Balancing Justice and Mercy: Seven Ideas to Fix the Illegal Alien Problem in America

Balancing Justice and Mercy: Seven Ideas to Fix the Illegal Alien Problem in America
People pass graffiti along the border structure in Tijuana, Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)

According to the best and most recent statistics, there are anywhere from 11 to 12 million illegal aliens currently in the United States.

Roughly 50 percent of them are from Mexico. The rest are from Asia (China and the Philippines, for example), Central America, the Middle East, and even Canada! Are we really going to hunt them all down, clap them all in irons, and send them back to the country of their origin? Can you imagine what that would look like in the news? That would probably not play well in most homes across America.

Let me be clear, I do not like people breaking our laws and invading our country. They are illegal … not “undocumented.” If that hurts someone’s feelings … tough.

However, as I think about the plight of people in third world countries (like Guatemala, for example) where people are hounded by violent gangs and can barely get enough to eat, I think that if I were in their shoes, I probably would do anything to get myself and my family out of there and into the relative safety of America where I could at least find a job. (You and I probably know people who have come here illegally, but have made a peaceful and prosperous life here. The ones I know work hard, pay taxes, and are a threat to no one.)

Compounding this issue, both Democrats and Republicans for the last three decades have been using illegal aliens as political footballs to further their agenda. Democrats want another dependent voter base, and the Republicans (the U.S. Chamber of Commerce especially) want cheap labor. Both were willing to look the other way, not enforce our nation’s laws, and signal to people in other countries that if they just sneak in here nobody will touch them.

So … can we stop illegal immigration, punish those who’ve broken the law, and at the same time extend mercy to those who may have gotten here illegally but have since built an honest life for themselves and their families? I think so, by doing the following seven things:

1. Build the wall.

That sounds like a cliché these days, but we need to take border security seriously, especially since we have been at war with jihadists since 2001, and are also at war with narco-terrorists (like MS-13, for example). We must literally build a wall along our southern border wherever possible (in some remote areas it may not be necessary).

We must also end “sanctuary cities,” chain migration, and immigration by lottery. Thank God President Trump (so far) is promoting all these elements of border security.

2. Come out.

Give all illegals who do not have a criminal record since coming here an opportunity to come out in the open and register with the federal government that they are indeed illegally here. If they are adults, they must be employed. Once they are on this register, they can be put on a lengthy path to citizenship.

Give them two months to come out and register. After two months, if they have not registered, then track them down and deport them.

3. Pay up.

Those who have registered must now pay a fine. They have broken the law; they must be punished. The fine needs to sting, but not be exorbitant. We must balance penalty with mercy. I propose $3,000 per adult (less for minors), to be paid to the federal government within three years. If illegals can’t pay, deport them.

4. Stay employed.

Registered illegals must stay employed. If they lose their job, they cannot be on unemployment longer than one year. If people cannot abide by this, then leave. If they exceed their time on unemployment, deport them.

People don’t have a right to be here in the United States unless they are CITIZENS. And even citizens cannot just waltz across the border. One must enter through customs at valid ports of entry. If I as a citizen just walk across the border in Texas or Vermont, I have committed a FELONY. How is it that others can commit felonies, but I cannot?

So … this plan I am proposing is a sheer act of mercy. If people don’t like it, leave the country.

5. Obey the law.

Simple idea, huh? I am not talking about speeding or parking tickets. I am talking about felonies: evading taxes, assault and battery, breaking and entering, drug trafficking, and the like. If you commit any felonies while you are “on the path to citizenship” you will be deported. Immediately.

We’re not paying for your vacation in an American jail. Furthermore, you will never be allowed to come back. Better obey the law if you want to stay.  Personally, from my contact with illegals, I don’t think this will be a problem for many if not most of them. Most people just want a safe place for their family to live, and a decent job and roof over their head.

6. Be patient.

Since it normally takes about seven years to become a citizen, and you have broken the law, we will double the time it takes for you to get your citizenship. Don’t like that? Leave. But if you are patient and follow the rules, you will at last become a citizen of the United States.

7. One time only.

This offer is good one time only. Afterwards, the doors will be barred shut.  Chain migration and the lottery system will be eliminated, and all future illegals will be visited by very aggressive Border Patrol and ICE agents. So, if your goal is to become a citizen, here is your one chance.  Take it or leave it.

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