States must have an important role in immigration reformby Hugh Holub on Jul. 08, 2011, under border issues, politics
We need to secure the border and reform our immigration laws.
The securing the border side of this is being hampered by federal land managers and environmental laws that need to be resolved.
Those that want immigration law reform to be held until the border is secured need to get the environmentalists to back off a zone at least 20 miles deep from the land border with Mexico and eliminate wilderness areas in that zone and eliminate the ability of US Fish and Wildlife to impose Section 9 sanctions of the Endangered Species Act on the Department of Homeland Security.
Turning to immigration reform:
The Dream Act needs to get passed now This is not amnesty. It is dealing with the reality that children brought across the border by their parents are not criminals.
Turning to the broader issues….I have proposed “Probationary Presence” as a solution.
But there is one really sticky problem with my proposal…the federal government has shown no ability whatsoever to manage anything about immigration or border security for decades.
So how about this wrinkle:
Implement “Probationary Preserve” via contracts with the states which have extensive probationary systems already in place and programs to put probationers to work in public service.
Pay the state a flat fee…say $2,000 per illegal alien processed by the state (which fee would be charged to the illegal alien as his or her fine for the misdemeanor violation of illegal entry or overstay).
Each illegal immigrant is going to have to be processed for a clean criminal record history. During the 1986 “amnesty” the feds failed to do that.
Let the states also do the criminal record processing as well. Add another$500 to be paid to the state for doing this. So the fee is now at least $2,500…what a coyote charges.
That Arizona’s employer sanctions law was upheld ought to send a clear signal to DC that the feds do not have sole jurisdiction to deal with illegal immigration. The feds need to work with the states to come up with really good state laws that punish companies who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Arizona is a good model for that one.
The federal E-Verify system should be the base for employers to work from. It should be mandatory… but it also must work. The feds have failed to bullet-proof their “solution” and must make it work to be effective. An employer must be able to get a status on a prospective employee in minutes from submitting a verification.
Where the feds really need to do their homework is on the visa programs. How can you lose 11 million people?
It should not take years to get a work visa, and the feds need a tracking system for visa holders. This is also an opportunity to work with states. Maybe actually have state work visas.
Another major problem is once one weeds out criminal aliens…what do you do?
Deportation and incarceration must be real alternatives. ICE needs to quit deporting Dream kids and crime victims and actually agressively toss criminal (i.e. felon) aliens.
And any felony muilple illegal entry person MUST be subject to jail time which means enough jail bed space to house them. Right now it is ridiculous how many times somneone can get caught illegally entering, get kicked down to a misdemeanor and deported.
Second illegal entry go straight to jail do not pass go.
The reason many oppose any kind of immigration reform is not because of some kind of fear of the country being overrun with Mexicans…it is a real doubt that the federal government will administer immigration reform and allow the good hard working people a legal path and weed out the 20% or so of the illegal aliens who are felon level criminals and who should be booted out of the country.
One really good way to figure out how to administer immigration reform is to bring the states into the picture. After all…it is the states taking most of the hits for illegal entry.