Monday, June 20, 2005

Senator Cornyn seeks middle ground on immigration reform, finds himself in quicksand.

Saturday, Senator Cornyn tried to lay out his idea of an immigration reform plan in the Chronicle, but he found himself tripping over a fundamental problem with our country’s Constitution. If you are born here, regardless of where your parents are from, you are an instant American Citizen. Now, I want to go on record that I can support most of what he wants to do. I could even stomach the “guest worker” thing with enough antacids. It would not be MY solution to the problem, but it is better than McCain-Kennedy, or the status quo. There is one problem. That problem is the instant citizenship by birth issue which I’ve commented about before.

Here is my suggestion to Senator Cornyn as a way to work with the issue while accomplishing goals that most LEGAL Americans can get behind without disenfranchising anyone of their Citizenship.

My plan would be to do the following steps (in order):

1. Amend the constitution to eliminate this practice. It’s only purpose would appear to be to attract illegal immigrants to our shores in order to have their kid in the US. Amend it so that you have to at least have one parent with legal resident alien status as a minimum. This would at least prove that he/she is planning to stay here and contribute to society legally.

2. For those illegals who’s kids have already been bestowed this honor, they should be given 90 days from the passage of the bill to apply (ok, maybe more, given how slow the Immigration service is. That time frame can be somewhat flexible, and may have to be extended as the situation requires.) for legal resident alien status. If they do not apply within the time frame, or if they are rejected for cause (say for having a felony record for instance), their kid’s citizenship will be revoked and will default to the citizenship status of the parents as it is in every other country.

3. Go ahead and pass the “Guest Worker” thing but make a stipulation in the law that employers who hire illegals have three strikes. First strike, the employer must pay a $1000 fine for every day that worker has worked for them FOR EACH ILLEGAL WORKER. (For these purposes, Immigration audits/inspections would count as strike instances, not each individual worker.) Second Strike, the fine goes up to $10,000 a day per worker. Third strike, the IRS seizes the company and either sells it at auction, or sells the assets, whichever brings the most money. To eliminate the “I didn’t know he/she was illegal” defense, ALL employers must submit worker tax ID numbers to the SS administration for verification prior to employment or within 30 days from the passage of the bill for those who are already employed. If the number comes back as invalid, the employer/employee must submit a valid number before the employee can earn a single dime. This is already possible via a toll free number (the infrastructure for it may need to be beefed up to handle the traffic however). Once written documentation of the validity of the number has been obtained, the employer is free and clear. If the worker managed to forge the number well enough that the SS administration can’t catch it, the employer shouldn’t be held responsible. These audits/inspections should be done for each employer at least once every 5 years, and more often for those industries that are known for hiring illegals such as the construction indusry etc. And yes for those wondering, this goes for your illegal gardener/maid/babysitter too! Anybody feel like loosing everything they have over an illegal employee? I didn't think so...

4. Authorize and encourage all government (including local) workers to detain and turn over to Immigration anyone found not to have proper immigration status. If you are in this country illegally and apply for anything, or you are pulled over for anything, you’d better have some kind of documentation to show who you really are.

5. Finally, after all that is done and in place and running, beef up the border patrol and make them earn their name. Close the border to illegal human (and drug) trafficking. We have technology that can detect illegal crossings far better than we have deployed. The only reason we haven’t deployed it is because the government has not chosen to do so. Hey, if they can keep people out of Area 51, they can keep them out of the US if they really want to. Authorize the border patrol to shoot to kill if needed. By this time, most relatively harmless illegals will have already self-deported or have gotten on the straight and narrow with La Migra. Anyone crossing the border illegally at this point is a true national security threat and should be treated as such, hence the "shoot to kill" authorization.


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