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Immigration Reform Needed

From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 14
7/12/2013


By Taylor Ramsey

Since our last Presidential Election we have heard that Republicans must find a way to appeal to the Latino community if Republicans have any expectations of winning elections in the future. Of course, the most obvious path being presented as a way to win the Latino vote is to do all one can to make sure immigration reform legislation is passed.

Last month the U.S. Senate passed an immigration reform bill which included 14 “yes” votes from Republican Senators. It is a great start, but the bill will not go any further because the U.S. House of Representatives will not vote on it as they plan to present their own reform bill.

Impasse. Why? History is why.

Our not too distant past has provided a lesson, when in 1986 President Reagan made the mistake of granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and at the same time promising to secure our border in the near future. Amnesty materialized, securing the border did not. Promise broken. In my opinion, those in favor of the Senate bill are not taking into consideration what is best for all of us rather than what is best for their party.

The Senate bill leads those of us waiting for a bill to be produced from the House of Representatives to believe that history will be repeated due to this one paragraph in the Senate bill. “Notwithstanding paragraph (1) nothing in this subsection shall require the Secretary to install fencing, or infrastructure that directly results from the installation of such fencing, in particular location along the Southern border, if the Secretary determines that the use or placement of such resources is not the most appropriate means to achieve and maintain effective control over the Southern border at such location”.

The Senate is willing to give Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano the power to eliminate the construction of any fence if she so desires.

What is astounding to me is that the majority of Senators did not have the time to read the complete 1100 page bill, yet they voted on it anyway. Remember House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2010 in addressing the Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties when she said, “But we have to pass the bill (Obama Care) so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” I believe it is a dereliction of duty as an elected representative in any capacity to vote for legislation the representative has not read. It really is astoundingly stupid.

It is my belief that immigration reform should be taken in 6 individual steps beginning immediately.

1. Devise an electronic “green card” or “temporary visa” system making it impossible for visitors to overstay their visits and become lost in the population.

2. Repair our existing laws for legal immigra
nts. Add personnel to improve the process and decrease the wait time for legal immigrants to enter the country.

3. Secure the border with a long fence, technology and manpower. No citizen should have any problem with keeping terrorists or people illegally entering the U.S. out.

4. After securing the border create and maintain the E-Verify employment system, which allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S. and ensures a legal workforce. It can be done. Employers must be held accountable.

5. Allow those who are addressed as the 11 million people in the U.S. who have illegally entered to become legal. This is actually amnesty. However, careful consideration should be made regarding eliminating jobs of American citizens.

6. Allow the same 11 million people to earn U.S. citizenship using criteria similar to the Senate bill.

The steps above will make the U.S. safer, stronger and a better place for all of us. I believe that what is good for all Americans is good for those members of our population who originated from south of the U.S. border too.

taylor@longbeachcomber.com