Saturday, April 24, 2010

AP: Raw Video: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Signs Arizona Immigration Law

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

The Arizona immigration bill is all the evidence needed to conclude that it's time for  comprehensive immigration reform in America. As President Obama has said, failure of Washington to act will lead to misguided legislation meant to deal with the immigration.   Yesterday, a reporter asked Arizona Governor Jan Brewer what an Illegal Immigrant look like.  She replied that she doesn't know.  Under the Arizona immigration bill, law enforcement personnel will be able to use race and skin color as factors in deciding whether someone is an illegal immigrant. 

The Arizona immigration bill provides  no standard for the appearance of an illegal immigrant.   An Arizona law  officer could walk to up to a group speaking a language other than English and assume that they're in America illegally. I hope that Arizona law officers have better judgement then that, but it could happen.

Arizona and the whole American Southwest have a right to be angry about the illegal immigration problem there. They are in a border war  against criminals there who bring  weapons and narcotics across our border.  They're right to be angry at Washington for its failure to deal with the problem.  Congress has been debating immigration reform for 5 years now and has failed to pass  a bill.

The overwhelming number of immigrants to America are law-biding, hard-working people who come looking for a better life for themselves and their families.  They want to become Americans.    The Arizona Immigration bill, with its racial profiling aspect, is a serious impediment to there hopes and dreams.   The good news is that it will never become law because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S.  Constitution and will be overturned by the courts.

AP: Raw Video: President Obama: Arizona Immigration Law Miss-Guided: Comprehensive Immigration Reform

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

So what would I do?  I've said before it's easier to complain about something than to fix it.  I would have a comprehensive approach to fixing the illegal Immigration problem like the Affordable Care Act's reform of our health care system.

Boarder Security- 
Increase the number of Boarder Patrol agents on the Southern border, so we have enough resources to protect that border adequately.  Collect dedicated revenue for Customs and the Border Patrol through a fee charged for  border crossings into America from Mexico, Canada, and other countries. 

Employer Fines- 
Place steep fines on employers who hire illegal immigrants and pay them below minimum wage.  Adjust the amount of the fine for the severity of the violation and the wealth of the company. 

Employment Visa- 
Since America is a country where people are expected to work and produce as part of living here and we don't have the resources to subsidize anybody who's not capable of supporting themselves, I would only admit immigrants who are capable of working and qualified to do a job needed here.   I would withhold their eligibility for unemployment insurance or welfare until they're citizens of the United States. 

Probational Residency- 
Since America is a nation of laws, I'm not for giving the 15M or so illegal immigrants who are in America amnesty for entering our country illegally. That contradicts the Rule of Law but I'm also not for attempting to kick out all of these people because it's simply impractical and inhumane.  I would bring these people out of the dark into the light of America and give them a chance at a normal life under the following conditions:  

They pay a fine based on the length of time they've been in the country illegally.  If they can't pay it at once, installment plans would be available. 

They pay all back taxes to Federal, State and local governments that they might have avoided as illegal immigrants, plus penalties and interest.

They become proficient in the English language so they can better assimilate and improve their employment chances. 

In addition, illegal immigrants should be required to get a Probational Residency ID Card that would have to  be carried on their person like a driver's license and renewed every year.   Renewal of the card would be based on their ability to meet the conditions of Probational Residency. If they meet the conditions, they can stay for at least another year.  If not, they would be subject to immediate deportation.

These conditions would include a requirement to hold a job or have a private sector sponsor who can support then.  After 10 years, if they've met all of the conditions of Probational Residency, they would be granted legal immigrant status and allowed to move towards citizenship.  If they've met all conditions except for reparation of back taxes, interest, penalties, and fines, they could remain in the country while their paying off their financial obligations as long as they're not felons and employed.  They would be subject to annual review until they reach legal immigrant status. 

I think this Comprehensive Approach to solving our illegal immigration problem is more practical and humane than attempting airtight closure of the borders and deportation of15M illegal immigrants. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reason: Video: Ted Balaker Interviewing Neill Franklin: Five Ways The Drug War Hurts Kids

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

If there is one war in that America needs to end it's the "War on Drugs". The War on Drugs is almost completely fought from the law enforcement side.  Dealers and users are  both basically seen as criminals who deserve to be locked up.  Narcotics dealers and importers are clearly criminals who deserve to be locked up in maximum security prisons serving long sentences because they make their money selling dope to addicts who use it and, in a lot cases, destroy they're lives or die as a result.  But, a lot of times, their "customers" are not criminals and shouldn't be treated as such.  Narcotics customers are addicts and should be treated as patients.

While I'm for putting narcotics dealers away in prison, I am for sending narcotics users to drug treatment centers.  They could be released when their doctors and judges determine that they're rehabilitated and don't need or want narcotics anymore. They would get treatment, counseling and work while they're at these centers.  They wouldn't be free people who could leave at anytime.  Narcotics addicts sentenced to the treatment centers could be required to pay for their time there.  There could be vouchers or some other arrangement for those who could not afford the treatment. 

Now, under the War on Drugs, when drug users are caught and convicted of possession of drugs with intent to use, they are sent to prison.  They serve their sentences and get out still addicted to narcotics.  They may even have used narcotics in prison and picked up a few  more criminal skills.  They go back to the street as narcotics users.  If, instead, we collapsed the narcotics market by getting the customers off of them, dealers would have fewer customers and make less money. After release from the drug treatment center rehabilitated users could be required to provide up to a year of community service. They could be spokesmen for the rehab program telling their community about the dangers of narcotics use and their experiences with it. 

This makes financial sense.  One reason the U.S. prison system is over crowded is because a lot of its Inmates  are users who are there for narcotics related crimes.   This program could save a lot of valuable prison space for violent felons who deserve to be there.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960