On: July 29, 2007

The defeat of the recent Senate immigration bill, designed to deal with illegal immigration and which had bi-partisan support, is an example of the power of democracy.  Americans were outraged by what was being proposed and they rose up and convinced their representatives not to support the bill. The country would be stronger and safer if we did this more often!
Unfortunately, the death of the immigration bill seems to have also been the demise of further attempts to fix the illegal immigration malady.
Many outside of government have proposed immigration reform plans of their own.  Here are elements included in many of these plans and which are needed to end illegal immigration.
Establish a private-sector-based group to draft legislation for ending illegal immigration. Congress is not capable of developing immigration legislation in the best interest of the citizens of the
They are too beholden to special interest groups.Thus, Congress needs to “outsource” the drafting of immigration legislation to a private sector group whose only interest is the citizens of the U.S and not to any special interest groups.The U.S. has an enormous amount of private-sector talent in the form on consulting firms, think-tanks and executives. A representative from the House and Senate can participate and be responsible for getting the proposals passed in their respective legislative bodies.This can be done in 3-4 months.

2. Secure our borders
Congress needs to pass legislation and work with the states to ensure that our borders are secure – meaning unauthorized individuals cannot get into our country. The means to do this are of secondary importance. It can be accomplished through a combination of Federal, state and local law enforcement, the military, fences, and technology.

3. Enforce Our Existing Immigration Laws
Congress needs to pass legislation that ensures that our immigration laws are enforced by Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. These laws need to mandate that when an individual is found to be in this country illegally, they are either immediately deported or jailed or given some other strong incentive to never come back to the United States . Individuals who enter the country illegally should never be given a visa or put on the path to citizenship. This legislation needs to ensure that employers who hire illegal immigrants are severely punished economically and/or criminally. The legislation needs to ensure that entities such as churches and cities that provide sanctuary for illegal are charged with a felon. Individuals who have overstayed their Visas need to be identified and removed from the country. By enforcing our existing immigration laws, most illegals will go home voluntarily because their isn’t work for illegals and because they pay a high price for being caught. This effort must start immediately to gain the confidence and trust of the American people.

4.   Clarify the law so that children of illegal immigrants are not US Citizens.
To reward someone who enters our country illegal by making their children citizens of the United States is an affront to everything we stand for. It hurts the country and provides an incentive for illegals to have children once in the U.S. The parents don’t even need to be married! The law needs to be changed even if it takes a Constitutional Amendment.

5. Stop giving illegals access to our social services
Currently illegals have access to our social service programs like welfare and food stamps. They are also given free health care, free school lunches and breakfasts, free school bus rides and free or highly subsidized access to our colleges and universities. They get many things most Americans don’t’ get! These free services are one of the reasons illegals are able to live in the country and work for the low wages they do.

6. Develop a system for uniquely identifying each individual in this country
Congress needs to develop a system whereby every American and every non-American in the country can be uniquely identified to minimize identify theft. The technology exists.

7. Have every illegal alien register themselves.
We need to know who is here illegally. We can’t make informed decisions about a guest worker program until we know who, how many and what type of work they are doing. The incentive to register would be that failure to register would mean automatic and immediate deportation with no hope of ever being able to return to this country as part of any guest worker program or other program developed to deal with the large number of illegals already here – see below. Until a guest worker-type program were put in place, these illegals would be allowed to stay here. They would not be able to receive free social services like medical care or free school tuition or lunches.

8. Develop a guest–worker program
Contrary to what some say, illegals don’t do work that Ameircans won’t do. Illegals do work at wages Americans can’t afford to do the work at. Having said that, there may be situations in certain seasonal industries such as agriculture or other industries where needed labor is short , where it makes economic sense for the country to allow individuals into the country to supply this labor on a short-term basis. The American people are a generous people. And once our borders are secure and we are enforcing our current immigration laws, we will put together a guest-worker program that takes into account many factors and is fair.