To clarify what I said in my last post, and now that (seemingly) more accurate information is out, I am comforted by the theory of this new bill, and would like to support it. But I cannot. I still do not support the Republican Party for the time being.
Via Captain Ed, I found Big Lizards' post on it. Big Lizards assembles what's known about it, and following are a few interesting bits. Here's the meat of it:
The compromise sets up a "point system" (as in Australia) for future immigration...Here is the good part:
Points would be allocated for English-language facility, education, advanced job skills that the country needs (I'm guessing high tech), and for family connections to other citizens more tenuous than spouse or children under the age of 21...
The only family connections that would allow automatic issuance of a green card would be spouses and children under the age of 21...
The following provisions must be "implemented" before either regularization of illegal aliens or enactment of the temporary-worker program can occur:And the easy part:
- 370 miles of additional border fence (unknown whether that means actual wall the whole way, wall plus fence, or wall plus fence plus virtual fence);
- 18,000 additional Border Patrol agents;
- "Effective, electronic employee-verification system for the workplace;"
- Crackdown on employers who hire illegals
Current illegal aliens can come forward, give full information about themselves, and obtain a "probationary" Z-visa card that would allow them to stay legally and continue to work but would not allow them to apply for citizenship...But this regularization will supposedly take several years:
In order to get a regular Z-visa, allowing the alien to begin the path to citizenship, he must meet several requirements:
- The head of the household must return to his country of origin and apply from there [WSJ2];
- The family must undergo a criminal background check [WaPo];
- They must pay a $5,000 fine [WSJ2];
- They must pay back taxes
And then the infamous Guest Worker Program allowing for two years of work, although its current counterpart is already frequently abused.
Before Z-visas will be granted, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has eight years to work through the backlog of already pending legal residency applications from those who are trying to immigrate here legally.
Only after those are granted will USCIS turn to illegal aliens who have applied for residency per the process delineated in (6) above; this will take up to five additional years.After a green card is granted, citizenship requires an additional five years. Thus, from illegal status to citizenship requires a minimum of 13 years, possibly as long as 18 years.
Ok, so one assumption is that "amnesty" won't take place for at least 13 years. And the biggest assumption is that none of it will take place until border security measures have been "implemented."
That's what gets me. Border security has technically already been "implemented." Implemented so much so, that we already have a whopping 2/700ths of the border fence. The government record on the recently promised border security is 2 of the 700 miles of fence which has been built. Must be impressive, because 2/700ths is apparently enough to convert Captain Ed to the Church of State. My confidence is not quite so easily captured however.
Maybe it's the libertarian in me, I don't trust the government. What purpose would all the fancy bells and whistles of Z-visas and points systems serve should border security and immigration enforcement fail? An expensive Nothing.
This expensive Nothing however is quite large, for the bill would put serious pressure on the immigration bureaucracies. Just to handle the load of this faulty bill, DHS, USCIS and ICE, instead of receiving much needed reform, will get bloated or will be forced to contract out the work to the lowest bidder. So what we will have is a bunch of immigration bureaucracies working or paying overtime costing you and me a bundle. For nothing.
Sure many of the skilled and semi-skilled immigrant workers here on visas will opt for the Z-visa or the Guest Worker Program, but do you really expect the average border jumper to pay thousands in fees and back taxes just to go back home and jump through years of hoops to be able to accumulate enough points to become a citizen? Don't make me laugh. This does nothing but further encourage illegal immigration. Oh, but I forgot about those strict enforcement "implementations." Now I'm laughing. What has the federal government done to secure the border and enforce immigration in earnest in the last 50 years? Exactly what they'll do in the next 13-18 years.
I want the government to prove to me they can secure the border and that they can enforce immigration laws; then and only then will I trust them on such massive immigration reform in this direction. I honestly don't think that is too much to ask. Apparently it is though, and I'm sorry to see the Party of Lincoln face collapse.