Biting on a call for Immigration Reform.

Although it's very unlikely there will be immigration reform before the 2012 election, the president is calling for lawmakers to start drafting a bill. Politically, it's a good move for him because if it's on the table during an election, he'll be able to get more votes from the minorities hoping to it will pass, and immigration reform is always a great talking point that democrats love to use to characterize republicans as "racist" and "fear-mongers". If an immigration bill were to pass (or fail) before the election, it would be a non-issue and he won't be able to use it was incentive to get reelected.

But I'll call your bluff Mr. Obama. We all seem to agree on one thing: Illegal immigration IS a real problem and does need to be addressed. So I'll take the bait and offer my solution.

Enforcement. There are many immigration laws on the books that are not enforced, whether due to funding, politics, or bureaucracy. Funding the INS and Border Patrol I'll leave to budget talks since that isn't really a part of "reform." Politics and bureaucracy, however, hinder the deportation process. When an illegal immigrant doesn't show up or make arrangements with the court, it shall be assumed he or she is guilty and a warrant issued for their arrest and deportation. These warrants shall be enforceable by any law-enforcement officer. Not just federal.

Businesses that knowingly hire illegals shall be punishable by jail. Not just a fine. Arrest some business owners and put that shit on the front page every few weeks. It needs to be a common occurrence.

Legal Immigration. It can take easily over a decade to become a citizen of the U.S. There is no reason for this. The State Department needs some major reforms here. If an applicant meets certain criteria, they shall be granted an expedited citizenship. For instance, if someone is licensed as an engineer, lawyer, or other professional by countries with boards of licensure recognized by the U.S. All current requirements still apply, i.e. criminal history and age limit, etc.

This part of the reform should be revised until it can take no more than 1 month for qualifying immigrants to get a visa and no more than 30 months to become a citizen.

State vs. Federal Enforcement. (A.K.A. Arizona's sb1070 conundrum.) Integrate the Border Patrol with certain bordering counties' police force. Certain officers would be qualified federal agents and their paychecks would be subsidized by the fed. They'd be trained as both police and border patrol agents and apply the laws of each just as they are applied now. This would also have the benefit of streamlining criminal cases involving local crimes committed illegal immigrants by reducing the need for inter-agency interaction. Their cars, badges, and IDs would reflect both local officers and federal agents.

International Relations. Mexico is fucked the hell up and it's quickly becoming worse. Drug lords are taking over entire cities along the border. Without impeding on Mexico's sovereignty, we need to assist Mexico in regaining control of their territory. Offer to equip and train their police and military for anti-drug cartel efforts. Make sure Mexico knows that their relations with the U.S. are contingent and not unconditional. There needs to be backlash of some sort for Mexico laissez-faire handling of the cartels and immigration problems. The white house needs to get tough with Mexico publicly.

Uploaded 05/15/2011
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