND THEIR RESPONSIBILITY.

Mr. Ward,I'll answ... (Below threshold)
SER:

Mr. Ward,

I'll answer your question. I grew up in El Paso, Texas and when the Immigration Act was passed in 1986, it had provisions stating that to be granted amnesty, you had to prove you had been in the country for so many years. All you needed for proof was for a couple of people to vouch for you that you had been here for the required number of years. Many people asked other people to vouch for them or their friends - even if they hadn't been in the country for the required amount of time. It worked.

If you've been in the country illegally, you don't necessarily leave a paper trail and liberals won't require one.

As appealing as creating th... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

As appealing as creating this "route to citizenship" for some, it won't work. But first I need to say, we already have a route to citizenship, it's called legal immigration.

So why won't this or any version of the Hope Act work? Shortest answer--attorneys and the media.

Take a look at item #3, "The applicant must apply for the residency within six months of his 18th birthday, and must do so of his own accord. That is, he has to apply for it when he becomes eligible, NOT when he is caught violating immigration laws as an adult." Some attorney is going to get themselves a client who, by registering within the mandated 6 months of their birthday, falls a few days or weeks short of the 10 year requirement. Of course the kid will either be an outstanding student, or a gifted athlete, or something else endearing.

The argument will be made, primarily in the media, about how unfair this law is to this kid who did their best to follow all the rules. An except will ultimately be made, and maybe a court will invalidate the Hope Act upon review. And the floodgates will once again be open.

So, let me again remind everyone that we already have an established route to citizenship, and it's called legal immigration.

Ladies and gentlemen, Lee W... (Below threshold)

Ladies and gentlemen, Lee Ward's brain cell in action.

"But I have one caveat I'd put up before we enacted James' idea, though: first, we secure the borders. Because if we don't, we're going to be deluged with a surge of illegal aliens looking to get in on this amnesty program. "

How can they cross the border in 2010 and qualify for an amnesty program that requires "the applicant has to have been brought to this country at least 10 years prior to applying?"

The very next sentence that Ward (Of The State) did not quote:

Oh, they wouldn't qualify, but that wouldn't stop a lot of them -- they'd be working to line up phony documents and getting their supporters to water down the "James H program" so they would sneak in under it.

Asked and answered, idiot.

That is how his brain cell works: he reads my pieces until he finds something he can nit-pick, then he pounces like a kitten on a laser pointer (but less effectively).

But he's usually not quite this blatantly incompetent...

J.

@ SER - So if you assume th... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

@ SER - So if you assume the "10 year residency" requirement can be scammed - then the 10 year requirement becomes meaningless.

Undocumented workers who are already in the US and have only been here 9 years, or 8 years, ot 7 years can pull the same scam -- and at that point there is no point in having a "been here 10 years" hurdle.

The 10 year proof has to be scam-proof or it's meaningless - and it is easier to do that than to fully secure our border with Mexico.

Once you have a scam-proof way of verifying the 10 year residency requirement it doesn't matter who crosses the border today - they aren't going to be able to prove they've been here 10 years.

I'm not saying securing the border isn't important, I'm saying it's irrelevant to the proposal of amnesty for 10 year US illegals.

lol'ing at J....... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

lol'ing at J....

Jay points to this:<b... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Jay points to this:

Oh, they wouldn't qualify, but that wouldn't stop a lot of them -- they'd be working to line up phony documents and getting their supporters to water down the "James H program" so they would sneak in under it.

and as usual doesn't think it through.

There is no point in having a 10 year residency requirement if the illegals currently in the country for less than 10 years can scam it.

If someone crossing the border today can "line up phony documents" so can someone who has been here 9 years, or two years, or 1 week.

There's no point in having a 10 year requirement if it isn't scam proof, and once you recognize that you can recognize that all Jay is doing is trying to piggyback a secure border requirement on the back of this proposal.

Unfortunately, he's just using his usual shallow thinking and twisted logic to get there.

I'll leave this discussion now so that Jay doesn't turn this comment thread into another of his third-grade schoolyard immature dust-ups - but clearly you have to come up with a scam-proof 10 year hurdle or the hurdle becomes irrelevant.

I still like my way better.... (Below threshold)
Rich:

I still like my way better. Take their stuff and send them back. It simplifies everything so much. No worrying about how long they have been here. No worrying about verification or cheating or lying. Why does everything have to be made so complicated? You guys are just inviting bureaucracy and corruption be it democrat or republican.

Whatever keeps your brain c... (Below threshold)

Whatever keeps your brain cell from having to face how lonely it is, Lee...

And I repeat my offer: would you like me to remove my protection of you from my colleagues, who would like to renew your banning for your multiple personal attacks, libelous accusations, thread hijackings, and all-too-frequent lies? I wouldn't mind having one less ground of contention between me and the rest of the crew here, and I'm the only one who's expressed any tolerance for you at all.

Say the word, and it's gone. Poof.

J.

Lee, Lee, Lee. I didn't say... (Below threshold)

Lee, Lee, Lee. I didn't say they WOULD con the system, but they'd flood here and TRY. And that alone is enough to cause tons of headaches. I didn't spell that out, because I figured anyone with more than one brain cell would realize what I was saying without my having to spell it out for them.

Obviously, I forgot about you and your lonely neuron.

But I don't write for the lowest common denominator (in this case, as quite often, you). I expect my readers to bring a bit of intelligence to the game. And, with exceptions like you and Spurwing Plover, they do.

J.

" No worrying about verific... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

" No worrying about verification or cheating or lying. Why does everything have to be made so complicated? You guys are just inviting bureaucracy and corruption be it democrat or republican.

13. Posted by Rich | June 13, 2010 11:26 AM "

Bingo. Which is the big reason why this plan would not work.

*Build the fence,
*put employers in jail and make them pay big fines if they break the law by knowingly employing illegals,
*put up a small, anonymous cash reward for turning in illegals to ICE,
*seize the assets of ( a la drug bust seizures) and deport anyone caught being here illegally.

*Encourage, improve and streamline the process for getting LEGAL immigrants into this country.

Do these simple things and 90+% of the illegals will get themselves legal or self-deport within a couple of years.

Problem almost completely solved.

What does it mean to "secur... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

What does it mean to "secure the border"? Since many of the people who are here illegally actually entered the country legally (on a visitor or student visa) and then just failed to leave when they were supposed to, it can't just mean building a fence. It has to mean that people who are here illegally can not function in our society: they can't get hired, they can't rent housing, they can't get a mortgage, they are ineligible for government benefits. Once we get these things in place, the illegal alien problem will solve itself, as the illegals will find that their best option is simply to leave. Once that happens, there is no need for Dream legislation or Hope legislation, or whatever they want to call amnesty these days. No amnesty! Just leave.

"you can recognize that all... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"you can recognize that all Jay is doing is trying to piggyback a secure border requirement on the back of this proposal."

Fascinating. Please explain Lee, why it is that you so clearly find the notion of a secure border so offensive? Clearly you do since you disparage the idea so by saying that Jay is trying to sneak it through in the manner stated above.

Why make it so complicated,... (Below threshold)
epador:

Why make it so complicated, as Rich asks in 13?

If they were part of a counterfeiting or drug running operation of their parents' as a minor and then at 18 we cooked up some amnesty program, I doubt that as many folks would be commenting on ways to improve the idea.

I see illegal folks every day. While I have compassion for their complex lives, they aren't facing genocide in their home country. They need to go back and if they want to be here, apply legally.

Here Lee Ward Let me make i... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Here Lee Ward Let me make it easy for you.

Republicans werent for a 10 year waiting period before a black man became president.

Jay Can't you just... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jay

Can't you just ban Lee and get it over with.

It is like we are trying to have a conversation with someone about quantum mechanics and they doesnt understand the concept of 1+1.

Going by the above rules I ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Going by the above rules I would like to nominiate number 8

The applicant is ileligible for any type of state or federal assistance to include public schools, welfare, free healthcare, food stamps, disablity, social security, etc etc until after they become a US citizen

And I would like to add the... (Below threshold)
retired military:

And I would like to add the applicant must be able to read write and speak english at a 12th grade level, testable of course.

Jay I don't write mu... (Below threshold)
Gladius:

Jay
I don't write much but I read you guys here every day and I have often wondered why you let Lee Ward on this site . He is such an a** I don't understand how this person's brain functions. Jay Tea you are a better man then me. God bless ya.

Gladius, Lee Ward is really... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Gladius, Lee Ward is really not that hard to understand. In fact his brain operates at such a fundamentally simplified fashion that people tend to overestimate him.

Lee functions on the simple binary principle, "Democrats good, Republicans evil."

It allows him to function on any subject even if it is previously contradictory.

It allows him to rationalize any behavior by the Democrats as okay and any behavior by Republicans as wrong. Again even if it means taking a position that is completely contradictory to a previous position.

His mind is so simple that he cannot comprehend that it is even possible for the Democrats to be wrong and the Republicans to be right.

In short he is the perfect little Democrat Myrmidon

Deportation is truly the on... (Below threshold)
jpp:

Deportation is truly the only solution to the problem of mass, illegal immigration. But lower numbers of legal immigration is also an important ingrediant, as illegal immigration is often of function of the legal variety.

Immigration moratorium for ten years. The US is NOT a "nation of immigrants" nor is "everyone an immigrant". Both are falacies.

Why do we want foreigners s... (Below threshold)
gsr:

Why do we want foreigners serving in the US Armed Forces? Why? As a ten year veteran of the armed forces, I can assure you very likely, most in uniform do not want illegal amigos.

The average illegal alien in the US and for the past 10-20 years is a grade school educated latino, who barely speaks Spanish correctly, let alone English. And today's armed forces is much more technology oriented, how pray tell, are we all going to communicate? Duh.

Ike had it right. A 2nd round of "Operation Wetback" is the only solution. Mexicans belong in........you guessed it, Mexico. Just like Americans belong in the USA.

Eric You left out ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Eric

You left out one very very big part of Lee Ward's idealogy.

Since the dems have a president who happens to be black then everything the republicans do is automatically racist.

Why do we want for... (Below threshold)
James H:
Why do we want foreigners serving in the US Armed Forces? Why? As a ten year veteran of the armed forces, I can assure you very likely, most in uniform do not want illegal amigos.

Our military forces are as strong as they are precisely because people who are in the military are there because they want to be there. Putting illegal immigrants in the mix jeopardizes that.

Which is why I advocate requiring Selective Service registration. That way, they're part of the military if they're needed (as should be every able-bodied American of that age), but they're not a threat to cohesion otherwise.

I'm with Les:*Enco... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I'm with Les:

*Encourage, improve and streamline the process for getting LEGAL immigrants into this country.

A significant increase in legal immigration: 2 or 3 million 5-yr work visas per annum with right of return for immigrant and no path to citizenship. Visas issued in Mexico City with airfare covered by employers to cut out the coyotes. And we can require a certain level of proficiency in English as a condition of entry.

I would prefer that they work here and live there. At some point they may begin to wonder why so many poor people live in such a rich country and challenge that semi-constitutional kleptocracy.

*Build the fence.

The Minute Man Project should have taught us that a minimal increase in manpower at the border will result in significant improvements in border security.




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