Here in the New York City area, where I am writing this, there could be as many as a million illegal aliens living in the region. Nobody really knows the exact number because the local authorities don't ask they don't want to know.
What the authorities do know is that the city's economy would collapse if all the illegals were rounded up and taken away.
And, certainly, the powers-that-be in New York, California and everywhere else illegal labor is embedded don't want disruption. I mean, who's gonna drive the cabs and clean the dishes?
It is important to understand that mentality in deciding what to think about the illegal immigration mess. Business in America is solidly behind the chaos, and so are many politicians, although they'd never admit it. That's why nothing has been done to solve the illegal immigration problem for more than 20 years.
But many regular folks are angry about the immigration crisis. Neighborhoods are different, crimes are committed by foreign nationals who shouldn't be here, press one for English on your telephone, and so on. We are all impacted by this colossal mess, but divided as to how to deal with it.
The hard-line anti-immigration people want the illegals out. They broke the law; they must go.
Many liberal Americans want compassion. The illegals are poor; let them stay.
And the great middle watches the ping-pong game of charges and countercharges. The result: Nothing is getting done.
So here is my no spin immigration plan, which, I believe, is fair and would be acceptable to most Americans.
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First, the southern border must be protected by at least 700 miles of barrier, backed up by a doubling of the Border Patrol. To assist those federal agents, 10,000 National Guard would be stationed near the border.
That would effectively close the border to smugglers of humans and drugs. If you oppose that strategy, you do not want a secure border. Period.
Second, all illegal aliens currently in the USA must register at their local post office with Homeland Security. If they do not register, they would be subject to immediate deportation. After processing by the feds, the aliens would then receive a tamper-proof identification card, allowing them to temporarily work here.
Third, any business that hires aliens who do not have the government-issued ID would be criminally charged.
Fourth, all registered illegal aliens would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Those deemed by federal authorities to be self-sufficient, law-abiding people would receive the so-called "Z-Visas," giving them resident status but not automatic citizenship. That would have to be earned over a number of years by complying with a set of obligations, including paying fines and back taxes, learning English and staying employed.
Any alien with a criminal record, or who is unemployed, would not be eligible for the Z-Visa.
That takes the blanket amnesty issue off the table and shifts responsibility onto those who entered the USA illegally. They must prove they are responsible enough for citizenship.
Unfortunately, some on the left object to strenuous regulations for illegal aliens, but that point of view has no future. Most Americans, according to the polls, will accept new compatriots provided the southern pipeline is shut down and a fair penalty for illegal behavior is imposed.
My plan is just one page long, not 800 pages like the Senate madness. It can be done.