Thursday, August 9, 2007

Immigration Revisted

Since the death of the immigration bill, the fate of the 12 million illegal aliens is in limbo. There are press reports that the government is considering new measures to crack down on employers employing illegals, while other reports state that the many are looking to return home. Meanwhile, frustrated at the inability of the federal government to act, many municipalities are taking matters into their own hands. Most seem to be using local law enforcement to arrest illegals. New Haven, Connecticut, on the otter hand, is considering granting all illegals local identity cards. A New York City Council member is proposing a similar program.

The problem of illegal immigration will not go away overnight. You cannot deport 12 million people, yet it is clear that the country needs to come to grips with the problem. I supported the immigration reform bill that was introduced earlier this year, but now realize that the bill was a large part of the problem. So what to do?
  1. Recognize that a comprehensive bill is not necessary, incremental steps are fine.
  2. Do not try to be secretive, hold hearings and make the process as open as possible.
  3. Recognize that many people do not trust the government to enforce the bill when passed, so show enforcement now to get a bill later.
  4. Recognize that not everyone who opposed the bill is a racist member of the Klan. Most who opposed the bill had real concerns, maybe overly emotional concerns, but concerns that need to be addressed.
  5. Don't try and micromanage immigration.
  6. Recognize that you can build a fence 100 feet highs and surround the country with sharks with lasers on their heads, and people will still try and sneak in.

There will eventually be an amnesty. The best we can do is try and avoid the immigration meltdown of the last 20 years.

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