A conservative idea for immigration reform?

Immigration reform seems to be turning into a race to be the most xenophobic right now.  With the formerly rational Lindsay Graham preaching a constitutional amendment to remover the 14th amendment, things are looking pretty grim.  That is why when I got excited when I read Patrick Dorinson’s contribution on Politico’s arena last week.  Now there are two caveats to this.  First, this is not exactly how I would like to see immigration reform done, but it is a really good starting point for negotiations.  Second, Dorinson is more of a libertarian than republican, but it is a right wing approach, and therefore deserves some thought.

Immigration is like the Gordian Knot in ancient Greece.

Many tried to untie it but nobody was able to.

When Alexander the Great tried and tried to untie it and couldn’t, he unsheathed his sword and with a mighty stroke cut it in half.

Here is my rough solution to the Gordian Knot of immigration.

The one thing that is scaring many Americans is the great demographic shift that is happening in America particularly in the West. They fear that one day by sheer numbers they will be outnumbered by Latinos legal or illegal and be in the minority. This scares them not out of any racist feelings as the know-nothings in the Eastern media would have you believe but a fear of the unknown – the most basic fear of all people.

Take California for example.

It has been reported that by 2020 California would be a majority Latino state. That is only ten years away. The report went on to say that in 2007 Latinos were one-third of the population. And in 2010 illegal immigrants make up 7.3% of the population.


When people hear the phrase “pathway to citizenship” they also hear “pathway to voting” and then they get really scared. Again not out of racist fear but fear of losing their voting power.

Now everyone with half a brain knows you can’t deport 11 or 12 million people even if you could find them.

Let’s remember many of them are doing menial jobs that even with 9.5% unemployment many Americans think is beneath them. I don’t see a lot of poor whites or blacks standing in front of Home Depot at 6 am trying to find day labor to put food on the table.

And while there is a criminal element like the drug runners and gang-bangers, it is unfair to judge a whole race of people by the crimes of a few.

Every immigrant group that ever came to these shores had bad apples. The Italians had Lucky Luciano and the Mafia, the Jews Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel and the Irish had Bugs Moran and Dion O’Banion.

So here is my solution.

Triple the budget for ICE and the Border Patrol and secure the border. Cut some other useless programs to pay for it.

Every illegal immigrant will have a limited time frame to register with the federal government. They will be given background checks. Any with criminal backgrounds will be immediately deported.

They will be required to pay fines and any back taxes owed since many of them who have been here for years are paying taxes through their illegal social security numbers. That alone will be a nightmare to unscramble.

They will be required to learn English. That is the language of this country and it should stay that way.

They will be issued a legal status card similar to a green card that will give them the ability to come out of the shadows and if they are leading productive lives they can continue to do so.

But they will never be put on any “path to citizenship”. They will be out on a “path to legal status”. They can stay and work and contribute to this nation but no one should be rewarded with the most precious gift on this planet – the right to vote as an American citizen – if they broke the law to get here.

That would also be unfair to the millions of naturalized American citizens who stood in line at American embassies and consulates around the globe to apply to come here and on many cases waited years to realize their dream.

The children born here are U.S. citizens just as the 14th Amendment states. Sorry Sen. Graham but you are full of cattle crap.

I truly believe that if you removed this “path to citizenship” idea many more Americans would feel comfortable with the situation.

Take away the right to vote and you will go a long way to solving the problem and people would have more time to adjust to the changing American demographics.

Democrats will never agree to this because there only motive is new voters they can manipulate.

Republicans would be wise to embrace this approach or they risk losing the Latino vote for years just like they lost the vote of other immigrant groups in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

How about it politicians? Ready to step up to the plate or are you more interested in playing for political advantage?

Time to cowboy up.

4 Responses to “A conservative idea for immigration reform?”

  1. Little Pima says:

    Great to see you speaking out for comprehensive immigration reform, David!

    With huge and rising unemployment, what a perfect time to legalize a vast number of new people low in skills and high in need. That’s a super idea.

    Also, with our huge budget deficits putting our economy on the brink of a disaster a la Greece, legalizing millions more unskilled and uneducated people and giving them immediate eligibility to receive our entire range of government social services is really smart (especially since almost all illegals will be among the 40% of people who pay no federal income taxes at all. Adding $120B to the deficit that is potentially poised to put us in a death spiral that will destroy our life savings–now that’s really thinking!

    Also how neat that they will become eligible to bring in their children, uncles, nieces, parents, etc. Plenty of these folks need kidney transplants and bypass surgery and so forth––we can pay for all that stuff too!

    Also, it will be swell that our schools–already sinking in international comparisons–will have lots more problem cases to challenge them! That’ll really show the Chinese, who are turning out millions of highly trained engineering and computer science majors per year. We’ll compete in the 21st century with a new army of unskilled immigrants who don’t speak our language or, in many cases, even know how to turn on computers, much less program them.

    Mass immigration of unskilled people has already approximately *doubled* our poverty rate–why stop there?

    Yes, thanks for really putting on your thinking cap and figuring out how to help your country make a sensible policy decision! What a stimulating blog you run.

    Great to see you speaking out for comprehensive immigration reform!

  2. H-Bob says:

    “the formerly rational Lindsay Graham” — he was one of the House managers in the Clinton impeachment, so he was never rational, he merely was “not entirely bat-shit crazy” ! But now he’s even given up that struggle.

  3. David Katz says:

    @Little Pima
    Ahhh sarcasm, a great way to avoid solving the problem. So Pima, what would you do? round up millions of people and kick them out? How would that effect the budget deficit? And what the hell is up with people ganging up on the 14th amendment? I have always seen the 14th as one of the greatest parts of America. In most of europe they have no such law, and there are literally 3rd generation migrants who do not have citizenship. What do you have against babies? Why should they be punished because of the actions of their parents?
    A famous argument helping to abolish slavery in England was
    “…and it was resolved, that England was too pure an air for a slave to breathe, and so everyone who breathes it becomes free. Everyone who comes to this island is entitled to the protection of English law, whatever oppression he may have suffered and whatever may be the color of his skin”

    well I say that the very idea of the United States is so mighty that anyone born of this land is granted that great right of citizenship, regardless of any sins of their parents

  4. daniel noe says:

    I think it is not only the influx of people with a foreign culture that causes the problem, it is the rapidity of the change. People need time to adjust to each other before they can live together.

    I was just at a blog yesterday with similar ideas of removing “the pathway to citizenship”, but it went a lot further, perhaps even a bit too harsh. corybirenbaum.blogspot.com/2010/08/obama-is-right-we-need-comprehensive.html

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