COMING TO AMERICA ?
Can you say, “U.S. National Immigration Policy”?
Over the course of two hundred and thirty-nine years, thirty-seven out of forty-four U.S. Presidents have tried and failed. The other seven, apparently, just didn’t give a damn. Do not lose sight of the fact that the U.S. Congress hasn’t been able to craft a workable solution either, so no political Party is above this short-coming.
The United States has been able to craft the World’s most powerful economy, military, democracy, and progressive society. The Nation has overcome Colonialism, slavery, women’s voting restrictions, Labor abuses, major diseases, one major economic depression, countless recessions, two World Wars, and a slew of natural disasters. Based on this short list, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that the Nation could come up with a comprehensive Immigration Policy that would stand the test of time (as the U.S. Constitution has). At the start of the Industrial Revolution, our Immigration non-policy was necessarily open to the masses. The U.S. needed a work force to fill the emerging factories, and build a solid middle-class for the Nation. This approach is no longer valid given the World economy and the U.S. economy in the twenty-first Century. No one who preaches the historic policies is dealing in reality; the Government needs to step away from that train of thought.
The solution might be multifaceted, and, as such, require folks from all corners and persuasions of the Political, Social, and Economic spectra to actually agree on something other than their own trite, insignificant agendas. A practical proposal would take “a little of this, and a little of that” to construct at least the framework of a comprehensive, long-term plan of action. This may best be served by, first, looking at the short-term; three to five years out. Follow this with a seamless transition to a long-term, permanent Policy, Legislation, and/or an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
There are a number of basic areas that need addressing
in the overall, larger picture of Immigration Policy:
Categories – Normal, modern-day flow of immigration; refugee immigration; student visas; tourist visas; business visas; any more that make sense; permanent vs. temporary; keep it simple; *based on the U.S. Constitution, there is a division between Church and State, so Church will not be a considered
Numbers – in each category, come up with an annual quota amount; leave some room for emergencies (war, natural disasters, etc.)
Tracking – U.S. citizens who leave the Country and end up in a war zone aiding, abetting, or fighting for the enemy will automatically forfeit his/her U.S. citizenship and passport/visa –they will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S., ever; for temporary entrants, a strict no nonsense verification method (a three month, or one semester, re-registration stipulation); any deviation from this will result in immediate expulsion and a ban on re-entry; certain restrictions on Social Services will apply
Entry - airports and seaports designated and fully equipped to handle the processing of immigrants; as for the borders - the Nation must make a decision to stop invading other Countries with armed forced; The northern and southern borders can then be patrolled by the Army National Guard rotating on a State-by-State basis; Naval Reserve will help enhance to Coast Guard; the Air Force Reserve will secure the air space; this will guarantee that the Nation will have a “well maintained Militia” as eluded to in the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; appropriate, modern surveillance techniques and hardware will be used in all instances; ( a collateral spin-off might just be a gross reduction in drug and human smuggling across all four borders)
Path to Citizenship – a one-size-fits-all program; must learn to be proficient in English; residency rules will apply; birth in the U.S. does not make one a citizen until parent(s) fully fulfill their obligation; certain restrictions on Social Services between entry and citizenship
It is probably unrealistic to think about a Constitutional Amendment. The current state of the Federal Congress might preclude any meaningful legislation. That leaves a State-by-State nationwide referendum as the most viable way of achieving the goal. A simple 2/3rds majority should seal the deal. The referendum in each State will be identical; no changes allowed; and, definitely no “ear-marks”, or addendums. There will be no list of “exemptions”, thus closing out any attempt at creating “loopholes”.