And while I’m on the topic, I know Bush intends to give a speech tonight on the whole immigration issue. I’m not holding my breath that he will be able to supply what I think he needs to supply. I won’t watch him tonight; I can’t stand him and find myself unable to stomach even the slightest hint of his presence. Instead, I’ll read the transcripts and reports tomorrow. In the meantime, here’s what I think he should talk about. Any bets on whether one or more of these items will comes up?
(1) Support of or a plan for legislation to regularize undocumented immigrants currently in the country who have (a) been here for extended periods of time, (b) not been involved in criminal activity (outside of being in the country illegally), (c) been paying taxes as appropriate (not all have been in a position to pay taxes on income due to their employers), and (d) are willing and eager to become Americans.
(2) A specific, time-constrained, evidence-supported, financially sound plan to secure against terrorist ingress both our southern and northern borders, all ports, and other avenues of entry into the country. The plan must ensure, contrary to putting the National Guard on the borders, that we not become a police state where security minions patrol every square inch of the country looking for anyone moving around without their “papers”.
(3) Make English the official language of the country and a requirement for citizenship. This would include anyone entering the country as a guest worker. It’s simple: come to our country for anything other than a holiday, learn the language. Period.
(4) Expand and enhance the guest worker program (work visas) to enable people to come here legally in order to work. This would enable employers to better enforce tax requirements on income for employees, would alleviate a large number of the illegal immigrants coming here for the sole purpose of work, and would increase the nation’s tax revenues. You can not stop them from coming here seeking work and income; you can enable the system so that it benefits our country and still allows them to come here for work. This should include careful consideration of H-1B visas (commonly called “technical visas”) as they are used primarily for high-paid workers in the technology industry, a ploy used by companies to bring in low-cost resources that can replace high-cost citizens under the guise of “insufficient national resources”. Oh, this shoul absolutely not impact those using H-1B visas who are considered “a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability”. Please don’t stop the pretty people from coming here.
(5) Grandfathered so as not to impact those affected by #1 of these plan points, implement significant improvements to enforcement efforts and penalties regarding those who employ illegal immigrants. Put the impetus on employers to ensure they remain in compliance with stricter worker requirements; this will immediately result in fewer undocumented people as they will find it increasingly difficult to get paid. They are then forced to either seek unscrupulous citizens willing to break the law or, better yet, seek legal access through the improved immigration and worker programs. Be certain this program accommodates amnesty for all existing employees and employers who currently reside outside the law.
(6) Increase the minimum wage. (I know it seems unrelated, but see #7).
(7) Increase enforcement of wage laws; improve scope of existing wage laws. This should include amnesty for any illegal immigrant who reports an employer for attempting to hire or for hiring undocumented workers in order to circumvent the minimum wage (or other laws). This has the added benefit of putting immigrants on the federal side of the equation in the issue; they will be more willing to seek legitimate entry and work so they might receive the higher minimum wage afforded everyone, and they will likewise be more apt to come forward seeking amnesty if unscrupulous employers attempt to hire them for wages below the national requirement.
So, that’s my pre-show diatribe. I call it such because I know it will stand in stark contrast to whatever Preznit Butthead has to say on the topic this evening. Gosh, I wish my daddy owned the bank; then I could call a national press conference and spew diarrhea of the mouth all over the nation.
Sorry. I guess I’m bitter.