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Jason Holliston
 
Tuesday, January 13, 2004  
Immigration Problems

I'll be the first one to admit that I need to sit down and do some real research on the President's immigration plan. Because of that, I'm not going to really comment on the sound bites that I've heard on television and the radio. I've been remarkably busy lately, and am behind on my politics. They need to invent a pill that allows me to get a full night's sleep in about 4 hours.

I will, however, espouse my opinion about what we should do about it, in my perfect world that'll never exist. If you listen to or watch Bill O'Reilly, as I do when I have time (about once a week), you might have heard his prescription, and it's one that most closely matches mine. First, you have about 10 million illegal immigrants in the US right now (give or take a couple million, and don't give me the "undocumented" spin). It's impossible to round all of them up, and I wouldn't want to if you could. A vast majority of these people are valuable, law abiding members of society, contributing to our economy and bringing in the new blood any country needs to remain dynamic and competitive in the world market of today. I'm a firm believer that, through my own philosophy and through reading a few studies, that the positives far outweigh the negatives. So, the first thing I'd do is give them all amnesty, as long as they came forward to enter the "system" -- either though application for citizenship or a long term worker visa.

There is a problem, though, especially in the age of Islamo-fascism. Having open, essentially unpatrolled borders is an intolerable security risk to our country. I know that if I was a terrorist, and I wanted to bring something deadly into the country, the Mexican border would be a strong option for entry. So, the second thing I'd want to see happen is the true securing of the border with Mexico, as well as better patrolling of the Canadian border and our ports. I don't know how feasible it is to close it off completely, but you can certainly do a better job than we're doing now. Anyone that attempts to cross illegally gets documented and not allowed to enter the country legally for, say, 5 years.

My third step would be to open our immigration policy almost completely to most countries in the world. Citizenship would have to be earned, through being a productive and law abiding guest for a number of years. Just about anyone would have a real opportunity to be an American if they so chose. The catch is, of course, that after the declaration of amnesty and a time period of a year or two, we'd come down hard on illegals. That shouldn't be a problem, though, since there wouldn't be much incentive to be here illegally, unless you have something to hide, such as being a criminal or a terrorist.

So, that's my solution to our immigration problem. Over the next several days, I'm going to try and do some research on Bush's plan, and see how it matches up. Who knows? Maybe his plan isn't politically charged and is actually a good solution to a problem that's been going on in our country for way to long.

The funny thing about my opinion is that both sides of the argument would disagree with me. One side would scream that the damn immigrants are taking away American jobs, which is, of course, complete claptrap. Any economist worth their salt would say that immigration creates jobs. It's not like there's a fixed number of jobs in a given country, and when they're filled, that's it. The other side would scream and say that I'm racist for not allowing anyone to come into the US, stay as long as they want, and never make their presence known to the authorities. Just crazy -- no other word for it, especially these days.

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