I am in favor of doing immigration reform, but it should be done in the proper fashion…. [T]he 11 million, I think, are never going home, don’t need to be sent home, and I would incorporate them into our society by giving them work visas and making them taxpayers.
– Senator Rand Paul
As much as we can agree that a solution must be accomplished in a “proper fashion,” a solution need not include work visas, much less giving away U.S. citizenship to illegals. Rather, a more balanced approach would entail the lawful creation of a new class of Green Card, one that *permanently excludes any future eligibility for U.S. citizenship*.
This would be a new type of Green Card. Presently, Green Cards permit eligibility to apply for citizenship. This new kind of “no citizenship ever” Green Card is a great boon – an unmerited one – to illegals:
- Lawful permanent stay in the U.S.,
- Ability to travel into the U.S.,
- Eligibility to enter the U.S. after foreign travel,
- Retention of home citizenship, and
- Varying eligibility for federally-funded entitlements, depending on program requirements.
Under “no citizenship ever” Green Cards:
- Rule-breakers are not ever rewarded with U.S. citizenship, but get to stay permanently as Green Card holders.
- As Green Card holders, the illegal are not eligible to vote in most elections. Some small local elections permit Green Card holders to vote, but they’re rare exceptions.
- Green Card holders who at any point end-up with convictions for “crimes of moral turpitude” or “aggravated felonies” are deportable from the U.S. It’s nice to know that anyone in this population can be deported under law.
So, “no citizenship ever” Green Cards would have some very real limits attached to them.
Creating “no citizenship ever” Green Cards would require an act of Congress signed by the President; y’know, just like in the Constitution.
Already, I can hear the Liberal push-back. Here are some responses to anticipated objections:
- “‘No citizenship ever’ Green Cards would result in a new underclass of people with legal status but limited rights.” Yeah. Too bad. Illegals would be gaining a *permanent* immigration benefit instead of deportation; that’s a pretty good deal.
- “But it’s not U.S. citizenship, and that’s what we want!” Well, again, too bad. Under a “no-citizenship-ever” Green Card, illegals would get the above mentioned benefits, despite the fact that they’re law-breakers. The U.S. does not owe illegals anything. They never should have been physically present in the U.S., nor working in the U.S.
- “You claim rights for yourself because you happened to hatch out of your egg north of the Rio Grande?” That’s right. Because these are the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship. Other nations have theirs. Illegals and their advocates presume to show-up in the U.S. and demand U.S. benefits despite the illegals’ ineligibility. Well, that’s the way that national sovereignty works.
This might all raise the real question of why bother with “no citizenship ever” Green Cards? Well, honestly, how many other options do we realistically have? Even uber-conservative Sen. Paul acknowledges that a solution would be centered on “incorporat[ing] them [illegals] into our society….” “No citizenship ever” Green Cards offer a nuanced, balanced solution.
The Migration Policy Institute published “Unauthorized Immigrant Population Profiles” (http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/us-immigration-policy-program-data-hub/unauthorized-immigrant-population-profiles), which makes clear that of the estimated 11.4 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.:
- 71% of these persons originate from Mexico and Central America
- 74% have resided in the U.S. for less than 14 years
- 50% have less than a high school diploma or GED level of education
- 51% does not speak English well
- 49% are at of below the poverty level
- 13% are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and 3.7 million are parents of U.S. citizen children, who could be eligible for Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA).
These numbers reflect some harsh realities, such as:
- It’s not realistic to deport most of the illegal population. This is aside from criminal offenders and other classes of person not eligible for U.S. visa benefits under present law and who should be deported/ removed from the U.S.
- A sizable portion of this illegal population forms mixed families in the U.S., where some are lawfully present in the U.S. and others not. In other words, how many families do we want to break-up?
So, granting this illegal population the highly coveted status of U.S. citizen just rancors! It’s elementally unjust to gift U.S. citizenship on the illegal population when we have hundreds of thousands of persons in queue right now awaiting legitimate U.S. visas under law (http://www.aimingforclarity.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=102&action=edit&message=1). So, instead of citizenship, a “no citizenship ever” Green Card seeks to strike some digestible balance.
Perhaps illegals and their advocates forget that the U.S. is not like a McDonald’s, where anyone can be illegal, stand in line with a promise to pay U.S. taxes in the future, to later collect their U.S. passport. Rather, the U.S. is a sovereign nation. One of the most powerful on earth. The privileges and immunities of U.S. citizenship are many, and are *exclusive* to citizens. Period. Non-citizens may remain in the U.S. subject to our laws. Aside from citizens, *no one* – NO ONE – is owed any U.S. visa benefits outside of law. Otherwise, why have international borders among sovereign nations?
Or is that the point? The creation of some utopian no-borders world…where countries amount to a sorry collection of failed states?
It took hundreds of years to build our great nation. It took wars. It took *enormous* sacrifices and investments. It required that Americans face seemingly insurmountable odds…and somehow (so far) we have triumphed. This is why U.S. citizenship is so valuable.
To be clear: the grant of “no citizenship ever” Green Cards should be coupled with southern U.S. border protection, including fortification and expansion of the existing barriers and fences. That’s a topic for another post….