It is unacceptable and dangerous that we have anywhere between an estimated 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants living and working in the United States with no idea as who they are or why they are here. This problem must be solved, and solved now. That the problem has not been solved, however, speaks directly to the arrogance, ignorance, and incompetence that exists at the highest levels of our government. I have no doubt that there are good people serving our country in Washington, D.C., people who truly want to do what is right — but as a group, all areas of our government are just broken.
Especially this Congress and White House. But this problem, and the desperate need for a solution, goes beyond person or party. In my opinion, when it comes to the immigration problem, in the short term there are only two solutions:
- Immediately close the borders.
- Immediately identify and document all illegal immigrants presently in the country.
We cannot allow the continuing influx of illegal immigrants, and the southern border should be our priority. It is ridiculous in the extreme to suggest that the northern border deserves equal attention. Law enforcement–Border Patrol and local and state law enforcement agencies alike–from this moment on should follow the laws of the land. Any individual caught trying to sneak into the United States of America should be placed in a holding facility (Deportation Holding) to await return to their nation of origin at the earliest possible opportunity. There should be no legal rights whatsoever for those entering illegally; standing defiantly in the face of American immigration law should be reason enough for any would-be illegal immigrant to abdicate their rights. Nevertheless, a legal process should be established for those who are in real danger in their own country as well as for refugees; entering illegally, however, can no longer be tolerated.
While it appears that documenting 12 to 20 million individuals immediately would be an extremely difficult task, the solution to this problem is actually very easy and obvious. My solution: give all illegal immigrants–of any age or circumstance–30 days to obtain an “Immigration Ticket,” which will be sold by all ticketing agencies (Ticketmaster, TicketsNow, TicketNetwork, eBay, etc.) and will show the individual’s, name, age, parents name (if underage), address, phone number, employer, and country of origin.
During this 30-day period, there will be no penalties to either the illegal immigrants or those entities which employ them. The ticket identification number will act as the temporary government identification number until such time as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has awarded the ticketholder immigrant status.
The identification information on the ticket will be immediately uploaded to ICE computers where arrangements will be made on a first-come, first-served basis for a meeting with the agency so that the illegal immigrant status may be changed to immigrant. In order to obtain legal status, immigrants must be employed and have a permanent address. Unemployed immigrants will be given 90 days to find legal employment and those without a permanent address will be given 90 days to find a place to live. Any illegal immigrant having a felony conviction will not be given legal status and will be taken immediately to the holding facility to await deportation. No exceptions.
Of course, there are those who will cry out that 30 days is not long enough. The illegal immigrants in question, however, were responsible and industrious enough to figure out how to find their way into the United States of America and how to provide for themselves once they arrived — after what they have already accomplished in order to set foot and establish a life in a country in which they do not belong, there should be no concern whatsoever about their capacity to figure out how to buy an Immigration Ticket in 30 days.
At the end of the 30-day period, no more Immigration Tickets will be sold and any illegal immigrants found will be immediately placed in Deportation Holding. Once ICE has officially registered all of the ticketholders, Immigration Tickets will no longer be sold, nor will they continue to act as an official government immigration document.
And with that, the first two phases are taken care of, quickly and easily. The major issue, of course, is taking our laws seriously and not allowing “bleeding hearts” to either delay or control the situation. After all, while the controlling agency here is named Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it seems as though the “enforcement” part has been left out of the equation. Of course, there will be opposition. Of course, those who support any kind of immigration law enforcement will be branded as hopeless, heartless, merciless racist xenophobes who want nothing more than to rip babies from the arms of mothers to be deported for a mere technicality. See, the American political left inside the beltway views the Hispanic vote as far too valuable to alienate, and the left outside the beltway simply lets emotion trump common sense. The thing is, when it comes to the scourge of illegal immigration, fact and reality are on our side. Consider:
- From 1989–2006 the United States welcomed an average of 1,000,000 immigrants per year; equal to the highest number allowed at any time in the past century.
- The current “flood” of immigrants has not abated in spite of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on America.
- Mexico is the largest source of United States immigrants followed by China, the Philippines, and India. These figures do not include refugees; nor do they include illegal immigrants. Effectively, the United States accepts as many immigrants as the rest of the world combined and more than twice the number of refugees as the next nine countries combined.
- Approximately 50 percent of immigrants file for citizenship. The number attaining citizenship is, of course, much higher than any other country in the world. In fact, many countries do not allow any immigrants to become citizens; this is very true of all Middle Eastern countries (except for Israel), who do not allow even other Middle Easterners to become citizens. In the Middle East, newborns are citizens of their ancestor’s country, not the country of birth.
As can be seen, the idea that the United States is somehow not living up to its heritage of receiving immigrants is very wrong; the United States is, in fact, continuing to be the most welcoming nation in the world. So, the next time someone states that our immigration policies are unfair, ask them: “Why do you think it is reasonable to expect us to do more than we are already doing, when we are already doing as much as the rest of the world combined?”
Furthermore, according to a January 2006 poll by Time magazine, the majority of U.S. citizens believe the laws of the land should be followed — in fact, 89 percent of the American public felt that illegal immigration was a “serious” problem, with 63 percent seeing it as either extremely or very serious. More recently, in May 2007 The New York Times found that 82 percent of the public believed that not enough was being done to secure our borders. And, at the time of the last presidential election in November 2008, a Zogby poll found that only 21 percent of all voters supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
The vast majority believes in the laws of the land. The understand that we have a process for obtaining U.S. citizenship that should be followed — essentially, it involves getting in line. Those who cut or otherwise skip forward at the expense of others should be promptly directed to the back of the line.
Brad Fregger is a Texas-based writer, professor and publisher with a Master’s Degree in Futuristics. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2009.