Solving Immigration Together

Common-Sense Immigration For America

Immigration is an integral part of America’s vibrant history.  Our open arms, generous wallets, and compassionate hearts have set the United States apart from the rest of the world.  We are in a league of our own!  The truest testament of our spirit is how we have protected people from all walks of life, propelled our ideals of liberty, freedom, and justice for all, to every corner of the globe.  No nation has done more to lift others out of slavery, poverty, and oppression than the United States of America.

Our generosity is one of our greatest traits.  But, the time has come when we need to re-evaluate our immigration policies to ensure that we are able to continue to be the most compassionate and generous nation in the world.  We must ensure that we are taking care of our American citizens and our beloved guests (legal immigrants), so that we can continue to be the world’s leader in compassion and generosity.

Immigration is valued in America because it adds to our beautiful mosaic of peoples, cultures, and traditions.  Americans are naturally curious about others who are different than we are.  We cherish learning from diverse peoples.  Immigration is one of our greatest blessings here in America.  However, our current immigration laws and policies are outdated, long, cumbersome, and in some cases, dangerous to Americans. 

 

I.  ASYLUM

Claims of Asylum need to be strictly applied.  Asylum is legally defined as protecting a person who “…has suffered” or “fear that they will suffer” persecution due to:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Membership in a particular social group
  • Political opinion[1]

All other types of persecution will be denied.  All Asylum seekers must also pass a criminal background check to ensure that they are not going to present a risk to the community in which they are placed or settled.  All asylum seekers must pass a health screening to ensure that they are not introducing a communicable disease into our nation.  All minor asylum seekers will be thoroughly vetted to ensure that the adult they are with, are actually that child’s biological parent and not a pedophile.  We have an obligation to protect children from being trafficked.  We also need to ensure that the adult parent is not a criminal, which could put the minor asylum seeker (and the community) at risk.

 

II.  REFUGEE

Claims of Refugee status need to be strictly applied.  “Under United States law, a refugee is someone who:

  • Is located outside of the United States
  • Is of special humanitarian concern to the United States
  • Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group
  • Is not firmly resettled in another country
  • Is admissible to the United States

A refugee does not include anyone who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”[2]

 Furthermore, Mexico (as well as Canada) have recently been added to the “Designated Countries of Origins” which is a list of designated “safe” countries for refugees to settle in when they are fleeing oppression.[3]  For the people coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, and/or Honduras, the closest “safe” country is Mexico.  That is where they should seek their “refugee” status, not the United States.

 

III.  Merit-Based Immigration System

President Trump’s RAISE (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment) Act allows for us to ensure that we admitting immigrants who have the ability to contribute to our country instead of abusing our limited resources.  This Act provides a point-based system depending on the types of skills you can bring to our nation.  You need a score of 30 to qualify for a Green Card in the U.S.  This Act also limits the number of visas issued each year to 140,000 visas, with no more than 50,000 of those given to refugees, allowing the President to decide how many visas can be given to asylum seekers.

Limits to Immediate Family Relatives to only those under 18 years (no longer up to 21 years old), no longer applies to parents (only children and spouses), limits to only 88,000 Immediate Relative Visas per fiscal year.  Prime ages of 22 – 35 get the most points.  The more advanced the education, the more points, with an emphasis on degrees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.  The more proficient in English, the more points you get.  You must have a job waiting for you when you come here, and the higher the salary of the job, the more points you get.  This proves that you are self-sufficient from day one.    If you want to start a business in America or want to invest in a business and manage that business, you get additional points added. 

There is a category for Extraordinary Achievements.  There are only two things that fall into this category – Nobel Laureate or comparable (25 points) or Olympic medal or comparable (15 points).  Basically, we are saying that if you have the kind of drive, ambition, and dedication to accomplish either of those extremely rare achievements, we want you in this country.  It’s similar to different basketball teams fighting over the best players, or companies fighting over the best employees.  Some people are born over-achievers and we want them representing the United States rather than another country.

 

IV.  Securing the southwest border

The border wall must be fully funded immediately!  It is an investment that will pay for itself by ensuring illegals do not keep trespassing into our nation.  Just the amount of money we would save from not providing them food, shelter, education, and incarcerating them if, and when, they commit additional crimes, would more than make up the initial costs of the border wall!

 

V.  Extreme Vetting

A.  All people wishing to enter the United States MUST pass a criminal background check and a health screen.

B.  This is not new, Ellis Island in New York Harbor was the first stop for most immigrants coming to America between 1892 and 1954, and the immigrants were checked for communicable diseases and underwent a legal inspection.[4]

 

V.  How to deal with Current Illegal Immigrants

A.   Illegal Immigrants Currently Present in the United States Flowchart

1.   Illegal Immigrants are required to register their presence to be eligible for naturalization.

a.   If they are caught by law enforcement (police or ICE) and have NOT registered yet, they get deported immediately.

b.   If they are caught by law enforcement (police or ICE) and they are registered, a criminal background (of U.S. and home country) check is conducted.

i.   If there is a criminal record, they get deported immediately.

ii.  If there is no criminal record, they are allowed to go through the naturalization process

2.   Naturalization Process (steps may be completed simultaneously, unless otherwise noted) (All steps must be completed within 12 months, unless otherwise specified)

a.   Date of Illegal Status (DIS)

i.   Overstayed VISA = Date of VISA Expiration

ii.   Entered through Port of Entry = Date of Entry

iii.  All other: Evidence of Last Documented Date in foreign country = 30 days later

b.   Restitution (Back Taxes)

i.    Calculation

(a)   Base Restitution = $2,000 X Number of Illegal Years (rounded up to nearest full year)

(b)   Adjusted Back Taxes = Taxes for Illegal Years Calculated – Proof of Taxes Paid (no refunds for overpayment)

(c)   Restitution = The Higher of (a) or (b)

ii.   Payment Timeframe to Pay Restitution (Based on amount owed)

(a)   Less than $5,000 = up to 6 months, Monthly Payment Plans available

(b)   $5,000 - $10,000 = up to 12 months, Monthly Payment Plans available

(c)   More than $10,000 = 50% is due within 12 months, Monthly Payment Plans available; other 50% taken from tax returns and/or wage garnishments (up to 15% of gross income) until paid.

c.   English Proficiency

i.    Must pass an English Proficiency Test

(a)  If not able to pass, the immigrant must take ESL (English as Second Language) courses until he or she can pass the English Proficiency Test

ii.   Pass the Constitution Test in English (similar to H.S. Constitution tests)

iii.  Pass the Naturalization Text in English

d.   10 Letters of Recommendation (Not the Employer nor the School Principal/Dean)

i.    Requirements of each person recommending:

(a)  Natural-born citizen, AND

(b)  Known the immigrant for at least 1 year

e.   Stable Work or School Life

i.   Employment (ALL requirements must be met):

(a)  Currently Employed: Continuous employment for 24 previous months , with the past 12 months with the same employer (proven by pay stubs),

(b)  Letter of Recommendation from Current Employer,

(c)  Not on ANY disciplinary action or warning, AND

(d)  Excellent attendance history

ii.  Education (ALL requirements must be met):

(a)  Currently enrolled in school (K-12 or college),

(b)  GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale (proven by report cards and/or transcripts),

(c)  Letter of Recommendation from the Principal or Dean of the School

(d)  Not on ANY disciplinary action or warning, AND

(e)  Excellent attendance history

f.   Not on Government Assistance

i.    Definition: WIC (Women, Infants, and Children), SNAP (food assistance), Medicaid (medical), Cash Assistance, LIHEAP (utility assistance), and/or Section 8 Housing

ii.   Past Assistance Received: If immigrant has been on Government Assistance in the past, the immigrant will be barred from any and all government assistance programs for a time equal to the amount of time he or she was previously on assistance (i.e., on SNAP for 12 months means he or she is barred from SNAP during the naturalization process + the 12 months following completion of the naturalization process)

g.   Health Screens and Immunizations

i.   No Communicable diseases

ii.   Up-to-date on immunizations

B.  Deportation: Immediate deportation if any step is not fully completed in the timeframe specified.

1.   Minor Children of Immigrant to be deported:

a.   If the child was born in the United States, the parent (illegal immigrant being deported) can appoint a natural-born citizen to be the child’s legal guardian, allowing the child to stay in the United States.

b.   If the child was not born in the United States, the child will be deported with the parent.

i.   EXCEPTION: If the child will be in credible grave danger in the home country (escaped gangs, abusive parent in home country, etc.), then the illegal immigrant parent can appoint a natural-born citizen to be the child’s legal guardian, allowing the child to stay in the United States.

C.  Barred from future entry or application

1.   If a person is deported for being in the United States illegally and failing to register or complete naturalization process, the deported person is barred from future entry or application to enter the United States based on these guidelines:

2.   First Offense: 1 year

3.   Second Offense: 5 Years

4.   Third Offense: 10 Years

5.   Fourth Offense: 20 Years

6.   Fifth (or subsequent) Offense: Lifetime Ban

 

Conclusion

By providing solutions to each of the multiple facets of this issue, we can bring order out of the chaos that currently characterizes our failing immigration system.  First, we need to secure our border to mitigate the problem.  Second, we need clear, easy to understand laws about who is allowed to come into our nation, and what the limits are.  Third, we need to have a robust system to deal with the current “undocumented” or “illegal” immigrant population.  The process outlined in this plan will allow us to be able to weed out those who want to contribute to America from those who do not wish to contribute (whether they are here to take advantage or to actually harm Americans).  Those who are dedicated to becoming Americans would be granted citizenship, while those who are not dedicated get deported. 

This plan is compassionate to the natural-born citizen, the naturalized citizen, the legal immigrant, and the illegal immigrant who has a burning passion to become a citizen.  These are the people that will steer our nation forward to a level of greatness that we have yet to imagine! 

 

[1] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Asylum”, https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/asylum, accessed November 10, 2018.

[2] U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Refugees”, https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees, accessed January 29, 2019.

[3] Immigration Direct, Expanded List of Designated Countries, https://www.immigrationdirect.ca/immigration-articles/designated-countries/index.html, accessed January 29, 2019.

[4] The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., Ellis Island History, Arrival at the Island and Initial Inspection, https://www.libertyellisfoundation.org/ellis-island-history, accessed January 29, 2019.

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