A New Immigration Policy: Practical and Humanitarian
By Jerome Grossman
It is estimated that there are about 12 million illegal or undocumented immigrants in the United States. Most of them did not swim the Rio Grande, they overstayed their tourist or student visas, so there must be a record of their identities.
In 1986, with the enthusiastic assent of President Ronald Reagan, Congress granted amnesty, in effect legal residence to 2.7 million illegal aliens. Between 1986 and 2000, Congress granted six additional amnesties, legalizing more than three million.
While illegal immigration has increased since 1986, we certainly do not wish to discourage tourists or students from visiting our country, nor is it feasible to find, round up, and deport the 12 million illegals.
One way to get control of this difficult situation is to prevent employers from hiring illegals, and reducing the motivation and the flow of illegal immigrants. Employer based enforcement would deal with justified complaints from U.S. citizens that some employers exploit, mistreat, and underpay their illegals, turning away legal Americans looking for work.
A revised U.S. immigration policy should be humanitarian and practical, supporting human and civil rights for all immigrants, legal or illegal, as well as for the U.S. citizens affected.
Here are some suggested principles:
1. The U.S. must establish control of its borders and places of entry.
2. The U.S. must protect itself by preventing the entry of criminals and establishing standards of health.
3. The U.S. must establish regular and fair procedures that enhance respect for law and order.
4. The U.S. must establish a system of first come, first serve for all applying immigrants.
5. The U.S. must enforce fair labor practices for all workers at every level and make the hiring party responsible for enforcement.
6. The U.S. should encourage prospective immigrants to stay home and apply at U.S. embassies.
7. The U.S, should determine employment needs of industries and institutions to establish occupation quotas.
8. The U.S. quotas should have no preference of race, ethnicity, national origin or religion.
9. The U.S. should have generous procedures for admitting refugees in need of asylum.
10. The U.S. should support family reunification for immediate relatives.
11. The U.S. should not build walls to enforce its immigration procedures or militarize its borders.
12. The U.S. may require applicants to submit proof of previous occupation.
13. The U.S. should not have guest worker programs.
14. The U.S. must crack down on U.S. employers who employ illegal workers or violate laws on working conditions.