Friday, February 25, 2005
A way through the maze
Two thinkers I respect were on the TV today--Mark Steyn, and Newt Gingrich. The third thinker was Victor Hanson. All three had something to say about our illegal immigration policy and situation. They agreed that we should strictly control our borders. They agreed that some form of hard-to-counterfit identification is needed. Where they differed is in what to do about the 20 million illegal immigrants already in the country. Mark Steyn believes that we can't simply deport them, it is too massive a job. Hanson takes the position that we should grant a one-time amnesty to these people, and one time only, if they have been in the US for at least 10 years.
Newt Gingrich has a different approach, one that just might work. He says that all of the illegal immigrants should be made to return to their countries of origin, with the promise that they can reenter if they sign up to be identified and join a guest worker program. They would then be issued a work permit ( a green card), and would be allowed to reenter and work if they also agreed to pay taxes and social security assessments.
This approach needn't be a short time period, but could take place over a number of years, which would lessen the onset problem to administer it, and would give time for the people themselves to pick the time for their return home and reenter process. This places the burden squarely on the immigrant people either to become legal or to be deported.
Newt also believes these people should be allowed to apply for citizenship at some point if they learn English and American history, and are able to take a test on both.
This makes a lot of sense to me.