Let’s share some good news today, on the touchy subject of illegal immigration. Legal immigration isn’t very touchy, with a vast majority of Americans agreeing that is a positive thing for America, the greatest land built by immigrants.
Two-thirds of Americans want the same number of legal immigrants, or more to keep coming, according to polling done by the Cato Institute last year.
Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe immigrants come here for opportunity and to improve their lives, while one-quarter think they are coming here for the benefits.
Overall, 91% of Americans say legal immigration is a good thing, only 9% are opposed.
I have been writing about immigration, legal, and illegal, for almost two decades. I noticed when, and have reported, the MSM deleted the word
illegal when discussing people who arrive here, ahem, without documents.
Even that is misleading. The majority of illegals are people who have overstayed their visas and decided to not leave. They had documents.The border jumpers are actually a minority.
About a decade ago, Gallup reported what seemed to be a contradiction: A strong majority did not want the 11+ million illegals rounded up and deported. A similar majority opposed Sanctuary Cities and did not want a path to citizenship.
Opposition to citizenship has softened, according to Cato:
“A majority (55%) also favor a pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the country, 18% favor legal residency without citizenship, 24% would deport all unauthorized immigrants, and 4% would do nothing.”
Further, a majority, 68%, of “strong liberals” say that illegal immigration is “acceptable.” A majority (55%) of moderate liberals (as well as 84% of strong conservatives) disagree and say it is “unacceptable.”
I wish I could say I am surprised that “strong liberals” find illegal behavior “acceptable,” but I am not. Whether it is Sanctuary Cities, bail, “supervised injection sites,” or traffic stops, “strong liberals” line up with law breakers, although I think “progressive” is a better description of them than “strong liberal.”
In an effort to resolve the illegal immigration issue, President Barack Obama came up with a plan in 2013, that I supported because it duplicated my plan of several years earlier. I am not suggesting he cribbed from me, rather than great minds thinking alike.
The Washington Post summary of his plan:
“First, continue to strengthen our borders. Second, crack down on companies that hire undocumented workers. Third, hold undocumented immigrants accountable before they can earn their citizenship; this means requiring undocumented workers to pay their taxes and a penalty, move to the back of the line, learn English, and pass background checks. Fourth, streamline the legal immigration system for families, workers, and employers.” (Italics added)
My feeling is there should be a statute of limitations on illegal entry, as there is with more serious crimes, even assault and rape.
If those crimes can be time-limited, so can this one, but I am not talking about amnesty. The illegals would have to come forward, pay any required fines and taxes, formally apologize, learn English and avoid run-ins with law enforcement.
I originally opposed a path to citizenship, but will let that go as long as their citizenship is delayed until after everyone already in line is taken in. That removes any advantage they would have gained from their bad behavior.
By and large, Republicans resist reform, at least without security, because they remember when President Reagan made a deal with the Dems to legalize 3 million illegals in exchange for border security. The illegals got in, but the promised border security never got done.
Once burned, twice shy.
So I am encouraged that a Republican — Florida Congresswoman Maria Salazar — has come forward with a workable, common sense immigration plan. She is a former TV anchor who grew up in Miami’s Little Havana, the daughter of Cuban exiles.
I find it workable and common sense because it is very much like Obama’s plan and mine.
Here’s what it contains, according to Roll Call:
Under the so-called “dignity program,” illegals who have lived in the U.S. at least five years would be allowed to work legally, while paying $1,000 annually into a job training fund for American workers, under her bill.
After 10 years, they would receive a five-year program requiring civics education and community service, and only then would they be eligible to apply for citizenship, assuming they had no arrests.
Dreamers would get lawful permanent residency.
The legislation also includes ramping up of border security, including the hiring of additional agents and increasing border technology before the other measures are implemented.
It requires families seeking asylum to remain in centers until their claims are heard.
It is not amnesty, which is a pardon; a forgetting of the past. This bill requires reparations by the offenders.
Her bill seems to satisfy both sides. Fingers crossed.