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Robert Winner

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Immigration Reform

It would be good to skip the political debate of is it good or bad.

The question is : If we are to have immigration reform what should it include.

According to documents obtained by The Associated Press, the senators will call for accomplishing four goals:

—Creating a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already here, contingent upon securing the border and better tracking of people here on visas.

—Reforming the legal immigration system, including awarding green cards to immigrants who obtain advanced degrees in science, math, technology or engineering from an American university.

—Creating an effective employment verification system to ensure that employers do not hire illegal immigrants in the future, including requiring prospective workers to verify legal status and identity through a non-forgeable electronic system.

—Allowing more low-skill workers into the country and allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can demonstrate they couldn’t recruit a U.S. citizen; and establishing an agricultural worker program.

We need to address the entitlements such as social security without ever paying into the system and other entitlements.

What would you like included.

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  • Jan 31 2013: I view the immigration situation as an opportunity. I believe the entire US bureaucracy needs an overhaul to come into the 21st century but to do that requires funds. I would actually suggest that every illegal immigrant who has been in the country at least 3 years, who has worked and paid taxes on that income, and who doesn't have a criminal history, be able to become a part of a path to citizenship program. However, they would have to pay a fine for each year between 500 and 2000 dollars (max of 5 years or 10 grand). And they would have five years to pay it off, or it could be paid off from payroll deduction or tax refund money. They would also have to pledge to not leave the country for 5 years and not to assist any future illegal immigrants into coming into the country. These funds would then be taken and utilized to rebuild the entire immigrant program as well as other portions of our bureaucracy. 30% of the funds could be used for that purpose. 25% would be taken and turned into block grants for non profit organizations that reach out to assist these groups of people. 25% taken and turned into educational scholarships for children and grandchildren of immigrants that had come into the country after 1999 and the other 20% paid towards a healthcare program also specifically for immigrants. In this way, they are financing themselves as citizens. Its not taking away from any other group and everybody is happy.
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    Feb 6 2013: An issue that has not been sufficiently addressed is the underlying "us verus them" mentality that is pervasive in the US. This menality will keep policy makers and consumers from employing successful reform. The criminalization of immigration has created a polarizing tone that immigration is inherently either wrong or right. Policies have been created and implemented for over two hundred years that look at immigrants as the "others". Moving beyond this and creating policy that addresses this underlying mindset is essential for successful reform. You can have a policy that is conceptually perfect; but implementation will fail if the policy enforcers believe immigration is inherently criminal with an "us versus them" mentality.

    The above mentioned goals are only tapping into one layer of the problem when this requires a multi-dimensional approach. Thus, I would like to include provisions to bridge the gap of this "us versus them" mentality. This would involve incorporating a role for human service providers including social workers, mental health workers, public health workers, and those employed at agencies that immigrants would interact with. This would include allocating resources for social service agencies to advocate on behalf of these individuals to ensure fidelity in the policies, and to ensure that information sharing is equal and understandable for both consumers, immigrants, and employers.
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    Jan 31 2013: I am especially concerned about the children of illegal immigrants. I have taught many bright, hard-working students who could not afford college or qualify for aid because they were not citizens, a situation not of their own doing. I would like to see something in place that would help these students and their parents become citizens more quickly than current law allows.
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      Jan 31 2013: Alan, Your right. As the saying goes, "a mind is a terrible thing to waste". However, a valid argument can be made that my children have less opportunity to go to college than those children ... with the quotas, dream act, and all sorts of minority programs. Does that sound harsh to you. Why would I want my money to go tho those who do not contribute while my kids will not receive the same opportunities.

      Also what about the millions who have applied to become citizens through the channels and in accordance with the law from countries all over the world. Are they less worthy of being educated ... are they being punished because the followed the rules ... because now the immigration quota numbers will be totally skewed and the line will be longer.

      Alan I played the devils advocate above. The real problem I see is that this whole issue is about politics and garnering votes. This does not solve the problem, it simply is an admission that the latino vote has become a factor in politics. If we took the emotions and the politics out of this issue the answers are really quite simple. I invite you to look at the laws of Mexico on this same subject .... extremely harsh, but yet the Mexican government tells the world how heartless the Americanos are. Bleeding hearts are killing us.

      Thanks for the reply.

      I wish you well. Bob.
  • Jan 31 2013: We already7 did that then the employers hired who they felt like hiring.
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    Jan 30 2013: I worked with migrant workers for a long time when I lived in another state. I think reform should decrease the threat of deportation. Once when the hoopla about illegal aliens was at it's height a few years back, there were rumors going around town that ICE was coming to verify everyone's citizenship. The local schools reported about 60% absentees for that day and some daycares did not have enough children to operate.

    We currently do not have the infrastructure to support this initiative. It would require many more layers of bureaucracy and more intense verification. People would have to start running around with 'papers' and that brings up all kinds of issues from tracking to verification. It would be Big Brother on steroids.

    I think we should really look at ourselves and how we manage the borders both north and south. Why do we not have a Canadian "fence?" We are hugely prejudiced in the application of immigration control and that says more out this country than I can get into.

    We will never be able to track employers. All this is done in cash with no reporting One employer in my town would import illegals and have them sleep in the basement of his restaurant. He paid them less than $1.00 and hour. They technically did not exist. This was a big guy in town and he had ties to law enforcement.

    Illegal immigrants work really hard and are subjected to blatant and horrible conditions and prejudice simply because they are "illegal." They take the worst work and are terribly underpaid because their employers can get away with it. The bad thing is that the system perpetuates this which makes a lot of people a lot of money and nobody wants to change that. It keeps our food costs down and gets our buildings clean and all those costs would go up if they were legalized. Reform will never really address the issues because it would cost us too much.
  • Jan 30 2013: Remember it's the liberal arts majors verses the business idiots How could one expect a better result in a country where so many people aren't sure the world isn't really flat.
  • Jan 29 2013: We did this before then the employers did just what they wanted to do. Why won't that happen again since that's what the Chamber wants to do. Why shouldn't Americans be able to have jobs in America? Maybe we need a little Obama Kick A... like with BP. But then the Republicans won't support it.
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      Jan 29 2013: BP may not be a good selling point for Barack Hussein Obama's "kick a- -" style of protecting America's interests. His environmental protectors allowed the use of copious quantities of a dispersant called Corexit. Corexit made the oil 52 times more toxic and allowed hydrocarbons to deeply penetrate beaches and possibly groundwater. Corexit did its job of breaking-up the oil to make the immediate situation look far less serious than it really was. Sounds less like kick a - - leadership and more like bungling bureaucracy to me. Also, to what are you referring when you say, "We did this before. . . "? And, finally, who, or what, is "the Chamber"?