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This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.

Immigration Reform Proposal, By Citizen Writer, Maeve Wilder
American Citizen 5/25/2021 12:02 PM

 

 My previous articles attempted to lay down some elements of the two areas that Conservatives actually have the upper hand right now: the pro-life movement and the homeschool movement.  Yes, it’s just the two. The articles were a public brainstorm about some of the reasons I think those two movements are doing well and, today, I want to take those elements and try to fit them to another issue: immigration.

 The issue of immigration needs a facelift in the Conservative policy arena.  Right now, we come across as being completely against immigration which is not true.  Liberals constantly point out that we were all immigrants at some point and ask, don’t we care about anyone other than Americans?  And we sputter and answer, “But—but—they’re breaking the law!”  It’s not enough to say, “Build the wall!”  We need to have an actual plan on how to make immigration work well in America.  

 Now, the idea I will share today is, again, a brainstorm.  This is not a fully-fleshed plan.  However, I always like to have examples or practical steps to go beyond idea pieces.  So, if I had the ear of someone forming Republican/Conservative policy on the area of immigration I would recommend:

 First, build the wall.  So, this is common sense to Conservatives, but it is the starting place for any immigration policy suggestions.  If people can come into the U.S. without bothering to go through official channels, why wouldn’t they?  How many of us have snuck into a high school football game through an opening in the fence?  Actually, why do they fence football fields at all?  Easy.  If people can get around paying the fee, they will.  They will skirt the rules if they can.  If a high school needs to fence its field, why doesn’t the U.S. need to fence its borders?  If a country is going to bother with laws, they need to attempt to inhibit the breaking of those laws.  Obviously.  But our policy must include more than a wall.

 Second, we need to deport the immigrants that are illegally in the U.S. Now, there are two important points at this step.  First point, we need to incentivize the illegal immigrants to want to turn themselves in.  We need to reward their honesty with a moratorium on punishments for a short time and being put first in line to be able to go through the process and make it legal.  If, after a certain date, an illegal immigrant is caught and they didn’t turn themselves in, then they are immediately deported without exception.  

 The best way to handle this may be to start a database where the illegal immigrants can give notice of their status and, if they sign up before a certain date, they won’t even have to leave the country.  If they miss that date, they would be sent to holding facilities (it would be best to make this as small a number as possible) and anyone caught after that point is too late, deported for good.  And we need to actually do it.

 The second point is for Conservatives to realize that not all illegals will be caught.  That’s okay.  The main purpose for this deportation step isn’t to catch all the illegals but, rather, to set a precedence.  Let the world see that we are now serious about keeping our own laws on immigration and, hopefully, less will try to enter the country illegally.

 Finally, we can begin to talk about immigration reform.  I propose that we significantly shorten the process to get legal immigrants in the country and working but, here’s the catch, they must be sponsored by a group/organization to help them achieve citizenship/permanent residency.  

 This sponsorship idea is what makes me excited about this issue.  This would allow groups, even churches, to sponsor an individual or nuclear family.  To help them find a home, jobs, help with language learning and to assimilate into their local communities.  This group is also tasked with getting to know the family and keeping an eye out for possible terrorist leanings.  After reaching certain program-determined goals, the family would be phased out of the sponsorship program and into residency/citizenship but, hopefully, they would continue to have relationships and support from their sponsorship group.

 The sponsorship group wants this family to succeed and invests in them.  The immigrant family is incentivized to get involved in the community and embrace their new American home.  This would also help to limit the influx of immigrant families and limit the congregating of people from the same country to allow a true melting pot scenario.  What an awesome opportunity for Americans to learn about other countries and cultures too.  

Further, this idea gives a raison d’être for churches in the minds of Liberals in a way that would support what they claim to want – more immigrants being allowed to enter the U.S.  It would allow churches and other ministries to truly help people and it would encourage immigrant families to stay together instead of ripping them apart.  This plan would also keep Democrats from stealing the vote of an entire bloc of values voters based on the single issue of immigration.  This sponsorship plan could help bring new families into areas that are desperate for growth and revitalization.

 For Conservatives to have a solid immigration plan that would set the immigrants up for success would be a game changer to the mud-slinging we constantly endure from the left.  It would demonstrate that we do care about people from other countries and that we want to do more than drop them into a “Little Columbia” or wherever but actually help them to pursue life, liberty and happiness.  This local immersion idea would allow immigration to strengthen America instead of weakening it.

 

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