June 26, 2007
The immigration bill may soon be back on the Senate floor and the policies that are adopted will have a significant impact on America in the coming decades, says Pete du Pont, former governor of Delaware and Chairman of the National Center for Policy Analysis.
Following are the essential actions the Senate should take, says du Pont:
- Build the additional 600 miles of border fencing authorized by the 2006 law; we must also add better surveillance technology and more border security agents.
- Make sure the bill contains the provisions of the Isakson Rule that no other immigration reform programs can be implemented until the border is secure.
- Require tamper-proof ID cards of all immigrants; today there are no such cards and verifiable identification is essential to both immigration policy and national security.
- Identify the skills required for the jobs immigrants will fill; this better reflects America's economic needs and moves from the current "chain migration" policy that gives preference to extended families of current immigrants.
- Get rid of the existing "visa lottery" that randomly selects 50,000 immigrants from the application list each year.
For the 12 million illegal aliens already here, an enforceable visa plan like the one proposed by Sen. Ted Kennedy makes sense, says du Pont:
- Illegals would have to apply for a Z visa (temporary legal status) by admitting they have broken the law, pay an initial $1,000 fine and submit to a background check (those with criminal records would be ineligible).
- They would still not then be eligible for welfare benefits or food stamps, and if they wanted a green card and permanent legal status, they would have to pay an additional $4,000 fine, learn English, and then return to their home countries to file for it.
Source: Pete du Pont, "Security First," OpinionJournal.com, June 26, 2007.
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