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Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Meets Illegal Immigration

Profile photo of Tex Austin 81 By lonestar
September 9th, 2012

Many U.S. citizens are torn on what to do about illegal aliens in this country, especially those from central and South America who snuck across the U.S. border in the dead of night.

It’s semi-understandable that a visitor could apply with our Government to come to the United States to travel (on a travel visa), go to school (on a student visa), or work (on a temporary work visa) and then “forget” that they overstayed their welcome.

But it’s quite another to hop a fence and live here under-the-radar, while depleting the programs and resources intended for our disadvantaged own citizens. In the eyes of many U.S. citizens, Illegal aliens are like people who dine and dash from restaurants: they get a good meal for themselves, but they cheat the owner… they cheat the waiter… and they cheat the paying public, because 1) they tied up a table paying customers could have used, 2) the owner has to raise the restaurants’ prices to cover the “free meals” for people who don’t pay.

In fairness to those who are here illegally: yes, they broke the law by sneaking out of their country and into ours; by definition, that makes them criminals. But in the eyes of many, they are joining a long list of fugitives and “criminals”… like American slaves that escaped to Free States in the 1800s; East Germans who climbed the Berlin Wall between the 1960s and 1980s; and tens of thousands North Koreans who continue to flee from that Bizarro World nation.

If any of us lived in an impoverished country where our family was starving – where corruption was rampant, making it impossible to start a legal business because constant “shakedowns” by the police, military, or drug cartels – we would jump the border, too.

In the case of Mexico, where more than 50,000 people have been killed in drug-related crime in the past six years, it is not a stretch to say that parts of the country have been turned into a war zone; especially when you stop to consider that 58,000 U.S. soldiers died during our 12 years in Vietnam… meaning that law-abiding Mexican citizens are getting killed at a rate nearly double that of one of America’s most painful military misadventures.

Many U.S. citizens sympathize with those who, seeking only freedom, safety, and economic opportunity, came to America for a better life. By nature, Americans are charitable and forgiving people; indisputably the most generous nation in world history. When we hear of a tragedy anywhere in the world, we open our heart – and our wallets – to those in suffering. Case in point: we not only forgave Japan and Germany after World War II: we helped rebuild them (maybe too well, some would argue).

But in the case of illegal immigration across U.S. borders, all of that charity comes at a huge economic cost: according to a report published by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), every U.S. citizen spends an extra $1117 in taxes providing housing, food, education, and medical care for illegal aliens, totaling $113 billion per year.

In Texas, the additional cost of illegal immigration is $16.4 billion (equal to the state’s budget deficit); in California, $21.8 billion ($8 billion more than the state’s budget deficit of $13.8 billion); and in New York, $9.5 billion (versus a state deficit of about $6.8 billion deficit.)

Our current border control policy appears to consist of 1) legislators arguing about illegal immigration instead of taking action; 2) border patrols agents risking their lives in some inane catch-and-release policy; and 3) the Dept. of Justice suing state and local officials whose towns are being overrun with foreign street gangs, drug traffickers, and other criminals. Oh… and 4) the ACLU and Democrats wondering why anyone would object to illegals voting in our elections… must be racists, they conclude.

America’s own financial troubles are making the old way of working unsustainable. At the worst possible time, illegal aliens are – like too many people trying to climb into a lifeboat that is already filled – imperiling everyone else in the very nation in which they are seeking sanctuary. Which means, as harsh as it sounds, the United States needs to roll up the welcome mat and start addressing illegal immigration like the problem it is.

The United States need to act in a manner that is as humane as possible, but one that is bold, decisive, and fair…. not just to the families who are here illegally, but to those who’ve “played by the rules” and earned their U.S. citizenship in the property.

To get started, illegal aliens will have to complete five steps:

  • Report to their local police department within 60 days, register themselves, their family members, and all known acquaintances living in the United States illegally. In particular, they need to list family members who entered into the country and their ages at the time… as well as any children born within U.S. borders afterwards. They will not be immediately deported, but they will be included in a national “headcount” – complete with mug shots, and fingerprints – to enable lawmakers to understand the size and scope of the problem.
  • Provide the names and known whereabouts of any human trafficker, coyote, drug dealer, pimp, tunnel rat, or provider of falsified documentation. Provide authorities with complete details on how they entered into the country and evaded law enforcement. That means sitting down in a map room and showing routes, crossover points, tunnels, locations of boat landings and airplane flights, etc.
  • Identify any U.S. citizen who helped with their entrée into America, or provided employment once they arrived, with a particular emphasis on employment that was illegal or in any way exploitive (like prostitution or child labor) or dangerous (like drug running). If any illegal is found to have a criminal record, was involved in the drug trade, or was part of a criminal gang, they are not only permanently ineligible for citizenship, but they will be deported immediately… not on the U.S. – Mexico border, but on Mexico – Guatemala border.
  • Disclose precisely how they obtained employment while they were here, who employed them, and divulge any government assistance – including Emergency Room medical treatment, education, welfare, etc. – they received.
  • Undergo a vocational assessment, and make arrangements for going-forward restitution for benefits they received. This could be done in the forms of scheduled fines, community service hours, or some sort of government service (e.g. serving in the U.S. military). Where practical, illegals could qualify for a guest worker program, with a portion of their wages garnished to pay their restitution (as happens in child support cases.)

While that is taking place, U.S. lawmakers must take five steps of their own:

  • We need to refine U.S. citizenship as being those who successfully completed the immigration or naturalization process, or are direct descendants of someone who did. Sneaking into America by evading law enforcement does not qualify you – or any of your children – for automatic citizenship. Any illegal wishing to seek U.S. citizenship must first pass the USCIS tests, including the English Speaking test, English Reading Test, Writing Writing Test, and 100-question Civics Test.
  • We need to reject the notion of “anchor babies” and “family reunification” programs that only compound the original problem of the illegal immigration that occurred. We need to reject the misappropriation of the 18th Amendment, and reaffirm its singular purpose of conferring U.S. citizenship upon the descendents of former African slaves who were forcibly brought to America… not the babies of those who broke our laws by coming here illegally.
  • We need to make English our official language. No more pressing 1 for English; no more dual-language programs in our schools; and no more unreadable, four-point typefaces on product packaging because the label contains both English and Spanish directions. As one immigrant to the United States – who did not speak English when he arrived here – told a large audience of Latino journalists, Hispanics coming to America need to “turn off the Spanish television set,” avoid Spanish-language media, and learn English. The speaker was former California Governor Schwarzenegger, who went on to explain that by switching to English-speaking stations, “you’re just forced to speak English, and that just makes you learn the language faster.”
  •  We need to tie foreign aid directly to the costs of supporting illegals in the United States. The U.S. gives Mexico billions of dollars in economic, law enforcement, and counternarcotics aid; we should reduce that aid, dollar for dollar, for all money spent providing benefits for its citizens living in the U.S. illegally – for housing, food, education, healthcare, etc. As soon as Latin American countries start getting a bill for their citizens’ excursions into the United States, stopping illegal border crossing from their side will become a high priority.
  • We need to establish programs under which illegals that are permitted to remain in the United States pay restitution for their unpaid taxes on under-the-table earnings, as well as any benefits they received from U.S. taxpayers for housing, education, medical care etc. These will be stiff penalties. We’re not asking you to pay into Social Security, and you sure as hell shouldn’t expect to collect from it.

After we done all of that, we can post new signs on the border that say:

“Come. Make as much money as you can. Send it home if you like.
But… pay your damn taxes while you are here.”

Otherwise… adios.

One Comments to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Meets Illegal Immigration”

  • I like some of those ideas. But I feel like too many just aren’t practical. I know some illegals. I know where they live and work. The idea of them just “coming clean” just wouldn’t happen. They won’t even fly from Chicago to Denver for fear of being hassled. And to be honest, a lot of the citizens don’t want their jobs anyway. Not when they can get welfare and food stamps from the government. I know there are other latinos that take advantage of the system. But we have plenty of pale skinned folks at the government teat as well.

    Unfortunately, I think in order to get illegals to provide some information, there must be some sort of an incentive. Why take the chance on going back to Mexico? I’ve already made it!!! I can wash dishes for 80 hours a week for 20 years and retire back in Mexico.

    I like more practical ideas like having troops deployed at the border and in Mexico. We must focus our efforts on our own border, not Iran’s or Pakistan’s.