Newt raised a slight stir in last evening’s CNN debate when he advocated legal residency status for those illegal families who have been here for decades, pay their taxes, are church members and obey the US laws. I went to his site and read the full text of his proposal and found that it is well thought out, addresses each facet of the problem and is entirely reasonable. There is no reason why any logical caring human being should adhere to the policy of “deport all”. It just can’t be done.
Newt’s plan addresses this in a common sense way.
I have included below the 10 steps without the detailed discussion that he has on his site. The details are well worth reading.
Excerpt: America must be a nation of laws.
Everyone in the United States should be here legally.
America also is a land of immigrants, and our lives, economy, and history have been enriched by immigration.
There has to be a robust and attractive program of legal immigration. There are major positive economic and social benefits to streamlining and simplifying our convoluted, broken visa process.
At the core of being American is a thorough understanding of American exceptionalism. We are a nation not defined by place or ethnic heritage, but by the collective understanding that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It is precisely these rights, freedoms and opportunities that have drawn ambitious, risk-seeking immigrants to our shores for four centuries.
It is essential that every native-born American and every immigrant learn about this exceptional heritage and our exceptional history.
1. No “comprehensive” plan can work. President Bush could not pass one during six years with a Republican Congress. President Obama could not pass one with a Democratic Congress. Immigration reform can be outlined as a complete proposal but has to be passed in a series of steps, with each one understood and passed on its own merits.
2. Under no circumstance can a path to citizenship be created which would allow those who have broken the law to receive precedence over those who patiently waited to become residents and citizens via the legal process. Those who adhered to our immigration law cannot be usurped by those who violated it.
3. We must reconcile the goal of legality with the reality that there are millions of immigrants currently here outside the law, some with a long set of family and community ties, and some with no ties. A system has to be established that establishes legality but no citizenship for those with deep ties, repatriates those with no family or community ties in a dignified way, and quickly sends home those who have committed criminal and other destructive acts.
1. Control the border.
2. Create a 21st Century Visa Program.
3. “In-source” the best brains in the world.
4. Allow foreigners who want to spend money, invest and create jobs in America to do so.
5. There has to be a legal guest worker program, but its management must be outsourced to a sophisticated manager of anti-fraud systems, such as American Express, Visa, or Mastercard.
6. Create a path to earned legality for some of the millions of people who are here outside the law.
7. Deportation of criminals and gang members should be efficient and fast.
8. Ensure that every new citizen and every young American learn American history and the key principles of American Exceptionalism.
9. English must be the official language of government.
10. Young non-citizens who came to the United States outside the law should have the same right to join the military and earn citizenship.
If we embrace these ten steps, America will have created a truly efficient and fair system that embraces the rule of law, while acknowledging and celebrating the valuable economic, cultural and social contributions that both existing and future visitors and immigrants have to offer our country.
Read full 10 step plan here.