Hi guys, I’d like to start my post today with an announcement. I gave it a little bit of thought and decided that posting daily would be impossible for two reasons. The first being I’d never be able to keep up, and the second being I’d run out of topics to write about. So I’ve decided to not write on weekends and write as much as possible, without any promises as to the frequency of my blogging. In a side note, I was very tempted to blog about the heart-wrenching episode of Downton Abbey yesterday, but I remembered this blog is about politics, not entertainment, so I decided against it.
Today, a group of senators unveiled a new immigration plan ahead of the President’s planned speech on immigration in Las Vegas tomorrow. The bipartisan group consists of Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY,, Dick Durbin, D-IL,, Bob Menendez, D-NJ,, Michael Bennet, D-Co,, John McCain, R-AZ,, Lindsey Graham, R-SC,, Marco Rubio, R-FL,, and Jeff Flake, R-AZ. This group is significant because it contains some of the more influential members of the Senate. I was going to tell you the details of the plan myself, but I found this AP article that lays out the details far better than I ever could have. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/details-senate-immigration-proposal-18339004.
I’d like to start my commentary off by saying that I think this plan is a clear sign of progress and regardless of my upcoming criticism, I think this plan is better than nothing. My first issue with this plan, is that it requires, prior to enacting a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country, that border security be beefed up to a level is good enough for leaders in border states. This is too arbitrary a measure for me. What is sufficient to some leaders may not be to others.
My second criticism is that it requires illegal immigrants who are already here to pay fines and back taxes. This is troublesome to me because many illegal immigrants work off the books and have no back taxes or fines to pay. Their income cannot be verified, and I believe it would serve as a deterrent to make them pay such fines and back taxes. I would support just letting them pay taxes from here on out.
Criticism number three is that it requires immigrants to go to the “back of the line.” I hear that statement over and over again. I would suggest just steamrolling immigrants through. Why wait years and years to get something done that we can get done in one year? In other words, if these people “on line” and illegal immigrants that are already here are eventually going to become citizens anyway, why make them wait?
My fourth problem with the plan is that it forces employers prove to prove that if they hire immigrants that they made an attempt to hire an American citizen for the job first. This, to me, shows preferential treatment to those who are already citizens over those who are about to become citizens. It just seems petty to me. If someone in the US is legally allowed to work here they should be allowed to be hired.
Lastly, this plan does little to stop our current problem of having too many illegal immigrants already in the country from happening again. I would support allowing any skilled worker (workers with degrees in math, science, engineering, etc.) from either an American University or a credible foreign University to become a citizen in a year, and others to be able to go through an uncomplicated process to become citizens after a certain waiting period determined by the strength of the job market. Also, I look at China and Mexico as exceptions. This may be unfair to other people in other nations, but I would support a different, more specific policy to be enacted to deal with the immigration policies in those two countries and maybe a few others (India, Bangladesh, etc.).