Illegal Immigration Amnesty Idea

Given:
-We have millions of illegal immigrants here.
-It’s not feasible/reasonable to ‘send them back’.
-It’s better for society to recognize them & naturalize them in some manner; basically immoral to insist they live ‘under the radar’ and in fear.

Problem:
Blanket amnesty is simply unfair to other citizens, and especially to legal immigrants. A common complaint I’ve heard from working-class people is: “What federal law do I get to break?”

Idea:
In order to get amnesty & legal status, an illegal immigrant would plead guilty to a federal felony. Suspended sentence. One strike (in CA). Treated like any other convicted felon in terms of voting & sensitive employment. Given a social security number & the other benefits of permanent legal status.

Workable? Acceptable? Fair? Moral?

Why is blanket amnesty unfair?

The criminals here are not the immigrants but the employers who lure them here and pay them under the table to evade minimum wage and paying for their health and social security benefits.
So the answer to wholesale immigration is to confiscate all the assets of these employers and elile them as illegal immigrants to the countries they feed off of, and see how well they do begging for work and hiding from the law.

Well, I think it’s unfair because my wife and I spent 7 years and thousands of dollars trying to get her and the kids U.S. citizenship legally. We went to the meetings, we filled out the forms, we spent hours and hours standing in line. My daughter was completely lost in the system due to a clerical error on the part of DHS (then INS). We ended up having to resubmit all of her paperwork, pay the fees again, and go through the process all over again.

How is it fair to simply give all of these people something that cost me and my family thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and lots of stress?

welby brings up a good point. While I’m all for amnesty for illegals, granting it now without fixing the underlying problems with immigration will just lead to this same situation again in the future. We need to lift immigration quotas and make it cheap and convenient to become an American citizen. Heck, if you do those two things, you won’t need to bother with amnesty, as all the illegals will work there way into the system as soon as it opens up, and they can just claim that they’re brand new to the country.

Because the unfairness is in how hard it was for you ?

Honestly, this “I had to suffer, so they should too !” attitude has never made sense to me, wherever it crops up.

I don’t want them to suffer, I want them to gain citizenship in the same manner as people who have obeyed the law and done it legally. How can that not make sense to you?

I’d prefer that the process was easier and less expensive, but I don’t control that. If the immigration process had taken 15 minutes and cost me five dollars, I’d still expect the illegal immigrants to wait in line and pay their money just like I did.

I think your idea is morally bankrupt. Released felons in this country become second class citizens even after they’ve paid their debt to society - ineligible for federal aid to college, barred from pursuing educational pursuits in medicine, leaves a paper trail that makes employer’s are less likely to hire them (often driving felons to resort to illegal activities for income), and, in some states, convicted felons are put on probation with voting rights stripped away. Some released felons can’t even live in an house if its close to playgrounds, parks, or schools. Your idea is an awful one because it essentially create millions of second class citizens and would most likely bring about a chronic, small scale humanitarian crisis in the United States.

  • Honesty

They are much less than second class citizens currently. And they have committed a crime.

It seems to me we already have the chronic, small scale humanitarian crisis you speak of.

If there were a bill before congress to change immigration so that it did take 15 minutes and cost $5, would you support it? If you would, why? How is that not unfair to you in precisely the same way that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants is unfair to you?

I think his objection is more that the amnesty is that those people who break the immigration law shouldn’t be privilidged over those people who follow it. We shouldn’t reward lawbreaking over following the law, in other words.

I’d support it - I’ve already said that I’d prefer the process were less expensive and easier. I wouldn’t consider that unfair because it amounts to a price and ease of use change - this happens all the time in the real world.

The difference in fairness is pretty easy to discern: One group goes through the legal process and gains their citizenship. Another group breaks the law, doesn’t go through any process, and gains their citizenship. How can it be fair to punish the lawful and reward the lawbreakers?

When the law is unjust or stupid or both. Although in this case, I’d call the law unfair to both.

Could someone link to the actual amnesty proposal that’s being debated here? I thought “amnesty” in this context just meant illegal immigrants can apply for citizenship through normal channels, without having their illegal immigrant status count against them. I didn’t think there was any proposal to hand out citizenships to illegal immigrants, is there?

It’s unfair because we are actually rewarding illegal activity both on the illegals part and on the part of businesses that employ them.

It’s also impractical as it will simply encourage further emmigration which is cause further wage deflation, continue to depress the countries that the immigrants are fleeing from and continue to stratify the country between the haves and the have-nots.

An amnesty program simply wouldn’t work as it would merely shift the discussion to our latest batch of working poor.

No, I’m fairly sure “amnesty” in the current political dialogue means something different.

“Applying for citizenship through normal channels” means going back to your home country and waiting about 10 years.

But they’re still not having to go through the process you went through, which is the basis for your unfairness complaint. Why does it make a difference to you, if a later immigrant has an easier time getting citizenship if there’s a rule change made before he gets in, as opposed to after he gets in?

I think the immigration process was unfair to you and your wife, in terms of how much effort and money it took for her to get citizenship. If every person currently in the country illegally had instead gone through exactly the same process, what you went through would still have been unfair. I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t see how someone else got into this country can possibly have any bearing on how you got into this country. I don’t see a relationship there at all. It’s not like the INS deliberately loses one application for every five thousand South Americans who cross the border illegally.* It all sounds like sour grapes to me.

*Well, I assume the INS doesn’t do that. Given the bizarre stories I’ve heard about their policies, that might not be a safe assumption.

I think the overall and prevaling problem is the lack of security at the borders. I would have no problem with an amnesty, or your proposal even, except that 10 years from now, we will be in the same situation.

Millions of illegals will and continue to cross our southern border with no end in sight. I think that an amnesty now would only encourage more of that.

We need the political will to defend our borders. Bush certainly doesn’t have it, and no DEMS have it.

Any to those who would open the borders wide open: What happens when immigrants are camping in your front yard? Seriously, we can’t have that many people here…

So what exactly do they mean?

Some kind of ‘path to citizenship’ where they don’t have to go back & thus leave their jobs and uproot their families; AND (this seems to be the sticking point) they don’t have to pay any penance for the fact they came here illegally. I believe most Americans are against this. Hence my proposal.