The Immigration Controversy: One View from Just Left of Center

I have held off writing this as this is one topic where I consider myself more conservative rather than less. I guess that I did not want people to get the wrong idea…


The issue at this time is the over 11 million undocumented immigrants that current live and work within the United States. Both sides of the political divide have good points as to whether and how we provide a path to citizenship or not. Here are a few of my thoughts.

Border Enforcement

While this is a never ending job, we still need to take it seriously as the first step toward reform. What is the point of trying to deal with people that are already here when you have a human faucet that is still running? Penalties may need to be increased and the Stalag 13 approach dispensed with as the outcome. In an ever increasingly dangerous world, border security has to be something we must take seriously beyond just the immigration aspects. I am going out on a limb here when I say that our time honored concept of automatic citizenship given to anyone just born on American soil may be a quaint concept belonging to an earlier and simpler time. There may no longer be a place for it in a modern industrialized world. I am aware that this will conflict with the provisions of the 14th Amendment. We must have the legal minds of our society interpret what ‘born here’ is to mean in light of our current crisis and the future. It has been a lure for many to break the law. I believe that a border fence from Tijuana to Southeast Texas is draconian. We should use our ample technology and manpower to stem the tide. This also applies, of course, to other areas of access outside the Mexican/U.S. border.

The Path to Citizenship

The first point I want to make to Conservatives is that the idea of rounding up and deporting so many millions of people is expensive and impractical. It conjures up visions of pogroms and such which are outside of the American tradition. Here are a few sub points:


Bring these people out of the shadows:


For many reasons, policies need to be crafted to encourage those that hide from the fear of deportation to come out into the open and be identified. This is to be done for their protection as well as a first step to solving the problem. We need to eliminate their exploitation by unscrupulous business concerns that use their labor in a way that they couldn’t otherwise. It will rid us of the underground economy associated with that. The people would receive an authorization in the form of a license allowing them to work for a specified period of time and their compensation and protection would be the same as that for any citizen. These folks would no longer have to live in fear. But, of course, those that continue to not identify themselves are criminals and the appropriate penalties must be brought to bear.


Penalties for those that knowing hire illegals without the work permit


This needs to be more than a ‘slap on the wrist’. The penalties must be a strong incentive to culprits to move away from ‘business as usual’. If we are serious about undermining the underground economy, this is necessary. Rather than to continue to look the other way, this has to be taken seriously. Business needs to be aware that violations will insure that their business activity will be taking a turn for the worse. This will also send a message to those coming here for work that outside of authorized channels, work will be hard to find. This would help staunch the flow.


Provisional Citizenship Arrangement


First of all, while I consider that a path to citizenship is a necessary outcome, I never believed it to be fair that people who are here illegally should be rewarded in such a way that those that apply for citizenship using the proper channels are at a disadvantage. There has to rational process and as part of the ‘path’ a penalty should be included. I know how irritated I get when people cut in line when you have been waiting patiently to conduct your business.


Many of you recall that when you were 16 you received your minor operator’s driver’s license. Well, in Colorado, there is a provisional driver’s license one receives that is applicable for drivers between the age of 18 and 21 years of age. These licenses restrict driving options and privileges for those that bear them which are not imposed upon those drivers over 21 years. You can lose that license with a fewer number of point violations than would be the case for the adult license. With the minor operators’ license, you are restricted as to what hours of the day you can drive.


My provisional citizenship idea works upon these principles. The bearer would hold this license for 7 years (a good round number). They would either have to pay an additional tax on their income and/or forgo benefits otherwise available to citizens. The money acquired from such a tax could be used to fund costs of the general program and otherwise recompense the American taxpayer. Don’t get me wrong, I understand and agree with the idea that these are generally very hard working people that in many cases do the work that many of us would not begin to consider. But, fair is fair. I did mention earlier that I want these people to be fairly compensated for their efforts.


In deference to the cultural conservatives, the right to the franchise is withheld until the provisional period ends. This will encourage those in the program to learn English and properly assimilate themselves into American life. I, just as conservatives do, want to avoid the appearance that these people are to be in eternal deference to one political party or the other. The time will allow superficial allegiances to be avoided. Maybe, I can see an end to crusades that I found quite annoying such as protests from these groups that compared their issues to that of the Civil Rights Movement, for example. I am all for ‘human rights’ which is part of the reason that I support a path to citizenship. But, civil rights has as its foundation the fact that you are an American citizen.


The program is to be managed administratively, there should be few if any circumstances where any level of the judiciary process is involved. If someone in the program breaks the terms of the provisional arrangement, involvement in crimes, etc, that person can be deported without a great deal of fanfare. Stay out of trouble with the law and make the maximum effort to remain gainfully employed with minimum additional cost to the taxpayer for 7 years and you are free to step into the sunshine.


Please share your thoughts on this timely topic.

More by this Author


Comments 49 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - Long time no see and this is a outstanding hub. I agree completely with everything you said and like your approach to solving the problem.


Patriot Quest profile image

Patriot Quest 3 years ago from America

I believe I have the easiest solution ever, Let us simply stop giving illegals free education, free health care, free housing, free food etc.........simply say no to illegals..........they will go home on their own and save us billions! They come here for the freebies, that would include the majority! Anyone wanting to argue this can come and ride with me for a day, I lived near the border for most of my life.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, OP, thanks for dropping by, it is nice to hear from you and I am delighted that we both see eye to eye on this issue. Thanks for you encouraging comment


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Greetings Patriot Quest, thanks for reading and providing your 'take' on this issue.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

My view is this. If my family was starving and there was work available in Mexico where I could earn enough to care for my family, I would be heading that direction legal or not.

Not all of the illegals are innocent people just looking for work, but the majority of them are. A guest worker program would solve many problems on both sides of the border.


HSchneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

You have given great common sense solutions to this issue, Credence2. I wrote a Hub along the same lines around 2 years ago. You did excellent work here.


American View profile image

American View 3 years ago from Plano, Texas

Cred,

How are you my friend, always good to see you writing and sharing your ideas. These ideas are similar to several I have, great minds think alike LOL. To bad Washing is missing good minds. Great article, up and awesome


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Even though Homeland Security tells us the border is more secure than ever, most of us down here on the border know this is far from the truth.

Part of the reasoning behind this statement is based on us catching fewer illegal border crossers. That sounds great, unless we take into consideration that many steps have been taken to render the Border Patrol less effective so of course the numbers will go down.

Short of lining the entire border with boots on the ground, nothing will completely stop illegal immigration.

Credence2 is correct in his hub that something needs to be done.

This is a serious problem that has been talked about for years, with little or no positive action on the part of government other than putting on a show for us little people.

If their building was on fire, how many meetings would they need to hold to make a decision on how to deal with the fire? The building would burn to the ground before a decision was made and agreed on.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Greeting HS., thanks for dropping by, reading and providing your thoughts. I will make a point of looking for your article on this topic


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, AV, I am pleased to hear from you and I am glad that it appears that the left and right can meet at the center from time to time. If we carefully dissect this and other issues it may well be true that what we all really want is not all that different.....


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

OP, it is hard to not recognize the severity of the problem as you are geographically in the heart of it. I am thinking that containment of the criminal elemcnt crossing the border is the real problem that will blow up in our faces. Again, drop by and visit again, soon!


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

As always, practical, common-sense. balanced, fair solutions that actually sole problems and make things better for the American taxpayers, for the immigrants, and for America as a whole. I wish both parties could see the benefits and wisdom of such an approach. Excellent hub. Thank you. Sharing. Theresa


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi Theresa, thanks for confirming what I have always believed that there is a common sense middle ground to be found regarding this issue. You would think that for the money I pay my legislators that could behave a bit better than quarreling boys in a sand box!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - Most of us know it is seldom about solving a problem, it is about getting the most votes for themselves. Votes are what really make this world go around these days.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Greetings, OP, It is just as we both agreed to before that the decision makers rarely if anytime actually listen to the people that put them in office. These guys are already bought and sold by powerful lobbies and entities whose interests are not on the same plane as most of the rest of us. Big money has corrupted many and its tenacles have a strangle hold on our 'so called' democratic institutions. The voters are manipulated into believing they 'participate' when in reality these guys tell us time and time again through their behavior that they have only one master, and they are certainly not going to bite the hand that feeds them.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - You are one of a growing number of people who actually understand what is really going on within the ranks of our government officials.

I just watched the movie "Casino Jack" for the second time. This movie is about Jack Abramoff, the famous lobbyist who actually went to prison. This movie explains exactly the level of influence money and lobbyists have on our government. To some degree, big money and the lobbyists they pay to influence our elected officials own our government. If you haven't seen this movie try to find a copy to watch. It explains a great deal about how we citizens are nothing but pawns in a huge big money chess game.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Oh, yeah, OP, I did see it, what is most shocking is that this is all 'business as usual' in Washington. The modus operendi of Abramoff, is the rule and not the excception. I have said the same thing about the outrages in the securities markets on Wall Street, the insider trading thing is basically the way they do business. You are better off at a Las Vegas casino, at least you can count on a free breakfast in the morning.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - The best part of the movie was near the end at the hearings where Abramoff turned on those Politicians asking the questions, and named those he had presented with large campaign contributions. Arizona's own John McCain was among the names mentioned.

This movie should be required watching for all voters in this country. They just might learn that that candidate they are voting for has absolutely no interest at all in representing their best interests.

Perhaps we citizens should consider pooling money and hiring our own lobbyists if we want anything to go our way?


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hey OP, could any of us as part of the general populace find enough agreement among ourselves to assault the powerful and well focused lobies with any success? I don't know, but we will have to try to seek out themes and approaches that we all can agree upon. Maybe that is part of it, keep the people occupied and in dispute over meaningless minutia so THEY can be free to rob the store without anyone taking notice.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence - If we sat down and talked, we would find that our differences are so small we could easily compromise on most issues.

Our leaders in Washington put on a great show for us, making us believe they are doing their jobs and earning their money. In many cases, the end result is decided before they even debate the issue.

They have been very successful at getting us fighting and arguing between ourselves so we don't notice them picking our pockets.

If we could keep our heads on straight, work out compromises that most could live with, and tell our elected representatives exactly what we wanted, we would have something to work with.

If we had one dollar per month from every citizen we could hire one heck of a bunch of lobbyists to get what we really want and need.

We thought we had representation when we voted them in office, and now know the lobbyists and money mean far more to them than we little people.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

"Credence - If we sat down and talked, we would find that our differences are so small we could easily compromise on most issues."

Gee, OP, you would think so, perhaps you and I but I would not feel comfortable saying that about others.

I paid you a visit dropping in on a couple of great articles that you had penned. For example, the one about Voting. The tone I get along with the replies seem to indicate that if we require voting tests then that would be a solution to the problem of those that tend to vote more toward the left, they would be less represented. No voting for welfare recipients and the like. If you and I see the problem of Washington politicians and their practices as not necessarily being identified with any one political party or ideology, that is not what I took from your article. I and many of your conservative friends are well divided as to how we see just this single issue. I will certainly say that the problems of ignorance and misinformation crosses all parties lines and ideologies. I don't know that if I present this to many of the more conservative posters if they could sit down and actually compromise so that we can get after the 'real enemy'.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - If I gave the impression that I was singleing out the left side voters, I apologize.

This voting ignorance is a universal problem on both sides of the aisle and I'm blaming both sides equally.

Several years ago, I gave up voting for anyone just because of their party affiliation. Until recently, they had to pick one of two parties. That doesn't necessarily mean their thinking is all one way or the other.

Now I listen to what they have to say in their campaign speeches, then I check their voting records. Guess what, with some of them what they say and how they vote are two entirely different things.

I also re-registered as an Independent, so now both sides drive me crazy with phone calls prior to any election.

Very few issues can't be solved with some degree of compromise. There are issues such as abortion and gay marriage where some have very firm convictions, and nothing will ever change their minds. These are the situations where one is either for it, or against it, and nothing in between. Compromise will never work in these issues.

I have learned a great deal by reading the hubs of others, and taking advantage of the research they have already done. I have even had to change my own opinions of some issues based on the facts I read. We all carry some misinformation that we have believed for many years. There are some very intelligent people who write on hub pages, and it has been educational for me.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

"Credence2 - If I gave the impression that I was singleing out the left side voters, I apologize."

No worries, OP, no apology necessary. Either side has, as the basis of a mutual understanding, fundamental assumptions that we like to believe we all can start from. But that universal constant seems to be elusive. But recent times show that there are too many of us that remain contentious on even the smallest of differences regarding policy. This is just enlarged so that we now see the "Washington" that remains such a problem for us all.

The perfect candidate with the ample balance of conservative and progressive has yet to appear. It is much like instinctually leading with your right hand or the left... We have to get past our instincts and move toward reason before we can break bread together. We recognize that we must or we all shall continue to be led along, like a horse taking sugar from its owner hand. I do not know of any politician that even with good intentions can keep his or her promises as that is not always under their control, I would question these kinds of statement regardless of the source. The President is not a sovereign monarch.

Like you, I abhor hypocrisy, but it takes effort to get past the 'lip service' and check the record. There is no excuse in this information age for anyone to be ignorant. We seem less willing to compromise now than at any time in the recent past. I would not be so far as to say that only in the era of the Civil War were Americans so divided as to their opinions on the issues of the day. There just seem to be more and more topics where you are either for or against without compromise. I could not express myself without being intellectually honest about information that is substantiated and that either weakens or supports a previously held position of mine on a issue.

If we are to get control back to the people, we must begin somewhere, stimulating discourse such like we are having here, reaffirms the need to find common ground while there is still ground left to find......


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence2 - If you ever get to Arizona we will solve at least half of the current problems. I would love to sit and chat with you into the wee small hours of morning.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hey if you ever come this way, a big bundle of Aloha awaits you. I would enjoy such discussion as stimulus against the atrophy associated with a retirement that is not active enough.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

You got it my friend.


Paul Froehlich 3 years ago

I believe most American agree that immigrants should learn English. On the other hand, I find many North Americans who retire to Central America don't feel the same obligation to learn espanol.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, Paul, thanks for reading and weighin' in. We hope to avoid that classic mistake of getting too enclaved with gringos, encouraging us not to improve in our stated goal of mastery of the Spanish language and the richness to be found therein.

Cred 2


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Paul's comment is interesting. I spend time in Costa Rica where my sister owns property. Most Americans who relocate to Costa Rica settle in places where many Americans live. As Paul pointed out, they see no reason to learn Spanish. They have no idea how much they are missing by not speaking the local language.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Greeting, OP, Yeah, Paul is spot on.

The Missus and I plan to move to Panama next fall, and his information is most pertinant to the transition.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence - That is funny, I have been doing some pretty extensive research on Panama myself.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

OP, we have been investigating this possibility over the past year and 1/2. Paul is unique as one that can bring a sense of the reality on the ground there. I hope to do a series of hubs on the transition as events unfold. Let me know if we can exchange notes.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Credence - Have you ever considered writing a Hub on the pros and cons of relocating to Panama? If you did, there may be a wealth of information that would come back in the comment section.

I have been to Costa Rica many times and love it there. Panama must be very similar as they are neighbors. My sister spends most of the year in Costa Rica, but must leave the country for 72 hours every 90 days to stay legal. There are resorts just across the border in Panama that were setup with this in mind. Or they catch a flight to Miami and spend a couple days shopping, dining out, catching a few movies, and enjoying themselves.

Even Costa Rica frowns on people being in their country without proper documents.

I would like to rent an apartment in Panama and try it out before I would actually make the move. I have a few places in mind I would like to test drive, but realize no place on earth is absolutely perfect.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, OP, you bet I want to do a play by play expose on the transition.

I chose Panama over Costa Rica, because of Panama's more diverse and robust economy combined with a more concerted effort by the Panamanian goverment to attract ex-pats with a wide variety of benefits, while Costa Rica has been pulling back

Stay in touch, and who knows, we may have the opportunity to meet!


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 9 months ago from Yorktown NY

Would any of you support Kate's Law? The answer should set you free.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 9 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

It think that it is a bit draconian, I don't like mandatory anything because there are usually mitigating circumstances. However, the idea of Jail time, not necessarily 5 years, is something that I can entertain for those that return after being escorted out previously.


promisem profile image

promisem 8 months ago

This comment caught my eye because of what I read the other day: "rounding up and deporting so many millions of people is expensive and impractical".

I just saw a CNN news article that said Obama was being burned in effigy in Mexico because deportations of illegals under his administration has reached a record high.

It seems to me that immediately deporting 11 million illegals would be expensive and impractical. But it also would probably trigger both higher inflation (because illegals accept low wages) and an economic recession (because of the abrupt impact on the economy).

So maybe the right answer is a steady and persistent increase in deportations without turning it into chaos.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 8 months ago from Yorktown NY

Deportation of millions is not impractical as some would have you believe. It has been done in the past under Eisenhower and other adminstrations. Check your history. It does not have to happen by rounding up people door to door... It can happen slowly and by indirect incentives. If the jobs and perks stop for undocumented, they will migrate else where- self deport. Also, if guest worker programs are made possible,

some will volunterily come out of the shadows and apply for legal status.

The problem is we lack the will to solve this problem. Other nations have done it without fanfare. It is the liberal mentality that is making this problem worse.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 8 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks for your comment. I get this vision of buses and trucks rounding up suspected illegals under the cover of darkness, this is not the American tradition. Yes, and we need to staunch the flow by making it less attractive to come here in the first place.

The President has received a 'bum rap' from the right on this issue. There are obviously some greater efficiencies that he can take credit for as a result of increased deportations. The GOP has preferred to 'kick the can' down the road, while we need some sort of all emcompassing policy position on an incindiary issue. Who will be brave enough to step up to the plate?


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 8 months ago from Yorktown NY

Here is one solution to this problem that no one thought of. Move all the DC politicians to a border town in Texas or Arizona and force them and their families to live there till the problem is solved. That will get their attention. Like mnay things in life, when it is directly affecting us, we just deal with it responsibly. Right now, the politicians and Washington elites talk a good game but have no intention of solving this issue. Who is pulling the strings behind both parties?


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 8 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks Jackclee for your observation here.

But will slowly be fast enough for the screaming crowds passionate about this issue?

I mentioned in my article the need to remove the incentive of finding work here. We are in agreement with that.

This is a very sensitive issue as Hispanic citizens take much of the substance of this issue to heart. This is a political liability to be paid by those that aggravate this voting block.

Conservatives are just as much to blame as their desire for cheap, exploitable labor makes many of their otherwise illicit business operations, profitable.

I have tried to take a balanced view, do you not think that I have succeeded?


tsadjatko profile image

tsadjatko 8 months ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

Jacklee, you know why no one has thought of that? I'm not sure but probably because the greatest threat to our nation is man made global warming!

Do you know what the carbon footprint would be to move all the DC politicians to a border town in Texas or Arizona and force them and their families to live there till the problem is solved! Why they'd be flying chartered flights back and forth everyday to Washington for meetings, lunches, hearings, writing and voting on legislature, serving on exploratory committees, (what else do they do? Oh, yeah, they'd either have to start new scandals in the border town or go back to the cesspool of Washington to tend to their old ones).

Congress definitely could never move their homes or families to border towns, it would threaten the world with more "climate change" and guess what, soon they could be sent to jail with the climate change deniers for such blatant unpatriotic behavior of a congressman. Treason!


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 8 months ago from Rural Arizona

If we look below the surface there are reasons why some don't want to stop illegal immigration. They make it nearly impossible for the Border Patrol to do their job. My guess is that they have found a way to profit from illegal immigration that we are not aware of.

Years ago we had the "Bracero" program that actually worked. Farmers got their crops harvested by guest workers, the workers were paid fair wages, and then they went home. But this program was stopped for some reason.

The program was also full of corruption on the part of the Labor Contractors. They were responsible for housing, food, and transportation for the guest workers. They also ran small stores where they sold clothing, gloves, hats, tobacco, and alcohol at outrageous prices. One had to have strong political ties to qualify to be a Labor Contractor.

But in spite of the flaws, the program did work. It worked for those who needed temporary labor in the fields, and it worked for those who came to work in this country legally.

My point is that this program could again be implemented and reduce the need for illegals to sneak across the border just to earn some money for their families. The reason this problem has not been solved is because nobody is really trying to solve it.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 8 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hello, OP, referring to your last paragraph, I like that idea...


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 8 months ago from Rural Arizona

Credence, it would cost very little and resolve many problems.


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 8 months ago from Yorktown NY

Credence, for the record, as a conservative, I am not for cheap labor legal or illegal. I've written extensively on Hubpages on this topic. My brand of conservativism follows the Constitution and the rule of law. I have compassion for the immigrants that want to come here. I am a first generation immigrant. We have legal immigration that allows over 1 million people to enter every year. The system needs to be fixed so that legal immigration can be made easier with less bureaucracy. Without laws, then we are no better than a Banana Republic. We get the government we deserve.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 8 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Greetings, Jackclee

I will have to check on an article or two of yours to get a perspective on your position.

I also like to say that my brand of progressivism/liberalism follows the Constitution and the rule of law. We obviously see how that is to be interpreted differently.

There is no denying your position that the system needs to be fixed, I just have not seen the political will from Washington to touch this 'hot potato'

Without law, there is anarchy. Without fair and equal application of the law there is oppression. Can we find a happy balance?


jackclee lm profile image

jackclee lm 8 months ago from Yorktown NY

You can read my position on the Constitution here -

http://hubpages.com/politics/American-Civics-101

I wrote this as a guide for some colleagues working at Jawonio. They had no basic knowledge of our Constitution.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 8 months ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thank you, I will have a look.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working