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An Acceptable Amnesty Solution For Illegal Immigrants

Dan has long been interested in politics, particularly in the field of ethics, and has served his community in the past.

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.

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.

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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 year's income for a second and the previous year's 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 businesses 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.

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.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2011 Dan Harmon

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