ActivismEconomyGovernmentMilitarySocial IssuesUS PoliticsWorld Politics

An Acceptable Amnesty Solution For Illegal Immigrants

Updated on April 01, 2015
wilderness profile image

Dan has been a homeowner for some 40 years, and has nearly always done his own repair and improvement tasks. He is a licensed electrician.

Why Give Any Amnesty to Illegal Immigrants?

Right from the start, let me make my position very clear: illegal aliens residing in America have no right to be here. They are not immigrants - immigration to the US requires certain actions on the part of the immigrant that are not being fulfilled. That America has allowed and encouraged the practice of foreign nationalities to reside here illegally is disgraceful and cannot be tolerated any further. It is extremely harmful in almost too many ways to count, from the economy to the school system to the justice system. In my opinion, every person in this country illegally should be deported, either voluntarily or if necessary involuntarily.

Having said that I also recognize the necessity of some kind of compromise. Like it or not, our country runs on politics and any long term solution to the problem will be a political one with no one completely happy with the result. With that in mind, please consider the following program for dealing with the illegal aliens (immigrants) within our borders.

Swedish immigrants passing through Boston, 1853.
Swedish immigrants passing through Boston, 1853. | Source

Immigration has been a part of making American what it is, but the day of accepting anyone and everyone wanting in must end. At the time of this photo immigration basically amounted to coming and working your way through life. It has become, to a large degree, come and live off of the American worker while contributing a fraction of what is needed to care for yourself. Such an attitude is not acceptable and must stop.

An Amnesty Proposal

Any proposal for amnesty will contain many discrete points of contention, but I would consider the following to be perhaps the most important:

  • Any illegal alien in the country must receive a "green" card good for two years. Within that time span the person must become fluent in English and able to read at a level sufficient to pass the citizenship test. All other requirements for citizenship must also be met, including passing the civics portion of that test. This will require an expedited system for the millions of people expected to take the test within two years. If you don't want to be a citizen or won't put out the effort to become a citizen we don't want you.
  • Any but the most minor of legal violations during those two years will mean immediate deportation. Convictions for jaywalking or speeding should not qualify for deportation, but any conviction for a violent crime, dealing drugs, DUI, driving without a license or without insurance would all result in deportation. Neither list is intended to be complete, but the idea is there - if you continue to flaunt the laws as you have in the past we don't want you.
  • Any form of government handouts will cease immediately and will never be available again. No welfare payments of any kind will be allowed. No school loans or grants. No medicaid. No WIC or food stamps. The illegal alien forever gives up any right, even as a citizen, to these programs. An exception could be made for minor children and school funding if the child turns 18 within 18 years of the date of their citizenship (automatic on the parents becoming citizens). Social Security, however, is not a handout and if the immigrant pays into the system they should definitely receive SS after retirement. If you can't support yourself even after being given amnesty for abusing the system during illegal years we don't need you.
  • Any illegal alien currently in jail to serve their sentence or 6 months, whichever comes first, and be deported. We don't need more criminals. An exception should be made for violent criminals and, given our war on drugs, drug dealers; serve the full sentence before deportation.
  • Medical costs and bills are a special problem. Medical bills that are incurred but unpaid during the two year "green card" period shall be reimbursed to the hospital, doctor or pharmacy by the government at medicare rates, but then wages shall be garnished in such a way that the bill is repaid to the government within 10 years maximum, shorter times for smaller amounts. Medical bills incurred after citizenship to be handled the same as every other citizen.

Immigrants that have paid into the system should receive benefits the same as anyone else.
Immigrants that have paid into the system should receive benefits the same as anyone else. | Source

To Go Along With Amnesty

No amnesty program will be worth anything at all to the country without a huge reduction in the incentive to become an illegal immigrant. With that in mind, the following additions to work rules are to be implemented:

  • A system of quickly and easily verifying citizenship or green card validity must be implemented. The E-Verify system shows promise but is not the complete answer even if fully implemented. Employers, schools, police, welfare offices - nearly every government agency must check for citizenship (or valid green card) on a routine basis. I realize this is an imposition of personal privacy, but so is homeland security. It is the price we must pay to retake our country from millions of illegal aliens.
  • Any company found hiring illegal aliens must be fined heavily. My suggestion is a fine of $2,000 for a first offense, half of the previous years income for a second and the previous years income for subsequent offenses within a 5 year period. This will likely put a small company out of business after a third offense and larger companies out of business after only 4 or 5 offenses; fair enough as large business will have many locations with many hiring offices and should be allowed a little more slack as a result.
  • The BS of playing the "racist" card at every turn must cease. It must be recognized that different areas of our country have different races or ethnicity as the primary problem; of course that area will have a higher percentage of illegals of a particular race. Racism cannot be used as a reason to put off recovering our country.

Legal immigrants are welcome - aliens sneaking across our borders and flaunting our laws are not.
Legal immigrants are welcome - aliens sneaking across our borders and flaunting our laws are not. | Source

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day most people are coming to recognize that the problem of illegal aliens occupying our country is a serious one and one that must be halted. No two people agree on a solution and some compromise must be made.

The above solution will satisfy no one completely, but may be palatable to many. It gives a one time amnesty to those people that can be useful to our country, are able to support themselves and their family and are willing to work hard at becoming a citizen. Those that can't or won't do these things need not apply for citizenship and are not welcome to feed at the American trough.

I would love to see your thoughts on illegal immigrants in the comment area below and if I agree might even edit the proposal to include them. I'm absolutely positive I haven't thought of everything and the problem is undergoing constant, if limited perusal by congress and the President.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • point2make profile image

      point2make 5 years ago

      This sounds like a reasonable first step at finding a solution to this enormous problem. Hopefully the critics out there will offer ideas and compromise that can be added to this proposal instead of trashing any idea that attempts to "fix" the problem. Good hub and good for you wilderness for making the attempt to get people to start listening and talking to each other instead of shouting each other down. I voted this hub up.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Yes, that's the point. Get people to thinking about what can actually be accomplished instead of only what they WANT to be done.

      Thanks for the vote and comment.

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 5 years ago from Oklahoma City

      It has baffled me for a long time how a country with a Department of Immigration could have woke up one day to realize millions of undocumented people had crossed our borders. Your points are well-taken and ought to be considered as at least a starting point for addressing this issue.

    • MonetteforJack profile image

      MonetteforJack 5 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

      Reasonable ... Much as I really, REALLY, really like to see the illegal aliens go, it would seem unrealistic to do so.

      I came here as a wife of a patriotic American Vet. My husband petitioned for me and it took him 2 years to get my visa approved. Now that I am here, it took me another 3 years to get my citizenship. When the time came for me to do my fingerprinting for my citizenship, a month later, I got a NOTICE for DEPORTATION within A WEEK OF RECEIPT OF LETTER and all because they said my fingerprints were not clear and mussed up in their computer and, AND, and the letter said I MIGHT not shown up in that appointment date! I was also told to pay a heavy fine for another fingerprinting if I want to stay in America and go ahead with getting my citizenship. I was devastated by that letter. I was very, very hurt and scared. I love America and I love my husband and I don't want to leave both. I HAVE EVIDENCES that I SHOWED UP. My husband was with me all throughout the process. He woke up really early in the morning to drive us in Newark, NJ. The line for fingerprinting was long, my husband stood with me. There are cameras set up within the building. They also stamped the documents RECEIVED when I submitted them and it is a requirement to personally submit the documents. My husband acted fast. He called our district's representative to ask for help. So, I will always be grateful to my Congressman(at that time) -- Christopher Smith because him and his staff were able to help me iron out stuff with the fingerprinting section of immigration. I did not have to pay any fines because there is no cause to do so and my visa is valid. My congressman's staff was able to get me an appointment in just 2 days to redo my fingerprinting. Oh, before I got the help I needed, the office went through the protocol -- verified our identities and whether we are really within their constituency.

      With such strictness that I have encountered, just like L.L. Woodard, I wonder how were these illegal aliens able to sneak in? How are they able to get welfare and free medical care? Why are they preferred to be hired when there many more Americans like me wanting to work but not able to because they get the jobs? I've seen these illegal aliens work -- no special skills, no dedication, and unclean. Weird ...

      Sorry to air my grievances. Your hub was my vent. It is a great hub! Thanks!

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      @ LL Woodward: It didn't happen that way. There have always been illegal aliens living and working in the US. In the past numbers were small enough that it caused no real problem and the extra cost was absorbed with no real trouble. The change was gradual enough that no one really took notice until far too late and the problem became elephant size when the recession hit and jobs everywhere disappeared. Let's learn from it, though, and not let it happen again (or continue!).

      @ MonetteforJack: The road to citizenship is not easy, nor should it be, but your experience is ridiculous and should never happen to anyone. You don't indicate whether the entire process was ever finished - I certainly hope you have been granted full citizenship as you sound like the kind of people always welcome and needed in America.

      Illegal aliens are able to operate in this country primarily because no one checks. IF the welfare office even looks (they usually don't) a simple, poorly made, fake ID will get them by. Free medical care is always available to everyone that won't pay their bill or through welfare. Preferential work is given to illegals because it's cheap - employers like cheap labor and certainly won't go beyond the minimum requirements of checking ID. That's where a national database and system of easy ID comes in - if employers won't hire them because of the large liability they can't work and won't stay long. Particularly if welfare and other government handouts are also checking ID and refusing to support foreign citizens on American soil.

    • MonetteforJack profile image

      MonetteforJack 5 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

      I DID GOT my citizenship, thank God and thank you husband Jack! I am griping about the unfairness of the immigration laws and the illegal aliens. I cannot also comprehend why Americans will hire these illegals when sure, they're cheap but their work is very sloppy. Aren't Americans after quality products and services? America is a melting pot of diverse cultures; yet, I haven't seen any job application forms in their languages like Celtic Irish -- none. I applied at restaurants, retail stores, nursing homes and landscaping jobs and to my surprise, the forms are so long because the questions are translated into Spanish. Worst, some of the jobs even for a rank-and-file government employee nowadays look for bilingual -- Spanish/English in that order. Weird. I also had a bad experience at McDonald's. The store manager wrote a very bad report on me not being able to do the job correctly like cleaning windows and floors, and cooking on the grill, being very late on the job and that in her write up, she consulted me about this. SHE DIDN'T. She told me about this the day she fired me, gave me a copy of the report. The real reason she fired me was because she knew I was trying to get hold of DHS to report the illegal aliens she hired as cooks. These illegal aliens do not have the right skills to be a good cook. They cook without care if they bumped into one another or burn their hands; they don't even use the sanitizer nor wash their hands. And this is at McDonald's, County Line, Jackson, NJ where supposedly safety and cleanliness is a must. I heard people saying they have nothing against these illegal aliens because it's not their fault and they want to have a good life. I DO HAVE SOMETHING AGAINST THEM. So far, in all my encounters with these illegal aliens, they DO NOT LOVE AMERICA. They feel that America owes them because America is free and white. America has dollars. America speaks English. America has entertainment. America has Christian values. America has so much and so would they -- Mexico -- if they just would get their act together and do away with their corruption and crab-mentality.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      The typical American employer isn't interested in quality or even safety very much. S/he is interested in making a profit and the bigger the better. Lower quality is quite acceptable up to the point that customers leave; only then will quality be addressed.

      Your post speaks loudly of what the illegal worker is doing to our society, and more and more I think it is being recognized. Some kind of action will almost certainly be taken in the next few years as a result, but what to do with the illegal immigrants currently in the country is a problem that must be solved for any action to be acceptable.

      Yes, Mexicans (probably our biggest problem with illegal aliens) could clean up their own country, but they won't. It is far easier to simply push their problems onto their next door neighbor, which is exactly what is happening. Until we simply refuse to accept those problems they won't go away in America, which is why we MUST take some kind of action; thus this proposed solution to illegal immigrants.

    • profile image

      Dubious Disciple 5 years ago

      Question: Will shutting down employers that employ illegal aliens help or hinder the economy? Short term vs. long term? I can think of several complex issues that make me wonder whether this might be the wrong time for a hard-line stance ... or perhaps the perfect time.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Hi Dubious - long time no see.

      Good question. Considering that the work performed by the company that goes bankrupt still needs done I would expect that citizens would, for the most part, take over that work.

      Even when a company goes bankrupt, courts usually allow completion of short term contracts (for the most part the type using illegals for labor) in an effort to pay creditors. Additional work I would expect to be taken up by other companies, hiring additional labor as necessary.

      A lot of companies going under in a short period would have an effect (probably negative) but I can't see our ponderous government being able to accomplish that. Instead I would expect to see a handful of fair sized companies end up bankrupt while the rest of the country sits up and takes notice.

      That's short term. Long term - I can't see anything but good coming from it. The economic (and social) costs of supporting 20 million only semi productive people is staggering. Removal of those costs should give the economy a boost that losing hundreds or thousands of businesses won't dent.

    • profile image

      geordmc 5 years ago from Beliot, Wisconsin

      Really?! I think illegals should be thrown back out. If they want their country to be like us they should fight for it the way we had to and may have to again if we can't get the fools out of Washington before they ruin this country. As for the children of illegals even if they were born here they ARE NOT citizens because their parents aren't. They go with when kicked out.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      While I might agree with you philosophically (see first section of the hub) it is but wishful thinking.

      There WILL be a compromise on illegal aliens or nothing will change. There aren't enough people in the country with our opinion to force the issue, which is what produced this proposal.

      As far as anchor babies not being citizens, I'm sorry but the 14 amendment states that they are. While that amendment could be modified (and should be) it won't affect the millions already born here that are natural citizens. There is no question about the rights of those American citizens born to illegal aliens; rather the only question is what to do with their siblings and parents that are not citizens.

    • Tara_in_NE profile image

      Tara_in_NE 5 years ago

      My father, who is seventy-six, came here from Poland legally. Key word is LEGALLY. He and my aunt are holocaust survivors- being pushed out of Poland by my grandparents as young children when the Germans started advancing. If this hadn't of happened I would not be here today, nor my Dad, nor my brothers. For seventeen years they languished in limbo patiently waiting their turn to come here legally. And now these criminal aliens get to cut in line? Nope. Sorry. NOT if I can help it.

      No amnesty. PERIOD. I will keep calling my represenatives and let them know I will NEVER support ANY candidate who supports it. If more people did this, the simpletons in Washington would get the message.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Your story is a sad one (although with a good ending) - there is simply no excuse for refugees to wait anywhere near that long for citizenship. It should not be allowed to happen.

      You are not alone in your views, but they are not very popular either. My biggest concern is that the illegals, and the country feeding them, will sit forever, doing nothing because we can't agree on what should be done. We need this problem solved NOW, not 10 years from now, and if that requires a compromise that I don't really like I can still support it to stop the bleeding of our resources and jobs to people with no right to either. Our children and grandchildren need this stopped or there won't be a real future for many of them outside of more welfare.

    • Jessicapotter24 profile image

      Jessicapotter24 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      I appreciate you for being so open and frank about your opinions on illegal immigration. Your suggestion regarding the penalization of employers who employ illegal aliens is a very effective one. Only because there are no native Americans or illegal immigrants who are willing to take up the jobs, the chance for illegal immigrants increases. Why don't our own people take up the jobs? This will definitely reduce the immigrants influx.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      In many cases our people will take the job if given the chance. At the same time, though, employers typically pay illegals a very low wage (that's why they hire them, after all) and Americans can't live on that wage. Particularly at a normal standard of living - few people want to live 10 to 15 people in a small house, drive a junker and live off of the charity of welfare. Nevertheless that is standard for many illegals - they are more than happy with that lifestyle. It is still better than what they left behind and they have no qualms about accepting charity as a way of life.

      There are some jobs that Americans don't want of course - short term farm labor is a good example. We can find lots of teens to do the work, but not enough and likely not at the right time of year (they are often back in school during harvest). Migrant workers on a temporary visa can fill these jobs, though, and often have in the past. Household servants might well be another, but I have a hard time sympathizing with someone too lazy to vacuum their own floor or cook their own meals. If you don't want to pay a living wage then do the work yourself and don't ask the American public to pick the rest of the cost of supporting a maids family because you're too cheap to do so.

      The bottom line is that increasing the labor cost while eliminating illegal aliens can only be cheaper for the country as a whole when all the costs are considered. That will mean that some employers will have less money at the end of the year, but again that extra money only comes because the rest of society is effectively subsidizing their income. I'm tired of that.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      I hate to make political statements around here. It will lose you followers quick. We should consider your proposal. It is sound. Through history, it has proven all but impossible to stop movements of people. We have to deal with the problems that are causing the problem. Florida has a front row seat for this. I am against any ugly walls that will spoil the wonderful view across the borders. Please don't unfollow, I need the numbers for my regional advertising gig.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      You're absolutely right - give people a reason to move and they will do so no matter how hard you try to stop it. Illegal immigrants have that reason; the only real way to stop it is to remove the reason. In this case it is mostly economic; remove the money they can get and they will no longer flood our country.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Well put. You know NAFTA drove a lot of Mexicans out of business? I could get on board with some kind of effort to improve the economy by doing business with Mexico. I used to go down to Guaemez when I was a kid. The Mexicans made us feel at home and made sure we tasted the culture. I have worked side by side with illegals, and didn't have the heart to turn them in. They lived like slaves in Fellsmere (an old cattle town). Most are gone now.

      I find it interesting that the bubble broke in Fl. when there was a monster crackdown on illegal labor. I have often wondered if those developments came to a halt because the job was priced for illegal labor. It would be too great of a cost over run for the foreign investors to handle if they had to hire locals. At least the houses wouldn't leak during the next blow.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Mexico needs a lot of help, all right, but for the most part it has to come from within the country, not from the US. The people may be willing to work, but the government is a major stumbling block as is crime.

      I imagine jobs were priced for illegal labor in Florida - wherever there is a large population of illegals that's what happens. Building prices go down a little, builders make a bundle and tradesmen go broke on unemployment. Drive out the illegals and the builders will go broke covering their contracts while paying a living wage. Better to just go out of business and start up again under a different name.

      I've never lived south of Virginia but it's what we see clear up north in Idaho. It's not limited to any locale although the south probably suffers the most from it.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Well said. I have a friend who went to Idaho to play Grizzly Adams and get away from the rat race. He built a beautiful cabin on a lake. Well to do Californians found the lake and had him build lavish"cabins" and docks. He became one of the top builders around there. Now he is in Hawaii building condos.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Sounds like the American Dream - work hard and become successful doing it. The difference is that some of us do in within the system on our own while illegals try it outside the system while requiring the public support them and their families in the meantime.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      Right. As much as we have a heart full of love, we simply can't afford it. That is why I think your suggestion is one of the best I have heard. No mealy mouth. Taking care of the poor and desperate in any country or culture should fall primarily to the private sector. It is time for the private sector to step up or fall down.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      No, we can't afford to support the world's poor. We have enough trouble just supporting our own; let other countries or private sector support foreign nationalities.

      It's one thing to give aid to another country with a disaster, drought or other major, temporary problems, but we cannot just be a supply on ongoing, permanent support. It won't take long until we join them in their desperation.

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

      "U da man, bro!", as they say in Satellite Beach (wanna-be Hawaiians). I think folks need to realize . . . we had two puppet presidents empty out the treasury and hand it to crooks. We got no money. Go home and make some there. Invest your money wisely . . . in your own beautiful country!

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Far easier and quicker to take from the American public and invest it in the home country. It's why we have millions upon millions of illegals sending money they get from America home to their fatherland.

    • Topnewhottoys profile image

      Topnewhottoys 5 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland

      Well, the ground has been well covered, both by the hub and comments, so just let me say - Damn good ideas you had!

      Simple "carrot and stick" approach. If you want it work for it, if you want a free ride - go home.

      GA

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Yes, that's my concept in a nutshell. If you want to work and word hard for it, if you're willing to accept punishment (denial of future welfare) for past activities then fine - you're welcome in spite of those past activities. If you just want more free ride, go home.

      A good way to put it - thanks.

    • Jessicapotter24 profile image

      Jessicapotter24 5 years ago from Los Angeles, California

      Wow!! Just loved Topnewhottoys comment!! That's right- work hard in a legal way( i would add it)if you want it, else just run back home.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Exactly right. Offering amnesty in this manner will allow millions of illegals to become citizens. It will also get rid of millions more that can't or won't become productive citizens and are here primarily to have someone else pay their way.

    • profile image

      geordmc 5 years ago from Beliot, Wisconsin

      I am all for immigration to this country but ONLY if it is done legally. If you are here illegally GET OUT and take your families with you. If your country is so bad fix IT, don't come here and destroy ours by leeching off us!

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      While I basically agree, there are an awful lot of people that think that because we allowed it to continue for so long we now owe the illegal aliens here a quick citizenship. Enough people will fight any deportation effort that it simply won't work. Neither will a blanket amnesty - there are enough people that disagree with that plan that it won't fly either.

      Thus the compromise offered here.

    • seanorjohn profile image

      seanorjohn 3 years ago

      I agree there is a need for compromise. Many illegal immigrants are hard working people who just want to make a better life for their families. The one's who also want to make a real contribution to the country should be treated compassionately. The USA has always acted compassionately towards immigrants in general. Voted up.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      To a point, that's the way I see it; those that want to immigrate, to become an American, should be given that opportunity. Those that don't can go back home.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Your ideas are good and a great starting point. When my husband got his first job, it was in a small, family owned company, but near to an area of illegals. The son hired a lot of them when his Dad died, and many of them are still working there 30 yrs. later. They are paid the same wage as the Americans who were born here. But they live about 10-15 people in houses not made for more than a small family, and they all work night and day to pay the rent. They buy one car and share it. I don't know how they can live that way. Then they go back home to their countries, and are rich, with the money they made in the U.S. I think in HS we need to start teaching the trades again. I know too many college grads who have been out for 2 or more years and can find no jobs in their fields. But they do not have experience making or fixing anything. Senior year in HS could be ideal for that, car repair, cooking, setting up a budget and learning how to balance a checkbook, life skills. In my parent's generation, you could come to the U.S., but a family member had to sponsor you and have secured a job for you that you could start on arrival. They could stay with the sponsor until they made enough money at the job to get a place of their own to live, but had to get citizenship papers and learn English. They had to assimilate, and we weren't expected to learn their languages. I have sympathy for children who lived here all their lives and don't think they should be sent back for what their parents did. But our own country is a mess, and charity begins at home.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      That's part of the problem - illegals are used to much poorer living conditions that even what very low wages in the US provide for. Thus they can either work for half the wage we need or save most of a full wage and either use it to go home one day or to support relatives still in their native country.

      Teach trades - most trades today require more training than what can be done in HS. I'm an electrician by trade, and it required 4 years of night school plus 8,000 hours of work experience - neither of which are available to HS students. Nevertheless, I do think we need to move back somewhat to blue collar workers, and get rid of the stigma that they are all ignorant, low paid workers. One the average, a skilled tradesman will earn more than an office worker or store clerk, and by quite a bit, and most have at least some college behind them as well. At a minimum, an associate degree - that's what I earned to become an electrician.

      Illegals work the trades, but for the most part the jobs that a first year apprentice would expect to do. Digging ditches by hand, for instance - as the trade apprentice gathers experience and training that is done less and less, and they earn more and more. Illegals are few in the higher skilled trades - electrician, plumber, HVAC, mechanic, etc. but that is slowly changing as unions are more and more willing to look the other way, accept them and train them in exchange for their union dues. Sad, as illegals most definitely drive down the cost of labor - something the unions should be fighting, not encouraging.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I didn't mean trades could be taught in HS, but that some basic skills and maybe even just some options could be introduced to the young people that they never thought about. Once they get to Jr. year, it's all about SAT's and college. My husband began going to electronics school at nights too, but only got through 2 yrs, he couldn't keep it up with his F/T job. We really need skilled people in so many areas. I see it all the time when I need work done on my house that we can't do ourselves.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Now here I fully agree. My high school years included woodworking, electronics and small engine repair. Not much of any of those, but a chance to do some work and see if I liked it. In that respect we should absolutely reinstate such programs in every school.

      You're right at it becomes little but an effort to get kids into college by their junior year, and that's wrong. We don't need every student in college and neither does every student doesn't need college. A great many are much better beginning to look at skilled trades.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      Especially with the prices colleges charge in these times! But we really do lack skilled people in so many trades. My husband says that high schools stopped metal shop in the mid 70's for insurance purposes, in case the school got sued if a student got hurt. But young people need to be offered that chance to find out they might be really good at something they never considered. When our generation graduated HS, we got jobs, but reached a certain point where we couldn't advance if we didn't get a degree. Even if we were doing a good job, we had to go through the motions and take a few classes towards something. So I think many families push their kids into college, thinking it's the same now, but it's not. Now we have overeducated young people without jobs, and nobody knows how to make or fix anything (unless it's a computer).

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I think that a part of the problem is that, as you say, nobody knows how to make or fix anything. Parents don't fix broken faucets - they call a plumber. If a wall switch goes bad, they call an electrician. A mechanic is needed for a simple oil change. As a result, children never learn that it's OK to work a little on their own behalf, and that eventually translates into an attitude that those kinds of jobs are undesirable. It always amazes me when people haven't the faintest how to do the simplest tasks around the house - hanging a picture is about their limit.

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

      I know. I've always loved painting, walls, not artsy stuff, but have back problems and can't do as much now. I'm lucky my son is a teacher and has summers off, and he likes to paint as much as I used to. I have all kinds of stuff lined up for him to do this summer, lol. Of course, I know he's got a life too...My next door neighbor doesn't even plant her own flowers, she calls a landscaper. I don't get it. I've spent some of my happiest and calmest hours planting flowers, digging into the Earth. People don't know what they are missing. You feel so satisfied and happy with yourself when you complete even a small project like that, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. Anyway, nice to talk, I didn't mean to get you off topic.

    • JPB0756 profile image

      Robert A. Joseph 3 years ago

      Well, it is clear that you have put as much thought, and work, into this topic as those who are tasked with the solution! One thing is problematic, Wilderness, you(we) assume that the businesses, and the infrastructure of the U.S., WANT any answer. I'll leave that for another hub; excellent proposal, Wilderness, thanks.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      While there are some business and business men and women that DO want an answer, there are enough that do not want any change in the status quo to create havoc. So, yes, that portion of any solution is problematical and any answer will, in general, have to be forced on business.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

      I really haven't had a well thought out opinion on this issue. Your suggestions seem like a good compromise and its hopefully a politically viable one.

      Allowing 11 million illegal immigrants in our borders in like allowing a foreign army to take up residence behind our lines. Something needs to be done pronto!

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Something absolutely needs to be done, but the mutterings I'm hearing in Congress is to simply invite everyone here to stay at our expense. This will give us another several million to provide welfare for while encouraging another 10 million to come in and repeat the process again. Not smart.

    • JPB0756 profile image

      Robert A. Joseph 3 years ago

      Agreed; not smart. Perhaps time will "thin the herd," of nay-sayers and people will actually look for an answer, but when everyone who "works" for The Legislative Branch gets paid regardless, well, I think you get the point. Still, nice research and all your work reflects what I'd like to see in an elected official. No insult intended..:-)

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      No insult taken - I'd like to see our legislators put some real effort into finding solutions myself, instead of always taking the easy way out and buying votes as they go. Buying votes, incidentally, with MY money.

    • profile image

      mbuggieh 2 years ago

      Reminds me of something Benjamin Franklin said about the US Constitution when appealing for its ratification:

      "I confess that there are several parts of this Constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise."

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 2 years ago from Central United States of America

      Well, I say..."You did GOOD!". Thanks for your courageous and thought provoking hub!

    • profile image

      Eaglekiwi 9 months ago

      America knew who was illegal and who was legal years ago.Their children received education,medical treatment from the US Government,then later employment ,all the while many of these people illegal.( No documents)

      Now the horses left the stable years ago and they want to round them up?

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 9 months ago from Boise, Idaho

      Yes, it's time (and long past time) to "round them up". To correct the failings of our politicians from years past.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Your proposal seem very reasonable and something I could support. Except for one important thing. We must close the borders first. That is the important difference between you and I. You assume most people will agree to it but unfortunately, they do not. These are "open borders" people who does not want any restrictions on people that come here. They may pay lip service to closing the borders or even supporting the building of the wall but they don't really mean it. If they did, we would have solve this problem in the 1980s under Reagan. He did just that, offered amnesty to million of illegals that were here and agreed to a comprehensive policy of reform including building of a wall. Guess what, Congress lied. They granted amnesty but reneged on building the wall. Hence we have Trump...

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 7 weeks ago from Boise, Idaho

      I disagree. Closing the border is necessary, but not to control illegal aliens from taking up residence in the US. The percentage of those that can, and would, sneak across the border to take up residence here without any form of income is vanishingly small and I doubt they would be a problem anyway. (Those rich enough to support themselves without a job aren't going to sneak in - they're going to openly and legally cross the border and then disappear) Putting real teeth into employment laws would virtually halt the flow of illegals into the country.

      But yes, closing the border is highly (very highly) desirable to slow (can't stop it) criminal activity such as smuggling drugs, guns, etc. It needs to be a part of the total package, but it is not as important as ending the reason to reside here.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Sorry but that is your opinion without any history or context. You think taking jobs away will stop people from crossing? ask any Mexican if that is the case? Please just go and ask...

      Besides, as hard as it is to build a wall, cracking down on companies hiring illegals are virtually impossible. There are all sorts of phony documentation that an illegal can obtain and subvert the eVerify system. You are so naive. Why can't you admit that people who are against the wall are for open borders and globalization? You can't name one other nation in the world that has a policy like ours on the border...I challenge you.

    • wilderness profile image
      Author

      Dan Harmon 7 weeks ago from Boise, Idaho

      So far I haven't said a thing about a wall, but if you wish to discuss it, we can do that.

      We can spend several billion dollars, or some other enormous amount, yes. And then spend additional billions each year to man and protect it. Germany had a wall that was almost impenetrable, but the manpower to make it that doesn't come cheap, and I believe we have better uses for that money. Nor would I like to see a 2,000 mile Berlin-type edifice to freedom on our border. A fence, even an 8' one, maybe. But not a barbed wire wall patrolled with thousands of armed guards instructed to kill on sight, no.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      With all due respect, where are you coming up with this analogy?

      You don't need an Iron wall like they had in Berlin. That wall was to keep people in not out.

      There are many things that can help including electronic surveilance...

      A wall is also a symbol to tell the Mexicans we are serious.

    Click to Rate This Article