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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Current Events, Pt. 1, Immigration

You leave the country for a couple of weeks and everything seems to go crazy. When is a leak not a leak, UCLA somehow makes the final game before losing to Florida, Barry Bonds continues his quest to steal the home run title from a truly honorable guy, Hank Aaron, and there are immigration protests everywhere. This is what I want to talk about today.

Let me set the plate for you. I believe in full disclosure, so here it is. I work in Mexico. I have worked with people who are here in the United States illegally. I have helped people get their papers, and I have seen the utter randomness of our immigration policies first hand. I have many friends who cross the border legally every year, and some who do so illegally. I know people from Latin American, here both legally and illegally who are on both sides of the issue. I speak Spanish, can, and have debated the issue on both sides of the border with both Christian and non Christian folks. As an employer I was personally responsible for checking and signing off on US Immigration I-9 employment documents. I am not an expert. I am just someone who has thought and observed a lot about this issue.

So where does that bring us? We have some problems. As a nation, our borders are incredibly porous. It seems to me that regardless of what side of the issue you are on, we can all agree that politically, and from a security viewpoint, it makes sense to know who is coming into and going out of your country. We are also short on people willing to work at certain jobs. Construction, farming, agricultural, and the service industries would all suffer if we sent all of our illegal immigrants home. Statistics bear out that we do not have enough people in our work force to fill these jobs. That said, I’d like to make the following suggestions to our respected politicians so they can ignore them and come up with a set of solutions that might satisfy their constituents but solve nothing. We’ll start with the participants.

  1. Immigrants. If you are in, you are in, conditionally. Yep. You heard me. 100% of all of our illegal immigrants get a type of conditional amnesty. I don’t care how they got here, they are here. Let’s be honest about this. As someone much smarter than I said, “We couldn’t get 1 million people out of New Orleans. We won’t be getting 11 million immigrants out of the US.” Yes in a way we would be rewarding “lawless behavior”, but hear me out on the conditions. A five year probation period during which you may be deported immediately, with no appeals, if you are convicted of a serious crime. You must register now, pay a fee, get a social security number, a right to work card, and start paying regular income taxes. In short, you must be a contributing member of society. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency, which you will get, guaranteed. Let’s give people the respect they have earned. Many illegals are hard working folks just trying to give their families a better life. Isn’t that the type of moral value we want our citizens to have?

  1. Employers. 100% amnesty. Again, more honesty. Does anyone really believe that Wal-Mart was not aware that they had illegals working for them? How about construction sub contractors? Also, for purposes of law, a nanny is an employee. As is your gardener and your house cleaner. We will forgive all of your past indiscretions, which will probably include below standard wages, lack of employer and employee taxes, lack of social security payments, lack of basic work force and area rights, everything. But starting on a set date, you must have on file the proper documentation for each person that does work for you, your family, or your company. No fudging, no sub-contractor walls to hide behind, nothing. There should be no underground economy, we are in this mess together and we need to solve it together.

This should get the ball rolling, later this week I’ll post my enforcement ideas and thoughts on how to help us avoid this situation in the future.

(The thoughts and opinions expressed here are 100% those of your humble blogger, dave miller, and are in fact protected by all US Copyright Laws. Permission is hereby granted for use provided that this blog or author is cited as the source. Blessings. ©)

Comments on "Current Events, Pt. 1, Immigration"

 

Blogger jaime in metairie said ... (3:47 PM) : 

I'm sorry - this is a minor point in your post but... I live there.

1.2 - 1.8 million left New Orleans in about 45 hours.

 

Blogger Dave Miller said ... (11:10 AM) : 

Hey jaime,

Thanks for stopping by. As I said, the quote was not mine, but you can see the results. We were still not able to move a group of people who wanted to be moved. Imagine trying to round up 11 million people who do not want to be found.

I hope you check back again!

 

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