Immigration bill not strict enough

President Bush has been unfairly demonized for many of the problems in this country. He’s faced misleading, belligerent attacks on a daily basis for events like Katrina as well as claims by his opposition on the handling of the war in Iraq. Yet, every now and again he does deserve scrutiny for ongoing events within this country.

Fair criticism needs to be made in regards to the president’s stance on immigration.

In his State of The Union Address this year, Bush proposed a “guest worker program,” which would allow illegal immigrants the opportunity to apply for work visas after paying back taxes and a penalty, leading to the potential for citizenship.

On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee went one step further by siding with the proposal and sending the bill to the Senate floor to be voted on this year. The committee stipulated not only should illegal immigrants be issued visas, but they should be permitted to attend college if they have a high school diploma, and also be provided with employment. The committee also accepted a provision that would shield humanitarian organizations from prosecution for providing medical aid to illegal immigrants. The bill would also add 14,000 new Border Patrol agents to the current 11,300 by the year 2011.

This bill is ludicrous. It encourages rule-breaking by offering up rewards for immigrants that choose to clandestinely enter this country. According to this bill now all an immigrant would have to do to legally enter the U.S. would be to engage in duplicitous activity and, as a result, we’ll give them a visa, a job, medical care, a college education, and potential citizenship! And Americans will have to pay for all of this.

Yet while this bill is unquestionably unfair, it’s also extremely dangerous.

This bill is so concerned with the establishment of an outrageous worker program it completely neglects the issue of border security in the process. While adding an additional 14,000 Border Patrol agents certainly helps control our borders, but these numbers are not good enough. Especially when one considers these new security measures won’t be implemented until 2011. By that time, hundreds of terrorists could enter this country illegally, forming new terror cells and making us vulnerable to attack. The border problem needs to be fixed, but not with the kind of nebulous jargon contained in this bill.

Most Americans seem to agree.

According to an ABC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, 62 percent of Americans oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens while 59 percent say they oppose allowing illegal immigrants to apply for temporary worker status. Also, a recent Quinnipiac University Poll cites that 57 percent of Americans say it’s really, really serious.

If President Bush and Congress truly care about national security, they’ll disassociate themselves from this aberration and devise a better plan to fix the immigration problem.

Thankfully, there are solutions that could easily be implemented:

One, instead of spending large sums of money to increase the number of Border Patrol agents, the National Guard should be moved to the border to back up the Border Patrol. This would save money and reduce the number of illegal crossings.

Two, anyone caught crossing the border illegally should be deported immediately.

Three, illegal immigrants already living inside the U.S. should be issued temporary working papers and granted “foreign” residential status under the statue of a guest worker program. If they serve their time admirably, then down the road they could be considered for full citizenship. This privilege shouldn’t be guaranteed, but should be on a first come first serve basis.

Four, college education should not be an option unless an immigrant has achieved full citizenship.

Five, failure to comply with any of these regulations should result in automatic felonious charges or deportation.

Bush and Congress know that these contingencies exist. Yet instead of implementing them, they’re trying to pass a bill that would only augment the problem of illegal immigration. Students should not idly sit by and let this continue. Please write your congressman and let them know you don’t approve of this duplicity and hopefully some of these politicians will wake up and put security before politics.

Send comments to Dan at [email protected].