A path to citizenship

English: Oath of citizenship ceremony

English: Oath of citizenship ceremony (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any path to citizenship
Is a fast track to amnesty
So say the critics.
Reach out to minorities
But don’t touch hearts and minds.
Fourteen years is a long, hard road.
An obstacle course lined with
Fines, fees, back taxes and misery.
My children are citizens, US born.
Why must I suffer to join them
And enjoy the benefits of citizenship?
Justice delayed is justice denied.

Immigration reform

Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested 5

Immigration Reform Leaders Arrested 5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Congress will discuss the contentious idea of immigration reform later this year. Opponents will decry reform as a form of amnesty. Some in the GOP want to reform our immigration laws to grant a path to citizenship for the undocumented already here in the US. The final path to full citizenship will be tortuous and expensive. Basically the Republican position is we will grant you the right to vote if you will vote for us. If not, we will make it hard for you to gain citizenship and the right to vote and then we will work to make your vote not count through redistricting (gerrymandering).

Immigration reform

Immigration checkpoint

Immigration checkpoint (Photo credit: jonathan mcintosh)

There will be no national immigration reform until the GOP gets its way in the revised law.

  1. Legal immigrants will look like them–male and white.
  2. Legal immigrants will speak english without an accent.
  3. Legal immigrants will think like Republicans.
  4. Legal immigrants will pledge to vote Republican.

Before the Civil War, states were admitted in pairs, one slave, one free. The GOP want to extend that precedent to the admission of immigrants. For every undocumented alien here now and put on a path to citizenship, a legal immigrant must be admitted to the US.

Border crossings

Keep Out

Image by timo_w2s via Flickr

Along the southern border with Mexico, there are two signs repeated alternately all along the border. One sign says “Keep Out.” The other sign says “All workers welcome.” As long as we have opposing border policies and differing signs, we will have a problem with illegal (undocumented) aliens coming to the US for a better life for themselves and their families.

Please see Immigration reform | Moral obligation | The undocumented | Snowflake, AZ

Immigration reform

The Death of Josselin

Dust jacket

The Death of Josseline, Immigration Stories from the ArizonaMexico Borderlands by Margaret Regan is an eye-opening account of today’s border as seen from both sides. Now I have a much better understanding of why Arizona residents along the state’s southern border are so unhappy with the present situation.

The undocumented traveling across private property and public lands sometimes steal, frequently discard trash, and harm a fragile environment just by their passage. US authorities trying to apprehend the undocumented assert the right to go anywhere at any time in the pursuit of their jobs. This produces an approximation of a war zone with low-flying helicopters and bright lights turning darkness into daylight. As crossing points evolve and change, the action moves from one quiet, rural area to another, causing a loss of privacy and sleep for the residents who have the misfortune to live there.  Some moved to the area to escape from big cities and they object to the presence of both the invaders and the US defenders.

This is my suggestion for reform along our southern border. The undocumented should be supplied with documents for a nominal fee that would allow them to cross back and forth across the border at established crossing points. The documents would also allow them to work legally in the US at the jobs that the undocumented now perform illegally without the protection of labor laws. They would pay taxes and receive the government services to which their humanity entitles them that they now fear to claim because they might be deported. We currently allow guest workers under the H-1B program; this would be a similar program for the less skilled.

The undocumented would be sure to use this program due to its lower cost, smugglers charge $hundreds or $thousands, and its openness would be much safer than crossing wilderness on foot. Requiring employers to hire only documented workers would ensure that fewer, if any, undocumented would try to cross the border illegally. This would be safer for the border crossers, and it would restore tranquility to the border area. It would also be cheaper for the government to enforce than the current program.

In his book Joe’s Law, Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes the point that human traffickers are frequently drug smugglers also. By taking away their profits in human smuggling, we would be reducing the profits that the drug cartels are currently earning. A small step true, but a step in the right direction.

Please see Joe’s Law | The undocumented | Moral obligation | Snowflake, AZ.