Newt and the illegals

I must confess I watched my first Republican debate last night. It was obvious that all eight were head and shoulders above the current occupant of the White House (although Ron Paul's position on the Patriot Act and some of his other foreign affairs positions make me uneasy, particularly as I deal in the international marketplace on a daily basis). There was one exchange that when it happened I knew would be the fodder for conservative talk shows this morning. That was Newt's position on illegal immigration.

I come to this subject as an immigrant myself having waited nearly six years to become a citizen. It is generally acknowledged that there are at least 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. The overriding question is what to do with them. The vast majority are here for economic or political reasons. But the key element is that they are here "illegally". There is simply no way to justify or excuse breaking the law regardless of intent or circumstance.

However before the American society plunges into the quagmire of deciding what to do with those that are here two things must be accomplished: 1) the border must be sealed either via a fence, where feasible, the National Guard or through a much larger border patrol and 2) employers, working with the government, must verify legality or be held liable and penalized.

This will not only stop the massive flow of those looking for work but potential terrorists and drug trafficking. Further, it will cause a reversal of the flow causing many to return to their native lands. Once these steps are fully implemented then we must turn to the elephant in the room.

There will be those, as Newt pointed out that have been here for 25 years and established with families, businesses etc. There will also be those who are needed to work in the agricultural field etc. Are we to seriously think that we are going to go door to door and round these people up and herd them into a train and ship them out? Is that the image we, as conservatives, want to portray? The bottom line with all these people who have lived in the country for a substantial period of time and are law-abiding and productive is that they did indeed break the law and for that they should 1) pay a substantial fine and 2) never be eligible for citizenship. But they can remain in the U.S. with a permanent guest card in the case of those here for many years and a temporary worker card for those needed in various industries (the key word--temporary). All others must leave the U.S. and apply to return.

Those with a permanent guest card can never vote or hold public office. This is what Newt discussed last night. It is not amnesty and it is compassionate. For some on the right the only course of action is to round up and deport everyone regardless of circumstances. Any proposed solution to an intractable problem is shouted down as "amnesty".

I do not doubt that Newt will suffer because of his position, one he has maintained for years. Having gone through the process of obtaining citizenship and knowing many who have waited interminably for their paperwork to be approved, I am not sympathetic to those that break the law; but a practical solution must be found. For the past twenty years this matter has been allowed to fester as the Democrats looked at the illegals as a source of new voters and the Republicans as a source of cheap labor. The time for unbridled emotion is over, as the very real possibility of defeating Obama and the Democrats is in the offing, a solution to this issue is possible but only if common sense rules the day.

I must confess I watched my first Republican debate last night. It was obvious that all eight were head and shoulders above the current occupant of the White House (although Ron Paul's position on the Patriot Act and some of his other foreign affairs positions make me uneasy, particularly as I deal in the international marketplace on a daily basis). There was one exchange that when it happened I knew would be the fodder for conservative talk shows this morning. That was Newt's position on illegal immigration.

I come to this subject as an immigrant myself having waited nearly six years to become a citizen. It is generally acknowledged that there are at least 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. The overriding question is what to do with them. The vast majority are here for economic or political reasons. But the key element is that they are here "illegally". There is simply no way to justify or excuse breaking the law regardless of intent or circumstance.

However before the American society plunges into the quagmire of deciding what to do with those that are here two things must be accomplished: 1) the border must be sealed either via a fence, where feasible, the National Guard or through a much larger border patrol and 2) employers, working with the government, must verify legality or be held liable and penalized.

This will not only stop the massive flow of those looking for work but potential terrorists and drug trafficking. Further, it will cause a reversal of the flow causing many to return to their native lands. Once these steps are fully implemented then we must turn to the elephant in the room.

There will be those, as Newt pointed out that have been here for 25 years and established with families, businesses etc. There will also be those who are needed to work in the agricultural field etc. Are we to seriously think that we are going to go door to door and round these people up and herd them into a train and ship them out? Is that the image we, as conservatives, want to portray? The bottom line with all these people who have lived in the country for a substantial period of time and are law-abiding and productive is that they did indeed break the law and for that they should 1) pay a substantial fine and 2) never be eligible for citizenship. But they can remain in the U.S. with a permanent guest card in the case of those here for many years and a temporary worker card for those needed in various industries (the key word--temporary). All others must leave the U.S. and apply to return.

Those with a permanent guest card can never vote or hold public office. This is what Newt discussed last night. It is not amnesty and it is compassionate. For some on the right the only course of action is to round up and deport everyone regardless of circumstances. Any proposed solution to an intractable problem is shouted down as "amnesty".

I do not doubt that Newt will suffer because of his position, one he has maintained for years. Having gone through the process of obtaining citizenship and knowing many who have waited interminably for their paperwork to be approved, I am not sympathetic to those that break the law; but a practical solution must be found. For the past twenty years this matter has been allowed to fester as the Democrats looked at the illegals as a source of new voters and the Republicans as a source of cheap labor. The time for unbridled emotion is over, as the very real possibility of defeating Obama and the Democrats is in the offing, a solution to this issue is possible but only if common sense rules the day.

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