First published in August, 2016. Slight modifications, including title change, to reflect that Trump is now president.
During the campaign, Donald Trump said he would implement a firm but fair immigration policy. That hasn’t happened yet so I’ve taken a shot at some of the specifics of how to handle the illegal immigrants who are currently in the U.S (including DACA recipients). These ideas assume Congress follows through on Trump’s plan to build a wall on the southern border seriously limiting the inflow of illegal immigrants.
- Illegal immigrants who would like to stay in this country but are willing to give up on ever being citizens would be given a chance to register as a “special” resident alien within (NN-pick a number) days. Illegal immigrants who ultimately desire to become residents must leave the country within NN days. They can re-enter later under reformed immigration laws to be addressed by Congress.
- No illegal currently accused of committing a felony would be allowed to register unless the felony is cleared from their record.
- Any illegal who remains in the country but does not register would be deported if discovered by normal processes and would not be subject to legal re-entry for a period of 5 years.
- “Special” resident aliens would be given green cards subject to annual renewal based on remaining actively employed and paying applicable taxes, i. e., “special” resident aliens would not be subject to welfare support more than 90 days in any calendar year. They, as non-citizens, would have no voting rights. They can never apply for citizenship unless they leave the country and come back under the then current immigration laws.
- Any special resident alien who is found guilty of a felony would be automatically deported.
- ICE would focus on hunting down and deporting all illegals who have committed felony crimes.
- Any municipality not adhering to this policy would not receive any federal funding. Any state not adhering to these laws, would not receive any federal funding. Government officials would be subject to criminal punishment for non-adherence.
- Congress would be asked to reform current immigration policies to emphasize protecting American workers while meeting the needs of employers requiring specialized skills that cannot be filled within the U.S. workforce. Strict tests for the latter should be part of the policy.
- Immigration for humanitarian reasons should be incorporated into the policy but only coincident with verifiable vetting processes.
Obviously, I’ve left more than a few holes in the policy. For instance, how do other laws that we have for resident aliens apply to “special” resident aliens?
Any policy change must not cave to the liberals’ path to citizenship for all illegals (just their realization of another voting constituency), but it must realize that there are illegals here who can participate in our society and economy in a positive way.