Nov 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm #1310229
Who knows what the actual law will look like but I much prefer that they work on immigration reform issue by issue instead of a comprehensive piece of legislation.
What I'd personally like to see:
1. The borders locked forcing all entry through the ports of entry where every person can be vetted for lawful entry or denied if they have been convicted of certain criminal offenses. I realize that this is much easier said than done.
2. Greatly reduce the red tape so obtaining a visa is a viable alternative to illegal entry. No visa shall be issued without a full review of the applicant's criminal history.
3. Offer two options for those who are illegally in the U.S. in lieu of deportation. Return to country of citizenship and obtain visa no-harm-no-foul presuming the applicant has not been convicted of certain criminal offenses or adjust status in U.S. to lawful permanent resident but permanently ineligible to naturalize as US citizen. This is obviously controversial and deserving of its own flame war but since both the GOP and Democrats have done nothing to change the immigration status quo, I see this as an area where some discretion should be exercised. Again, neither option would be available for those who have been convicted of serious criminal offenses.
4. Presumably once 1,2,& 3 have been fully implemented, only criminal aliens ineligible to adjust to legal status would remain (that's the theory anyways). eVerify will be mandated on every employer. Sanctions and fines will be enforced on employers who hire illegal aliens (that's the legal term). This will hopefully starve them of jobs and further create a disincentive to illegally enter the U.S.Nov 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm #2048029
Staying away from the flamier parts of your proposal,
>"No visa shall be issued without a full review of the applicant's criminal history. "
There are currently many countries whose citizens can enter the USA for <90 days under the Visa Waiver Program. Most all of Europe now (formerly just Western Europe), Japan, Australia, NZ, etc. They are compared against the no-fly list before being allowed to board.
If we raise the bar for the most friendly countries, all of them will be pissed and some of them will retaliate with their own, onerous procedures. I rather like that I can hop on a plane to most of world whenever I like. It is unfair that I can do that while 5/7 of humanity can't, but I like that I can. Requiring visas for simple tourism is bothersome, reduces revenue from tourism and minimizes the kind of international goodwill we could use more of.Nov 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm #2048034
I'm primarily speaking of immigrant visas for people who will move to the U.S. and reside here as a lawful permanent resident.
I don't see any point to change the VWP or non-immigrant visas (e.g. tourist, student) or at least, unaware of any reason. People entering as part of the VWP (to my knowledge) are spot checked as needed. They are automatically precluded from entering under the VWP if they have certain criminal convictions; that doesn't mean people don't slip through. As far as non-immigrant visas go, I think they can be screened the same as the immigrant visas.
Regarding VWP, Canada spot checks as well; it's not uncommon for them to turn Americans around who have a DUI conviction. For better or for worse, here in the U.S., a DUI conviction will not prevent you from entering or remaining in the U.S.Nov 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm #2048043
>"a DUI conviction will not prevent you from entering or remaining in the U.S."
There's no barrier to leaving. The airline wants to see your passport/visa for an international flight because they don't want to have to bring you back if you're denied entry. But you can drive to two different countries from the USA and sail to a hundred more.
And there's no barrier to re-entering your own country, even if you are a criminal or have a past conviction. You might be arrested, but you are allowed in, regardless. That is an underpinning of international travel – a different country doesn't have to let you in, but your own country has to take you back. Rare exceptions arise (that guy in the Paris airport, some Gitmo detainees, etc, but hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) are deported back to their home countries, or denied entry and therefore end up back where they started. Otherwise border stations would be huge refugee camps.Nov 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm #2048056
"And there's no barrier to re-entering your own country"
There's certainly no barrier to re-entering the U.S. if you're a citizen. We have more than a few career criminals in our local community who have an outstanding order of deportation but their country won't take them back so they remain in limbo here in the U.S.
Just to clarify for anyone who reads this as "locking the border down" means different things to different people. What I'm speaking of is forcing people to enter the U.S. through a port of entry to the best extent possible. I'm not proposing that we prohibit people from entering.Nov 25, 2013 at 8:04 pm #2048113
W I S N E R !Participant
On second thought….I'm keeping my mouth shut.Nov 25, 2013 at 9:15 pm #2048132
Sorry I missed your response. It would have been interesting to hear your thoughts on the topic if you have an opposing viewpoint.
U.S. Immigration law in unbelievably complicated, second only to tax law, and I'm not trying to imply differently. I could fill pages supporting the four bullets from my OP but realize that I don't know it all and I enjoy hearing other opinions and viewpoints on the topic.
There's never going to be a perfect system but I think we can do better than one which encourages people to live in the shadows and not enjoy the privileges of full membership whether that be as a LPR or citizen, especially when often times they are being exploited. Either way, we've ignored this topic here in the U.S. for far too long.Nov 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm #2048146
I'm tired and it's late, but I'll endure the arrows and slings…Ian I agree with you on most of your points, but the reality of the whole situation sucks. I've lived on the border for 31 years and I'm convinced that most Americans have no idea of the realities of the immigration problems pertaining to both sides of the border. We all would like the ideal situation to exist for the benefit of all, that would be a wonderful thing.
There are already penalties in place for hireling illegals, but they are not enforceable. Here they are trying to enforce them and have with some success, but when I travel north like say to Colorado, I see that every kitchen in every resort town has illegals in the back either cooking or doing menial jobs. Illegal immigration is supported by our businesses and that in my mind is enabling the whole mess to continue. As is the drug problem we have, until people stop taking imported drugs, the importation and trafficking will not stop. This is a huge problem here. I hike the sections of the AZ Trail that no one else will cause they re too scared, the cartels have taken over our borderlands through fear, and I refuse to let that stop me but I'm armed and I'm crazy so don't mess with me cause I'm not afraid to use it. :-) and I grew up with Marines so I do recon all the time. We have jaguar here too by the way, nine sightings on camera by June of 2013 alone.
So in my wandering a I have also encountered illegals and had some interesting conversations about their realities. They cannot get VISAs, period. These are the survivors of civil wars and government programs of destruction. The authorities are simply not giving them out. Many countries south of us are full of desperate, starving people who have no choice but to try to go north. Along the way they are robbed and raped, taken advantage of by the coyotes and just recently we found dead ones with bullet holes in their heads, apparently they are paying to be led across, but are being executed when within sight of border towns. It's a real heartbreaking mess.
As far as "sealing the border". There realistically is no way to do it until we develop the technology to create a barrier that truly does seal the border. The terrain is very very rough, crosses alluvial fans and is a logistical nightmare for the BP to navigate. Those guys do their best, and believe it or not, most of them are very sympathetic and kind to border crossers that are not drug related. They spend most of their time doing rescues. We have UAV's we have night optics, heat sensors and other technologies to help us but it is still not enough. It is physically impossible now to catch all the crossers, they can only apprehend so many. We live in a war zone with helicopters, UAV, balloons and BP all over the place.
Criminals who are released from jails in Mexico and South America are actually encouraged to go north to America. They are in fact given comic books that tell them exactly how to do it, (apparently many of them cannot read) we have been finding them for decades down here, along with copies of the Koran and literature from Africa and all over the world. Those of us that found this stuff cleaning up acres of trash on our lease land and ranches reported it 30 years ago but we were ridiculed and ignored. You think we can keep the bad guys out. Heck they are already here. They just walked in one night and caught a ride north on I-10.
So the issue is very complicated. The people in Washington are very far away and insulated from the issue. Even Janet Neopolitano betrayed us in her own state after she left, she says there is no immigration problem and the border is safe……she's an idiot.
Perhaps handling it in "pieces" is the only way they can do it, it's so volatile. When the subject comes up I usually just leave. People are idealists. Nothing wrong with that but reality rears it's ugly head down here on a regular basis and people die on both sides all of the time and it's repressed. The morgues in Tucson are so full of illegal bodies they had to get more freezers, and those people REALLY see the reality of the situation more than anyone. It's a very sad situation and I truly wish we could just give those who really want to work green cards so they can work, cause it's obvious we have a bunch of fat spoiled and indulged Americans now who refuse to do the menial labor that immigrants are willing to do to live.
The criminal element is a whole nuther ball of wax. Just in my very rural neighborhood we have had mothers escorting their children to bus stops in the early morning assaulted and robbed of their vehicles by illegal criminals who think nothing of breaking into homes, robbing elderly Americans and starting fires in our National Forests as diversions for drug runs that cost us millions of dollars a year. But you won't hear all of this north of here, the information is squelched. We are forsaken and told we are crazy when we want to defend and protect ourselves.
I appreciate that you are thinking of the issue and would like to hear some solutions to the problem, and so would I, but the fact remains that things will continue to go the way they are cause someone in our government wants them to…..if they wanted to fix the problem it would be
solved. And quick. Those of us that live here think that someone is being paid off to let things continue the way they are cause there is money in it. Money talks. Everything else falls by the wayside, including peoples lives.Nov 25, 2013 at 11:25 pm #2048156
I'll dive into a little more. Rather than jump to policies, maybe discuss goals first. All of the following, I think are generally accepted as good goals:
– low crime
– human rights
– minimize deaths
– keep adjacent countries stable (e.g. Mexico, we don't have to worry about Canada).
– grow our economy
– educate the next generation
– care for our elderly
Most of which suggest a controlled system of immigration, more careful screening, a path to citizenship, and facilitating the education of immigrant's children.
Some criteria that aren't shared by all include:
– cheap labor
– rule of law
– exactly what is human rights
Broadly, D's go for expansive definitions of human rights to include people that may be lower-class, non-white, non-USA born, non-straight, non-able-bodied. Broadly, R's go more strongly for rule-of-law and cheap labor and support the rights of English-speaking, white males born of families in the USA for at least one but not more than 10 generations.
D's and R's will probably never agree on what human rights are. Even R's accept the best behaved African Americans as fully human. Even D's have trouble forgiving pedophiles for their thought crimes. But in between those extremes, there's not a lot of overlap, at least among the "base" of each party.
R's are more conflicted on this issue. Their rank&file are strongly in favor of the rule-of-law while their business supporters want cheap labor. And those are at odds. If everyone is here legally, there is not such an underclass.
Something the D's don't talk about (because it would piss off their hispanic voters) and the Rs don't either (because the current paradigm maintains low wages) is the strong preference for relatives of American citizens over people with higher-level education and job skills. A Mexican peasant from a rural village with minimal education can be admitted legally more quickly than a 5-year university graduate from Slovakia. There's a huge Mexican-American lobby, but not so from other second-world countries which we could actually "brain-drain" of their best and brightest. This is what other developed countries do. How do you provide lower-cost health care to your whole population? With MORE doctors. Where to find them? Many docs in India, Philippines, or South Africa would love to come here and that's how Britain and other countries staff their clinics. Why do we outsource so many jobs to Bangalore? Let's bring those high-skilled workers HERE, tax them, and benefit from the smart and motivated kids they will have.
There's a range of what's acceptable in immigration each year. Between 2 and 3 million. I'd like us to give high priority to the most skilled immigrants and not put people in the front of the line because they have relatives here. It won't happen, because the relatives that are already here are very squeaky wheels, but I think national policy should be about national benefits, not personal ones.Nov 26, 2013 at 1:03 am #2048171
Just an anecdote here.
My father owns a landscaping business here. Many of his employees are obviously illegal. He does not pay them under the table, he fills out all of the proper forms when he employs them. Pays taxes and everything These forms include social security numbers. I think his employees are putting in random or fake social security numbers and the IRS is just ignoring it… I could be wrong though.
The only time he has had an issue is when one employee was using someone else social security number and he was forced by the IRS to fire that employee.
So yes, no enforcement on the part of the IRS.Nov 26, 2013 at 5:49 am #2048196
I mentioned it in the OP but I agree with you, sealing the border is a great idea but unbelievably difficult if not impossible to implement.
The problem with that side of the discussion, as I mentioned above, is that "sealing the border" means different things to different people. I know when I say this that I mean that I want to stop people from illegally entering the country but I'm perfectly ok with people entering through a POE with a visa (or VWP if appropriate). Invariably someone will spin that position into one of xenophobia, racism, etc. (fortunately not here yet) which isn't true, at least not for me.
The reality is that even with technology, a fence, and increasing the size of US Border Patrol, people will still sneak in.
That's why I believe a solution has to be multi-tiered and that's where eVerify comes in. As Justin mentioned, there are X millions of illegal aliens who are working without a visa here in the U.S. As a kid back in the '80s, I accidently screwed up my SS# by one number when I was hired by a local pizzeria and my I9 was rejected by HR almost immediately.
We don't have to conduct these multimillion dollar dog-and-pony-show worksite enforcement operations and arrest thousands of aliens to make this work. My opinion is that if we 1) make the visas available to cover the labor need (temporary worker or otherwise) 2) make eVerify or other acceptable program mandatory, and 3) fine the employers, we'll be much better off than where we are now. Not perfect, just better.Nov 26, 2013 at 6:08 am #2048199
I agree with you down the line:
– low crime
There are Zetas and other Cartel types in the U.S. that need to go. One of them lived about 40 minutes away from me and slaughtered 30 of his countrymen when he returned to Mexico.
– human rights
Absolutely. Speaks for itself.
– minimize deaths
I think immigration reform will have to include a means for illegal aliens to adjust status to LPR. My absolute largest concern with this is what this will do to our southern border. When I was TDY'd to Arizona back in 2003, there was a rumor in Mexico that W. was going to offer amnesty to illegal aliens and that you had to be in the U.S. to receive it. Obviously you can't swing a dead cat over your head in Arizona without meeting a Border Patrol Agent (or 50) but from speaking with them, US Border Patrol was quickly overwhelmed. People were dropping like flies in the desert and supposedly it was one of their worst years for alien fatalities on record. I didn't go into much detail about this in the OP but that's why I prefer for the visas to be issued outside of the U.S.
– keep adjacent countries stable (e.g. Mexico, we don't have to worry about Canada).
Couldn't agree with you more. Our future is tied with Mexico's.
– grow our economy
– educate the next generation
– care for our elderly
Yes. Yes. Yes.Nov 26, 2013 at 10:28 am #2048256
Yes, Ian and David I agree with you on all points, much good could be done if our leadership would in fact lead.
I am glad racism has not entered and hopefully will not in this conversation, my married family is descended from immigrants from Spain and Mexico, and in reality for those of us here, there is no border when it comes to friends and family, it's always been that way here. This is why I think we all instinctively don't like "borders", borders impose artificial divisions of families. And it does nothing to stop the flow of interaction and commerce, both good and bad. I only hope that my insights from the war zone give people reading this a more realistic view of what is happening here. Racism is for small minds. As is judging people by their birth place.
Every time the current President offers amnesty for migrants it's a death knell for men, women and children who only seek relief from inhumane conditions where they come from. We are seeing a lot of Indians now from South America as their local governments and the cartels practice quiet genocides for land take overs. They take the lands to grow drugs.
If indeed our fate is tied to Mexico, then we are in a LOT of trouble. But then again, my opinion only, I have always believed that the USA should take over Mexico and make it the 51st state and eradicate the cartels completely. Mexico is a beautiful place with many gorgeous places to relax and enjoy the ambiance, it would make a perfect "vacation" state. This would be a fantastic economical opportunity for the locals to make a living where they live. It USED to be that way, the people were happy, cottage industries thrived, the rent was cheap and the enjoyments many. Just 30 years ago we used to regularly travel south, and trade needed goods for artwork and their goods to take home and enjoy, the food was awesome, interacting with locals was really fun as was exploring the countrysides. Backpacking and hiking in Mexico was wonderful fun, there are so many different "zones" to explore. Now it's taking your life in your hands to just go to the beach!
Justin, my side of the family is northern european immigrant and as such appreciated the opportunities that a young America provided, and as such in turn also employed and imported legally, immigrants for work on our ranches and fruit farms in California and as household help later, from all over the world, giving these folks training and the skills and the opportunity to immigrate in the proper and legal manner. We also provided housing and transportation. It can still be done by those who care to do it, but of course it is both cheaper and less work to do this illegally. And the employers avoid the taxes of course. What they fail to see is that by doing illegal employment, they are in fact costing everyone more in the end and they themselves lose the benefits of doing things the legally correct and morally correct way. Morals it seems, in this country have gone the way of manners, not a lot of people have them.Nov 26, 2013 at 11:17 am #2048267
I see what you are saying, but that's not true for all illegal immigrant employment. My father, just using as an example, pays above minimum wage, pays taxes on their wages, and they have filled out the proper forms for "legal" employment. My theory is that the IRS wants all the taxes they can get and doesn't enforce this.
Some businesses do pay under the table, avoid taxes, and pay cheap wages.
One guy I worked with is a legal resident and he would always say (jokingly) that he regretted not crossing the border illegally because it would have saved him so much hassle ;)
I also met a few immigrants who fled their country when they got tired of seeing dismembered bodies of drug cartel victims laying out in the streets.Nov 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm #2048278
Yes, it is very gruesome..the cartels have filled the mine shafts here too….yes I understand your family has done things the correct way. It's a shame that those who do, like your friend are paying so much and those who don't are getting away with it.
The generations past had a different attitude, now the new generations have lost that, feel they are entitled to free hand outs, it's the "haves" against the "have nots" as they say. My daughter when she lived here was in the supermarket checkout line, and was rudely bumped hard from behind by a Mexican in a hurry…she turned to her and said "You are a GUEST in this country, try acting like it!" It was hard for me not to fall down laughing…..
We used me to have a wonderful student exchange program here across the border, which my kids all did, they had to earn the privilege of visiting and staying with a Mexican family and they did the same. We really enjoyed those educational visits as the kids came from the interior not the border towns, now of course this has been discontinued, very sad. The cartels put an end to many good things here.
Ah well, beating a dead horse. I'm going hiking.Nov 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm #2048379
W I S N E R !Participant
"If indeed our fate is tied to Mexico, then we are in a LOT of trouble. But then again, my opinion only, I have always believed that the USA should take over Mexico and make it the 51st state and eradicate the cartels completely. Mexico is a beautiful place with many gorgeous places to relax and enjoy the ambiance, it would make a perfect "vacation" state. This would be a fantastic economical opportunity for the locals to make a living where they live. It USED to be that way, the people were happy, cottage industries thrived, the rent was cheap and the enjoyments many. Just 30 years ago we used to regularly travel south, and trade needed goods for artwork and their goods to take home and enjoy, the food was awesome, interacting with locals was really fun as was exploring the countrysides. Backpacking and hiking in Mexico was wonderful fun, there are so many different "zones" to explore. Now it's taking your life in your hands to just go to the beach!"
Tell me I'm not the only one left absolutely and completely speechless by this statement.
I don't even know where to start with this…
And to top it off, the very same post finishes with a lament of the loss of morals and manners in this country.
Fascinating.Nov 26, 2013 at 8:44 pm #2048483
Wow, finally some judgementalism……thanks. ;-)
So eradicating evil and freeing the people to make a decent living is bad. I'm not talking about wiping out a culture here..It's just my musing..never mind, means nothing to anyone anyways.Nov 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm #2048500
I don't see what you are wowed about Craig.Nov 27, 2013 at 5:45 am #2048541
"So eradicating evil and freeing the people to make a decent living is bad. I'm not talking about wiping out a culture here..It's just my musing..never mind, means nothing to anyone anyways."
With all due respect, taking over Mexico and making it OUR 51st state so we can use it as OUR vacation paradise isn't quite freeing the people to make a decent living – it's simply subjugating an entire people to a different master. That's not really a good thing.Nov 27, 2013 at 7:26 am #2048561
"That's not really a good thing."
Well let's think outside of the box here… you can't get chili rellenos in the US that are of the same caliber as what you can find in Mexico. I've proposed full scale invasions for less than this.
Joking people. Jokes.Nov 27, 2013 at 8:22 am #2048592
I was thinking more like tongue in cheek people….wow…if you have any better ideas just pipe up.
We can't support the people we have now.
Hey did anyone see the report on immigration on world news tonight? They of course focused on the issue of exemptions for the children of illegals cause they are "innocent". Is anyone here of the opinion that illegal is ILLEGAL regardless of age?
Flame on!Nov 27, 2013 at 8:33 am #2048596
I've met people who can't speak Spanish and have no memory of Mexico who are illegal because they were smuggled in with their parents as babies. Conversely, I've met people who can't speak English, who've spent their whole lives in Mexico, but are US Citizens because they were born here and their parents moved or were deported back to Mexico when they were children.
I believe in the rule of law but I also believe in prosecutorial discretion. If you've ever had a police officer let you go with a warning when you factually violated a traffic or criminal law, then you've received the benefit of prosecutorial discretion. The reality is that our criminal justice and immigration system cannot and should not process every case encountered by law enforcement.
DACA allows for some of these children to adjust status to LPR if certain conditions have been met. With the exception of someone who has been on a non stop crime spree, I think they should be cut some slack.Nov 27, 2013 at 8:49 am #2048604
Ok, so I'm playing devils advocate here…..
But don't you think doing this gets the foot in the door for more "exemptions". I call it bending the law to suit the times. I'm not saying its BAD, just pointing out that if we start making exceptions it might lead to other exceptions that aren't so beneficial.
I admired the pres when he was interrupted by an illegal oriental student and his supporters during a speech the other day, he pointed out that he cannot just change or over ride the law and that he knew they had to use the system that is already in place to make progress on the issue.
Personally, if I break the law, I don't expect any coddling, I expect to pay the price.Nov 27, 2013 at 8:55 am #2048608
I think those can be handled on a case by case basis. There's something that seems inherently wrong about deporting someone who has spent all of their life in the U.S., has graduated from High School, etc, just because their parents smuggled them in when they were seven years old.
Just my opinion and I respect that you are entitled to yours.
BTW by no means am I the PC or grammar police but I believe "Asian" instead of "Oriental" is correct. I could be wrong.Nov 27, 2013 at 8:58 am #2048609
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
If your tongue-in-cheek reads like an unironic colonialist fantasy, you're doing it wrong.
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