Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My Ideas On A Comprehensive Immigration Bill

Remarks by President Bush in the East room on January 7, 2004.

"I propose a new temporary worker program that will match willing foreign workers with willing American employers, when no Americans can be found to fill the jobs. This program will offer legal status, as temporary workers, to the millions of undocumented men and women now employed in the United States, and to those in foreign countries who seek to participate in the program and have been offered employment here. This new system should be clear and efficient, so employers are able to find workers quickly and simply.

All who participate in the temporary worker program must have a job, or, if not living in the United States, a job offer. The legal status granted by this program will last three years and will be renewable -- but it will have an end. Participants who do not remain employed, who do not follow the rules of the program, or who break the law will not be eligible for continued participation and will be required to return to their home."

When did this vision mutate into a path to citizenship?

I must admit to being confused as to how such a simple proposal morphed into the amnesty bill passed by the Senate. In re-reading President Bush's remarks once again, it appears to make sense. The first prioity of strengthening our borders must be achieved.Then the documentation of the illegal workers currently present within our borders can be accomplished not as an automatic path to citizenship but as temporary workers. After three years, those who have abided by our laws, paid their taxes and have been investigated and found not to have used fraudulent documents, stolen identity or been convicted of other felonies may apply for an extension of guest worker status. They would be free at any time to return to their home country and begin the application process followed by everyone else to begin the path to citizenship. They would be able to re-enter the USA with their current biometric card. If this were enacted, we would learn who is here within our borders. Any illegal alien who does not come forward and register within a predetermined timeframe will be ineligible to work or receive any public benefits with the exception of emergency care for life threatening illness. Any alien who does not apply for guest worker status will be deported upon discovery of their illegal presence. The needs of small and big business will be met. Laws requiring prevailing wages and workers insurance will be mandated for all employers. ICE will only have to repond when local law enforcement finds undocumented people. Catch and release will cease.

Biometric cards will replace current legal documents such as green cards and student, non worker visas These cards will be required for employment and for enrolling dependent children (along with the child's birth certificate to authenicate parentage) in our schools. The biometric card will be required by landlords to verify legality. Temporary lodging such as hotels and motels shall have the right to request the biometric card without threat of lawsuit. Babies born to any alien who is not currently on a citizenship path will not be granted citizenship. Driver's licenses can be granted for any documented worker once they have passed the written and road test and have the state mandated insurance. Driver's licenses can be granted for any documented worker once they have passed the written and road test and have the state mandated insurance. Such driver's license would indicate guest status so it cannot be used for voting ID.

This would be humane in that the current illegal aliens would have an opportunity to apply for citizenship through the regular channels and at the back of the line. This is fair to those who are currently waiting and following our laws and procedures. A valid guest worker biometric card would allow persons to return home in the event of faamily emergency, on vacation etc. and allow them to re-enter and return to their jobs. It would also allow our nation to maintain control of the number of immigrants who eventually become citizens. It would discourage aliens from entering without documents or remaining with outdated documents since they will not be able to find work and will be deported upon discovery with minimal legal procedures. Illegal presence mandating deportation will invalidate any request for guest worker status or application for citizenship. The biometrics of such illegals who are deported will be on file and cross checked for all aliens applying for entry visa, work permit or path to citizenship. Once enacted and the potential illegal immigrants are informed, I believe fewer persons will be tempted to enter illegally or overstay with outdated documents.

Persons applying for citizenship, along with dependent family members, will be counted against the legal number of immigrants on the citizenship path. Dependent children of persons on the citizenship path will be required to file application for citizenship.Those with jobs or in school fulltime who meet all requirements will be placed on a path to citizenship if they have clean records. Only under age children and dependent parents will be allowed. All other family will need to apply for themselves without preference.

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