Sunday, October 7, 2007

Why do ‘Guest Workers’ need to get citizenship?

For as long as the illegal immigration problem has been around, advocates for illegal immigrants have tried to impress everyone that those coming here illegally are merely trying to get a job and earn money; therefore, we should not punish them for violating our laws by entering the United States illegally.

Every 20-years or so, congress wakes up to the illegal immigration problem and proposes a ‘cure’. The last time congressional slumber was aroused, laws were passed to give ‘amnesty’ to millions of illegal immigrants here at that time. This ‘cure’ did not halt the tide of illegal immigration, in fact, it increased. Also increased were the cost of welfare and other entitlements, burdens on local communities around the country, especially in the southwest, and burdens and cost of healthcare. Hospital emergency rooms continue to function as local general medical practitioners, straining resources and sometimes making it difficult for ‘emergency rooms’ to be available for actual medical emergencies. Although illegal immigrants are certainly not the only source of crime, crime increases unnecessarily with the added criminal pool.

Now we have congress members stepping all over themselves to produce the latest ‘cure’ for illegal immigration, unfortunately led by the president himself. Many proposals are in the mix, but all envision some sort of ‘guest worker’ program. Such a program is deemed necessary by business that covets low cost labor, and Democrats that see an expanded dependency class that will vote for them, if everyone will agree to another amnesty provision that will add to voter rolls. However, since ‘amnesty’ has become a dirty word for many, sort of like the word ‘liberal’, supporters have to lie and say their proposals are not ‘amnesty’; the proposals only permit citizenship after those here illegally ‘pay’ a price. The payment may be a fine, and/or a requirement to work here at sub par wages for some period of time. Thus, this is not considered ‘amnesty’ because the illegal immigrant will have earned their right to citizenship. But citizenship in the United States should not be a prize to be awarded for violating our country’s laws. Only immigrants who comply with U. S. laws should qualify for citizenship.

Unfortunately for Orwellian doublespeak supporters of illegal immigrants, words still have recognized meanings, that is, until changed by liberal dictionary writers. According to my Funk and Wagnall’s (not really, it’s my unabridged Random House Dictionary), the word ‘amnesty’ means in the case of law “an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole”. Also mentioned, actually as the first definition, is “a general pardon for offenses, esp. political offenses, against a government, often granted before any trial or conviction”. The accepted definition of amnesty does not exclude crime violators who have to ‘stand in the back’ of the citizenship line, or who pay for citizenship, or who are willing to work for very low wages a while before getting to become a citizen. When a crime is committed, the offender is only excused from conviction and punishment by, you guessed it, AMNESTY.

So I will not be confused with the many who only criticize but offer no solutions, I do have a real ‘cure’ for the illegal immigration problem.

This is what I propose: a real guest worker program but without granting citizenship opportunity to actual guest workers coming to the United States “to get a job and earn money for themselves and their families, and who are willing to take a job Americans will not do”; the latter is another of the mantras offered by illegal immigrant supporters. There is no need to also offer a carrot of citizenship; after all, we are told that is not the motivation of illegal immigrants anyway. Here then is my eight-point program (I reserve the right to add other terms to the program as I think of them):

1. Establish a procedure whereby a non-citizen who wishes to work in the United States may complete a simple application form, providing name and other data to enable a criminal background check (the non-citizen applicant need not only be from Mexico); after a suitable, but short, period of time during which the background check will be completed, the applicant returns to get a time-limited, distinguishable, guest worker entry card which may be used to gain entry and employment and as a residence permit, or is refused because of failure to be approved in the background check. One application for a guest worker card must be completed for each guest worker. Families of guest workers are not encompassed by a guest worker card for lawful entry into the United States, and residence.

2. Anyone knowingly hiring an employee not a citizen who does not have a valid guest worker card, and anyone seeking employment without a valid guest worker card, should be guilty of a felony.

3. Anyone knowingly assisting illegal entry into the United States should be guilty of a felony. Anyone assisting illegal immigrants in the United States by providing humanitarian aid should not be guilty of a crime, but anyone assisting someone to violate any law in this country should be also guilty of a crime.

4. Anyone remaining in the United States after expiration of their guest worker card will be returned to their home country and refused admission thereafter. Those desiring to renew a guest worker card may do so before expiration but another application must be filed and another criminal background check must be completed before a renewal may be issued.

5. Guest workers are obligated to pay federal, state and local taxes while in the United States, but not social security taxes. Guest workers must also purchase health insurance for themselves and their families if the family is created while a resident of the United States while here, or make arrangements for their employer to provide them and their family with paid health insurance. Guest workers will not be entitled to receive social security benefits.

6. Children of guest workers born in the United States must not be automatically entitled to U. S. citizenship. The alternative of deporting pregnant women to their home country prior to delivery is not acceptable so it is imperative that citizenship is not granted to guest workers or their offspring.

7. Guest workers may qualify for certain, particular government benefits. Examples of such benefits may be: education for their children in grades K to 12 in public schools (but “in-state tuition” to college should not be allowed unless citizens of other states receive the same treatment); housing benefits equal to citizens of equal income levels; food benefits equal to citizens of equal income levels; clothing benefits, if any, equal to citizens of equal income levels; and other benefits to be determined as a matter of fairness. The foregoing should apply to guest workers already here who have properly registered and received legal guest worker status as such, but not to other illegal aliens.

8. The Mexican border should be unconditionally strengthened. We should construct a suitable wall or other effective technical barrier on our entire border, with appropriate entry check points. Those who equate this with the Berlin Wall are sadly mistaken; the Berlin Wall was to keep people inside, our wall is to keep unauthorized people out of our country. This is imperative for security and border control. It will have the additional benefit of assisting with limiting entry of narcotics. Laws regarding illegal entry and other restrictions must be vigorously enforced. If adequate numbers of border control agents are not available, National Guard troops should be deployed at the border after suitable training and with all equipment necessary. National Guard deployments should be for limited, specific predetermined terms for each guardsman, and should not be unduly long.

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