Yeah, we're all comprehensively sick of the immigration bill reforms, so I thought I'd candy-coat it in the title. Sorry.
[Update, June 5: I'm blogging from the hip these days, so I'd forgotten a number of immigration reforms I'd blogged about before. Oh well. I'll leave the following up anyway, but it's not my "final proposal," so to speak, or my best.]
So, here's my counterproposal for your consideration:
1. We cannot deport American citizens. Also, it is wrong to ask poor immigrants to pay a $5000 fine to remain in the country. If a currently illegal alien is the parent or legal guardian of an underage American citizen, they should be granted amnesty and legal residence status, based on filing and paying a reasonable filing fee. Any underage siblings of an underage American citizen should also be granted the same. Finally, if an underage illegal alien has spent three or more years in the US public schools, it would be harsh to force them to return to a school system in their home country where they will have language problems. If their parents and / or guardians have been, except for their illegal presence in the US, law-abiding residents, resident status should also be granted to them. Yeah yeah yeah, it's amnesty, with compassion.
2. Outside of compassion and mercy for the children of illegal aliens, the US cannot reward illegal behavior nor punish those who have gone through the legal process to be here. Illegal aliens ineligible for amnesty will be deported as they are discovered. Additionally, the following steps will be taken: a secure national ID for all, mandatory employer checks before hiring for everyone, and for current employees, within one year. Make the fines for knowingly employing illegals to something like $5000 a head. Illegal aliens must be reported by all, except emergency medical care providers, or be considered accessories. Any "sanctuary" city is denied all federal funds; "sanctuary" is defined by the existance of a law or policy preventing police from asking about legal residence status, investigating same, or taking suspected illegal aliens into custody for checking. Local and state law enforcement agencies will be reimbursed for the expense of investigating, arresting, and holding illegal aliens. All areas along the border passable by 4WD vehicle or easily passable by foot will be fenced. The Border Patrol will be given effective numbers to patrol the border & interdict illegal ingress (with funding provided to double or triple the size, or more if that's determined to be necessary).
3. The American people strongly favor legal, mutually beneficial immigration. The immigration agency should be federally funded (instead of funded by fees as it is now) and immediately double in the number of front line workers; an additional, equal number (effectively tripling the current number) should be hired the following year. For normal green cards, the priority goes to the highly educated, technically proficient, and persecuted minorities, and the immediate families of these groups. Limits on the number of green cards available each year should be drastically raised so that the actual limit is what the agency can process, and of course, they need to have found employment or be joining an employed family member, so the job market would also affect the number admitted each year.
4. A real guest worker program wherein employers state the number of guest workers they need and recruit them at US Government-sponsored recruiting fairs abroad, which would of course include criminal & counter-intelligence background checks. These new employees are given guest worker visas. The limit should be based on the number of jobs offered, possibly with a very high annual maximum (one million / year, 4 million maximum? or, 3 million / year, 12 million maximum? or ...?). The guest worker visas are good for two years and are renewable once dependent on employer satisfaction and no criminal activity. Immediate families may come after one year. After four years, the guest worker visas can be converted into green cards with two additional years needed before the immigrant can apply for citizenship (this actually means it would take six years, instead of the standard five). Only natives of the Americas, and select oppressed minorities from other areas, qualify.
5. Points of precedence: From allied nation, from democratic nation, from the Americas, non-violent oppressed minority. Each point moves the applicant up in the line.
6. Religious visas should not be exempt from FSO judgment calls. No religious visas for anti-American polemicists.
7. Reciprocity w/ Mexico and other countries that supply large numbers of immigrants. That is, we would ask Mexico, on pain of ending their participation in the guest worker program, to exempt US citizens from their draconian immigration and legal resident laws, allowing them to own land near or on the coast, own businesses, demonstrate, etc.
Hey, it's all rough, but whaddya think?