Last week I walked into a mine field with my piece on Marco Rubio. I’ve dusted off the shrapnel bits and today I happily leave the Senator behind to focus on the issue that brought him down, immigration reform.

Before I write another word, let me state that I’m writing only on immigration, not on border security. I assume that in the ideal world where proposals such as those below are made law, the border will already have been made secure. In the real world, too, the House should deal in first order with measures to significantly improve border security. Once such legislation is enacted, they should move on to consider remedies for our immigration swamp. Breaking the two issues apart will allow us to see more clearly what we’re getting in each legislative package.

The system for admitting people to our country is a patched-together thing that grew more and more irrational with each politically-motivated change. At the end of the 19th century the US needed lots of workers for its expanding industrial powerhouse and Europe had lots of people desperate for a chance to work. Inviting in low- or no-skill immigrants in large numbers made sense economically. To continue admitting the same demographic slice of the world’s population in the 21st century, when America hardly produces anything at all, is no help to us. We need far fewer immigrants in general, immigrants who are skilled and educated, whose own cultures are compatible with ours and who want to be Americans. Illegal immigration has been a big boon to the Democrats and welcomed by agribusiness and small businesses that rely on unskilled labor, like landscaping. But it hasn’t served the interests of the country as a whole. The system is dysfunctional and needs major reconstructive surgery.

Today’s immigrant is coming as much to take advantage of the freebies our government is giving away as he is to work. Aliens, legal and illegal, are being indoctrinated promptly upon arrival (and even before) into the welfare way of life. They are taken into the embrace of endless private facilitation agencies that live off taxpayer grants and are encouraged by our socialist government to get as many newcomers as possible onto the public dole and into the Democrat Party. We all remember the recent reports on that Latina woman who was admitted to the US twenty years ago and has never worked a day since. Instead she has stayed at her subsidized home to take care of her large number of children for whom she receives state assistance for food, housing, clothing, medical care and no doubt education. I’m sure she calls home on a state-paid phone and has subsidized transportation. And she still complains it isn’t enough. Many of these immigrants, legal and illegal, have little interest in changing their ways to adapt to ours. They expect us to move over to make way for their customs and even their own laws. They have happily traded their votes – also legal and illegal – for the Democrats’ protection of their right to break our laws, to assert their own cultures over ours, to take our wealth and to share our Constitutional protections. Immigration is a game that the Democrats have worked mercilessly for political purposes and one the Republicans haven’t mastered. But we’re out of time. We need to do something now, while we still bear some semblance to America, to save our culture and our country.

Three subjects I think should be addressed in priority order are:

  • Acquisition of citizenship by birth on US soil to illegal alien parents. This is a powerful illegal alien magnet. No other country gives away its citizenship as if it were dirt. The China Hearsay blog reports on the huge boom in travel from China to the US to give birth. The site reported that “births in the U.S. to non-resident mothers jumped 53% from 2000 to 2006.” There exists an open, in-your-face industry to accommodate such women. The Congress should repeal this part of the law without delay. Only a child born in the US having at least one US citizen parent should be eligible for automatic acquisition of citizenship. Everybody else, adios. No status.
  • Implement a system that tracks persons admitted on a temporary basis to the US. All these years after 9/11 the US still has no system to track someone admitted to our country on a temporary basis. Every time someone enters our country he is asked how long he is staying and where. That information is carefully noted and the visitor promptly disappears into America. We should be grateful that some of them actually leave again. Nobody in our government cares about this. We have the technology to track arrival and departure, too. The House should propose legislation to this end on an urgent basis.
  • Right to petition for brothers and sisters. Why are we allowing people who get permanent residency to drag all their siblings along with them? Family unification doesn’t apply here. If you or I decide to move to Costa Rica or Mexico, are we allowed to bring along our siblings and their families? We should not be saddled with a whole family just because one member hits the jackpot. Anybody who wants to immigrate to the US should do so on his own merits, not as the sibling of a naturalized citizen. Only spouses, minor children, and elderly dependent parents would enter as a result of another person’s acquired status.

I would add into law:

 

  • Migrant workers program: Grant residency to approved workers taking specific jobs. Bring in as many as our economy needs to keep growing, but on this basis only: worker in US, family stays home. The worker and his family both enjoy an improved standard of living, he has legal status that allows him to live normally without exploitation and he has full freedom to travel to see his family. America will have a much better idea of who is in the country under this system and get the workers needed without incurring billions in additional expenses for accompanying family. New voters are not injected into the system. This is a better situation for everybody except Democrats as far as I can tell.
  • Stiffer penalties for abetting illegal immigration. I don’t know what the penalties are, but they obviously aren’t stiff enough. People running services to make illegal immigration more comfortable should be allowed to enjoy the comforts of a federal prison.
  • Re-prioritize or eliminate immigration categories – I already mentioned the right to petition for siblings. We should also get rid of the so-called “maids category” that allows employers to petition for foreigners to fill jobs they supposedly can’t fill in the US. In practice this is mostly household workers, women who got into the US on a visitor’s visa or just moseyed over the border and found shelter with a family who wanted a quasi-slave. Household workers should be included under the migrant worker category and abide by the same rules, which means no accompanying family. We should also add new categories of immigrants that we would welcome: the educated, the skilled, the ambitious, and those with money to invest in employment-creating enterprises. Deadbeats need not apply.

 

The knottiest issue is what to do about millions of illegals already here, many with US citizen children. We might consider classifying those who pass a criminal background check and have a job as a special category of migrant worker, grandfathered in with family already here. Some of those already here should be deported. But our most important concern is to make sure the law meets today’s national needs, not political interests. Like our Constitution, the law should say what it means and mean what it says. And our government should enforce the law.