In this Part 3, we will look at American attitudes on immigration with the likelihood a ‘conservative’ plan could be implemented. Is this one instance where being conservative will kill us politically? At the end of this post, the PolitiJim solution will be laid out (and embraced of course) as the best idea for immigration reform.
Part 1 is about why holding people accountable for breaking the law is important and a little more complete understanding of Newt’s consistent immigration stance as well as what he did NOT say.
Part 2 laid out THE ULTIMATE CONSERVATIVE IMMIGRATION PLAN and the ECONOMIC REALITIES all of these plans must meet. All part links are here:
A reminder of why NO concrete plan is not possible:
- We don’t know who is here, where they are what they are up to.
- We aren’t controlling the RIGHT type of immigrants, much less the right number
- Even if we aren’t loosing many jobs to illegals (which we aren’t quite sure of), the “bad” illegals who use our education and healthcare systems also over burden our law enforcement officials. In many jurisdictions, illegals are less likely to go to jail than American citizens because of the misplaced “tolerance” to race.
Thanks to Newt, just like Cain’s 9-9-9 plan gave us something to critique – immigration is now up, and I’m glad for it. We all pretty much agrees the border needs to be fastened down tighter than spandex on Rosie O’Donnell. But WHAT DO WE DO with the illegal immigrants already here? In part 2 we learned that it would take five years and possibly as much money as we spent on TARP to “throw the bums out. Fourteen Million plus Illegal Immigrants and likely
3 Million US citizen children to illegal parents.
What we also have is an anger on behalf of many of us that are upset these people could freely break our laws coming into the country, and do so without consequence. It particularly irks us that they enjoy the fruits paid for in blood by generations of people that believed in “freedom” AND “abiding by the law.” And the discussion that they could “cut in line” in front of millions who have gone about entering our country the RIGHT way, makes us puke.
Many who argue for allowing these people to stay under some arrangement to make them “legal” (but not citizens) seem to have four arguments:
- They are an economic benefit to the US and do jobs we wont.
- They are good, hardworking people just trying to earn a living.
- If we don’t allow illegals to stay, they US Hispanics will all vote Democratic and Republicans will never win another election.
- Many already here are good people who have paid US taxes and it would tear families and communities apart to make them leave.
To the last point, most of us respond, “Boo, frickin’ hoo.” And it is NOT “unChristian” to protect our borders from being overrun by people who don’t respect our laws. Lying, disobeying national laws and not submitting to authority are every bit a part of God’s good book as is “loving your neighbor” and entertaining visitors. La Shawn Barber has a great piece on a Christians view of immigration here.
What the people who espouse these views as “reasons” to allow illegals to stay and get off scott-free do not understand is that TRUE conservatives are people of principle. You could promise the resurrection of Ronald Reagan and we still would not depart from our principles of honesty and integrity.
Can we agree that WHATEVER the plan is, it must come from an acknowledgement that “illegals”:
- must acknowledge that they BROKE our laws.
- must have a significant consequence for breaking our laws.
- they will not be allowed preferential treatment just for having gotten away with breaking the laws for a long time.
With no apologies to Newt and Rick, WE ARE A COMPASSINATE country. We donate more money to charity (and international missions and relief) than liberals and any other people on the planet. Most of us help our families, friends and neighbors without a second thought for our own wellbeing if they truly need it. And we don’t look for attention or glory, thanking God we were able to do it.
But excuse us if we would like our generosity to come from our own free will rather than have it extorted from us.
However. It seems we are not only a minority in the country, We may be so in our own party. Even if we wanted to implement the “Ultimate Conservative Immigration Plan,” the question is could we? Or we would end up doing what we despise the liberals of doing to us with Obamacare - implementing legislation AGAINST the majority of the voters? It seems from this chart below, most Americans DO believe that getting a handle on the border is more about creating a system for illegals to work here than just enforcing laws.
WHO BELIEVES WHAT?
But we conservatives aren’t alone in our immigration angst. Here is how Americans feel about the number of illegals here:
Pretty interesting that three quarters of Americans are either angry or dissatisfied, right? Here is a quick overview of what Americans feel about different hot button issues on immigration.
Simply allow illegals to work legally
Impose stricter laws instead of illegal integration into society
Like AZ Law to enforce Fed Laws
Impose Fines on Employers hiring illegals
Ok for local/state cops to ask for citizenship papers of people they stop.
Should we make it easier for illegals to become citizens?
Illegals cost money to the government instead of paying their fair share of taxes
It looks the vast majority are all on the same page, right? What’s the big deal? Newt must be a friggin’ moron to have endorsed this other program, right? Add in these questions and the picture isn’t quite as clear:
Favor a way for illegals to be US citizens?
Change 14th Amendment to disallow US citizenship to children born here to illegals
Deport illegals (Favor) or give way to be legal residents (Oppose)
Illegals take jobs Americans don’t want, not jobs Americans want - (Favor = yes)
When breaking down the numbers it seems that for MOST Americans understand the severity of illegals being here, but don’t have the stomach to send them across the border FEDEX. Again, I’m not using polls as the DECISION MAKER of what we should do – just trying to find out how many people already agree with the general conservative stance, and how many need to be
waterboarded, I mean persuaded. (Sorry, my Chicago roots are showing.)
But just as it showed that only one quarter of Americans are “angry” – it seems that most Americans would be content to find a way for illegals to be legal (but not citizens) if they would pay a fine and meet some other conditions by a margin of about 60% to 40%. Again, hardly a “deport them all” consensus.
And polls have another problem. Not that polls are wrong in the sense of incorrectly calculating views – but that PEOPLE CAN BE WRONG in their opinions. Don’t believe me? how about the 52% of Americans that thought Barack Hussein Obama would bring ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ heal racial problems, fix the economy and be better than George Bush? Polls showed that people THOUGHT he would – but they were wrong. They are only a picture of groups of opinions at a moment in time – destined to change upon MORE information or experience.
In fact, it seems Americans are factually wrong on two issues:
- Illegals on whole DO provide more a positive tax benefit at state and federal levels (although possibly negative in some local areas), and,
- Illegals do NOT take many jobs Americans would want (with exception of 1% or slightly more in a down economy).
It is a small percentage of illegals that are a financial burden and the rest DO provide a benefit to the economy – possibly as much as 5% of GDP. THAT DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD JUST LET THEM SAY. But let’s be accurate about the whole picture.
Will Hispanics Never Vote For Republicans?
Can I first say that I HATE breaking down studies into ethnic or social classes. It is demeaning to those groups (in my estimation) since it assumes that Blacks or Latino’s can’t think of what is the best economic policy for their family without checking whether they have Univision, BET or the NASCAR channel on. But lets get to the bottom of this argument. What about the charge that the growing Hispanic population would massively vote for - and keep voting for - the Democrats? Again, PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVES are the Honey Badgers here and just don’t care. We want to do what is RIGHT, not what is political expedient. But it is important to know the facts.
According to the Hispanic Studies arm of the Pew Research Center, Here is how Hispanics voted in the last 3 elections:
There were unprecedented Hispanic Republicans running in the 2010 mid-term elections including Marco Rubio who won 55% of the Hispanic vote in Florida while Sandoval in Nevada only garnered 33% – both unprecedented increases. A quick look at this would seem to suggest that Hispanics are actually TRENDING toward Republicans. Since 2006 – Latino’s represent eight percent (8%) of VOTERS.
However. Last month over 60% of Hispanics STILL approved of the job President Obama was doing. Forty Nine percent (49%) said they were CERTAIN they would still vote for Obama in 2012. While that is down significantly from 2008/2010, like African Americans, it is wildly different from the rest of the planet who understand that the man is laser focused on jobs. Loosing them, that is. (9% are certain to vote GOP, with an additional 14% leaning toward GOP). MIND BENDER: More want Obamacare repealed (29%) than who might vote Republican (22%).
One last interesting general poll. Mr. “Sensitive” Rick Perry has a 22% to 39% favorable/unfavorable rating as opposed to Gingrich at 22%/36%. The most “conservative” anti-illegal immigration policy is Michelle Bachmann and her negative/positive is 13%/29% although nearly a third more have never heard of her. These polls were BEFORE the Gingrich issue but interesting that in terms of negatives, the GOP policy doesn’t make any difference at this juncture.
So what about immigration policy? Here are some Hispanic opinions:
GOP does better job on immigration
Provide a way for illegals already here in US to be legal
Illegals mostly contribute to US society rather than drain it
Hispanics take jobs Americans don’t want
It should be a serious criminal offense to enter and remain in US without proper documents
Hispanics are unfairly targeted for illegal immigration documents
Do Favor or Oppose the AZ Immigration law
If a candidate had similar views to yours EXCEPT immigration, how Likely or Unlikely would you be to vote AGAINST them
Interestingly, 33% of that “likely” (to not vote for a candidate) was only somewhat likely. (Both groups were only 13% to extremely likely and about 20% very likely.) In other words, A Republican who changes their immigration stance to accommodate Hispanic “feelings” isn’t terribly likely to pick up a ton more votes because of it.
A Univision study shows that Fifty Three percent (53%) or Latinos personally KNOW an undocumented worker and 25% have a family member who is undocumented. It also believes that Latino’s as a whole are becoming MORE liberal because of a perceived undertone of being “anti-Hispanic” when discussing immigration. I don’t for a minute believe this assumption since the focus on conservatives in 2010 actually INCREASED the GOP Latino vote. My guess is – like the rest of the population – if you only listen to UNIVISION and liberal Spanish radio, that will be your view. Just like is if you only listen to MSNBC and NPR.
But 43% of Hispanics call themselves conservative, 37% liberal and 20% moderate. Even 32% of Democrats call themselves conservatives! Perhaps more importantly, this poll showed that Washington DC wasting money was the TOP concern of Hispanic SWING voters.
Conclusion: A better economy is better for ALL voters. Those who are already predisposed to a “liberal” mindset are really no more likely to vote for a “conservative” than a non-Hispanic. Study after study has shown that Hispanics certainly share many socially conservative views as conservative Republicans including a much higher anti-gay marriage turnout in California than even non-Hispanic whites. Michael Medved – no RINO by any means – still believes the anti-immigration rhetoric is hurting Republicans with Latino voters. So,
It is not a Christian virtue to be mean and vindictive. And a good parent learns that discipline is actually MORE effective, when you are NOT angry. But the parent who is permissive to his children because he wants to be “liked,” soon has an uncontrollable, undisciplined extortion-er. (You don’t like my children or employee analogy? Go to your room. I’ll deal with you later). But seriously, as a country we have a responsibility and an authority to exert since it is, “WE the people” who are the government – not a king or bureaucracy. The elections were in 2010 were a big part of taking back that responsibility when we were a bit too permissive with our pampered and seldom rebuked Bush baby.
SELF DEPORTING VS. FORCED DEPORTATION
The new Alabama immigration law has proven that the fear of the law will cause a great deal of illegals to self-deport. Newt’s RED CARD program isn’t so much worried about deportation – but loosing that workforce once they come back. The self-deportation in Newt’s program is more of a “least pain” incentive to no longer have guilt (and the longer term fear incentive it will become harder to stay illegal in the future).
Lest some bleeding heart liberals, Rick Perry or Mr. Gingrich think I’m “heartless.” I’d like to share a very personal story about responsibility and restitution.
POLITIJIM CONFESSION. I stole a car when I was in college. I evaded the law for about 2 or 3 years but made Jesus my boss during that time. One day, while I was sitting in church – getting on with my life and trying to be a better man, human and Christian – my pastor decided to speak on the issue of “RESTITUTION.” My pastor gave great sermons and I was all excited until I was convicted by the Holy Spirit that I had to turn myself in. I was getting married, was an executive at the bank and doing so could have (and nearly did) cost me five years of my life in jail at a minimum plus the INABILITY to continue my career. But God taught me to be responsible for my actions. If you do the crime, a REAL man – a REAL Christian, trusts God to fess up and pay up. A debt to the law is every bit as important as a financial debt morally, for your own self-esteem, and for your citizenship. God was gracious to me to get off with probation, and an eventual pardon. But it closed a chapter in my life in understanding that even if you think you are smarter than everyone else, you are a selfish SOB and ultimately will loose self esteem for yourself. Those of us that had permissive parents, WILL get our discipline lesson, one way or the other. And I have to believe not only is this why 80% to 90% say they want to get right with the law, but why many (regardless of race) can never seem to “get ahead.”
A tolerance for lawlessness, only breeds more lawlessness. Why do you think all those bratty kids scream to get their favorite candy bar in the checkout aisle of the grocery store? No matter how stern the warning or threat, the kids have BEEN taught – that if they keep it up – the parents will cave. But the parent who is quick to associate appropriate physical pain with a whine or tantrum – soon have children WE want to slip a candy bar or pack of gum to since it is such a pleasure to be around them.
THEREFORE IT IS TIME TO INFLICT PAIN.
Or the PolitiJim Anti-illegal Immigration & Naturalization plan.
This is what Newt SHOULD have said:
To those who waited patiently in line and became a US Citizen through our existing laws, we salute and honor you. Thank you for teaching your children that obedience to good authority and good laws will bring you prosperity, happiness and opportunity. If you are here illegally, shame on you. Shame on you for disrespecting the blood of our forefathers who took years to finally agree to fight for independence – even from tyranny - because they were so concerned with trying to live under authority and the law respectfully. And shame on you for teaching your children that if you keep breaking the law long enough, it will pay off and that the schmucks who try to do things honorably were foolish. You will not get away with this anymore. We aren’t angry, but we are determined.
This country was founded on Judeo Christian values which you have defaced even in the very concept of Liberty. Freedom isn’t an excuse to do what you want, but a responsibility to do what you ought. Many of you have worked hard and tried to assimilate yourself into our country. It is likely somewhere inside of your heart, you know that what you are doing has been wrong. Most of all, you will have to answer to God Almighty for putting financial prosperity above His principles as your idol. But that is between you and God. We on the other hand are a great and generous country weakened by those who have decided to extort finances from their neighbors. And now you will now need to pay for every year that you have stolen the luxuries of this country by taking on an extra portion of the burdens she endures. If you love this country, you can earn your way to be a part of it. And to the employers who knowingly harbored these people, you too will be called upon to contribute to help stop the weakening of the moral fabric of the country.
If you are an honorable person, a law abiding citizen and love this country as much as we do, you are welcome to help us build her into a light that will shine to all nations. But everyone, must contribute not just their fortunes, but their sacred honor also so that we can rebuild America into the promise of opportunity once again.
And then I would give them my plan. It is not a plan to allow any illegal immigrant to get away with what they have done, but to find a way for them to regain their own personal honor while helping this country.
I am NOT advocating for complete deportation because it is politically harmful to Republicans or financially beneficial to the Republic. If the illegals who have been here want to stay - they may at a greater penalty, than if they leave, apply properly and come back at another time. They run risks either way. The only slam dunk is that they and their families will see them as heroic for making their crime right.
After studying the data, economic studies and information I think these immigrants could be more useful to America (while learning their lesson) without costing more American jobs built on their current residency. It will cost them to do so. And if they are willing to do the right thing, these people will have proven themselves patriots and the type of people we want in this country.
Here is my plan:
- Repentance and Restitution (Employers and Illegals)
- An option to go back home and get in line just like they’ve had all along.
- Severe Future Consequences for those who don’t comply – and who are caught in the future
- No illegal children, Citizenship Preference for smart, hardworking people and requirement of citizenship documents at all times.
- Newt’s Red Card jobs plans that Americans won’t fill
Why should we allow these people to stay (albeit under severe conditions)? All of us would prefer to have criminals earn money (as they do for Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona) rather than become a financial burden on the community of which they have taken advantage. With the prospect of a prospective negative American birthrate, the increased Social Security and Medicare burden of the baby boomers, and the possible necessity of workers for jobs Americans will not do, we are now going to profit their indiscretion, rather than being extorted by their lawlessness. If it is true that each of these workers support 3.5 jobs because of their consumerism, they can now support 4.5 and pay back their debt to society. If they were to simply leave – we get no benefit except the cost savings of the small fraction that were net “takers” of social programs.
Step 1. Initiating a migrant (guest) worker database and an employer certification program to catalog employers and educate them on the new system. Employers who wish to use foreign (non-citizen) workers, will be much more effective at handling the operation of the system than the federal government. There also will no longer be any excuse for any employer who hires an illegal. E-verify will be implemented immediately. This IS the technology and private industry involvement portions of Newt’s Red Card program.
Step 2. Visa Laws will be changed to allow a new migrant/guest worker program for a period of time authorized by an employer for which they have a job offer. This too is similar to the Red Card program. However, under the PolitiJim plan, employers will have to pay a premium for foreign workers, making it cheaper to hire an American for the same position. No doubt there will be some tomfoolery with the process, but the employer penalties to work outside the system will be so severe, it will be financially beneficial for the employer to use it correctly. Our government generates additional fees from these new foreign workers to pay for the program. An economist will have to come up with the foreign worker “premium” although my idea is a 10% salary fee while eliminating the minimum wage laws. This will go into effect BEFORE the offer for CURRENT illegals to be processed, further incentivizing them to return to their country and try the “new” process. It also gives a chance to people who HAVE WAITED IN LINE to go first. If the current US illegal has not taken the same risk already and gone home, they will have to wait AFTER new applicants for the job they currently have. Foreign workers will not be eligible for Social Security or Medicaid but will pay into the system helping to offset our current costs. Of course, should they apply and receive citizenship in the future, can participate normally. NOTE: True migrant workers who have been going back every year will be least effected by this process since they have a home to return to and they know an employer who will offer them a position. If the US truly needs these workers to put food on the table, this will be the least impacted industry per economist’s concerns.
Step 3. Restitution – Current illegal residents will be given 3 months to either leave and go back to their home country or to turn themselves into the nearest local or state police department. THOSE WHO LEAVE, will simply reenter the application process for work visa or residency. The police will have an opportunity to fingerprint and and question the illegal for outstanding crimes (and be profiled) depending upon when and how they entered the country. This is important to build a database of those who have perhaps lived “off the grid” but is more important for ensuing months when those without documentation are captured. As usual MOST real criminals will not turn themselves in, but the proverbial “noose” will be in place for failure to be “in” the database if caught in the future. The real pressure will be put on those who have other crimes or want to continue their illegality.
There are numerous penalties already on the books for lying on an I9 form or misusing a social security number including penalties up to 5 years in jail and up to $250,000 year fines. In reality, the courts would be hard pressed to process the influx of court work, and although there would be no lessening of these charges, the practical reality is that like most first offender infractions, the perpetrator will likely get off with probation. If the illegal has been using someone else’s identity the police will be notified for normal criminal prosecution – normally a mandatory 2 year sentence.
Those who clear the process will then begin the the next process of becoming a “legal” migrant/guest worker, just as those outside the country have been doing. However, in penalty for not going out and “getting in line” they will face:
- A five (5) year moratorium of applying for US Citizenship
- An additional 10% tax to be levied for 20 years, reduced by 1 year for every two years they can prove they paid into Social Security. (If they become a citizen of course, they no longer are susceptible to this tax.)
- Immediate loss of all payments already made to Social Security.
Once processed by the police, the illegal may go to an employment agency or their employer to pay for and receive their biometric RED CARD. Their CURRENT employer (if they have one) will have the option to advertise for a cheaper American for the position or rehire the existing one at the 10% tax. If they decide to rehire their immigrant, they will need to supply copies of the documentation the illegal provided to them by the local authorities for processing to double check stolen and false ID infractions. Obviously, if there is collusion between the employer and employee, this can be overcome with a healthy reward to the employee for turning in the employer avoiding their own prosecution and receiving a healthy reward.
?Why the police and not a “private agency” like Newt’s RED CARD system? These people have broken the law and will prove that by turning themselves in, they are willing to abide by it in the future. It is scary for them no doubt and many who have figured out the system by stealing ID’s or using false ID’s will set up integrity for the system going forward. In any case, NEW foreign workers can certainly use the private system of employers and employment agencies to get their biometric RED CARD as can existing illegals with police processing.
(See CITIZENSHIP regarding US Children citizens born to illegal parents below.)
EMPLOYER RESTITUTION – New infractions will be severe. At least $25,000 per illegal employee infraction. With financial incentives to turn in their employers for NOT reporting their new migrant status (verified by police in the initial process) no employer would be foolish enough to avoid the system. A former illegal could also be rewarded by showing pay stubs for previous years with no social security number or with evidence of employer assistance to obtain one. An employer who voluntarily turns themselves in for past infractions can also pay a matching salary penalty for the years the employee was employed going forward with complete legal exemption for that employee going forward. The offsetting inducement to turn in the employer should be large enough that employer fears this prospect and complies.
Step 4. Citizenship and Education. An entirely new citizenship bill we be passed requiring English, Constitutional and “true” history of the country. Mandatory history will be required in grade school and high school based upon something like the Wallbuilders curriculum addressing the reasons for a Republic (not a democracy), the capitalist system and the purpose behind the Federalist papers.
US Citizen Children of illegal parents. I would like to know more about the possibility that the 14th Amendment language “and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,” might actually preclude the automatic citizenship of children born on US soil to illegal trespassers. If as the scholars assume in Minor v Happersett, that “natural born citizen” requirement is definitively a American born child to two naturalized or native Americans, we have the prospect of an “anchor baby” who may spend many of his years in Mexico or abroad, returning to run for President without even a sense of American values. I assume the likelihood that the Supreme Court will settle the matter is remote and that a mere law would not clarify this. I certainly we would be in favor of a Constitutional Amendment clarifying this although not to hold up the rest of the PAIN plan. Mario Appuzo sets forth an excellent case that much of this can be handled by the states.
If however, proven to be a constitutional right, I think it is important to incentivize families with tax breaks to assist parents who desire their children to be educated with American values and who will stay with LEGAL relatives. If they are Americans I think we would much prefer they be raised here than in abroad.
It may have been Rick Perry who said any foreign college student who graduates with honors in engineering, science, math or economics should have a US citizenship stapled to their diploma. I would add some kind of renunciation of their previous country with the new citizenship test, but the idea is a step in the right direction. We want the Albert Einstein’s (who as an immigrant) of the world. Our current system is arbitrary and so prone to politics the entire quota system should be scrapped with a system that reflects a near unlimited door for those who are statistically likely to be productive and honorable citizens.
I also believe that our existing generation of young people who have been spoiled and blinded to true American values should be offered advantages and incentives for Constitutional and Capitalist studies or achievements. Every child should have to try and run a lemonade stand as part of the criteria of Federal money until we can completely do away with the Department of Education. Many conservatives will hate this (and I see some problems with it), but I’d love for us to think of ways we can incentivize kids to learn values of hard work, honor and (unvarnished) American history. I’ll never forget the anger I had at the Illinois public school system for depriving me of what I learned in my mid-20’s by the book Light and Glory. Up until that time, I had no idea that principles of America were deeply researched and sourced from major free market, capitalist and Judeo/Christian authors after a study of history’s failure in under governmental philosophies.
Finally, it is ridiculous that when you have to show a Drivers License to buy Codeine Advil or get a Costco Card, there is any discussion whatsoever of it being proof of citizenship for voting and random law enforcement checks. Anyone who has been outside of the country know that in Europe, China and even Canada, it is a common fundamental necessity to keep order and law. A Constitutional Amendment would be fine, but there certainly are bills that can be passed NOW to start this process even before my bill is passed.
So, to summarize:
- No PAIN, No Gain.
- Let’s Demand Illegals start helping pay for the mess they created.
- Let’s start teaching our children that not only is it beneficial to follow (good) law, but there are severe consequences for not doing so. (No more “charge it” mentality laying up problems for our children.)
- Conservatives need to start challenging ALL Americans and want-to-be immigrants to demonstrate good values of citizenry to their children and their community.
- And if they don’t want to, they obviously won’t make good citizens.
Postscript: Tom Tancredo has a piece in WND creating fear about the Red Card system. Tancredo is blatantly false that foreign countries will do the background checks and was a long point of discussion in the Heritage presentation by Krieble. I believe criticism much IS warranted and I discuss here this attitude of fear leveled against it by Tancredo reminds me of the “sky is falling” proclamations over Cain’s 9-9-9 plan. NONE OF THESE PLANS will be implemented as is. Most of the fears are unwarranted. Why can’t be specific about “problem areas” without trying to beat up people who are genuinely offering solutions? Again, we’re acting like a bunch of Salinsky taught liberals – rather than the cool, educated leaders we are supposed to be as conservatives.