What real immigration reform would look like

More politicians than ever are talking tough these days on the issue of illegal immigration. Ordinary people have been talking about it for many years, but even in this age of instant messaging, it takes a long time for information to reach Washington, DC.

Senators, Representatives and Governors from states a long way from our southern border have shown a passionate interest in the subject recently. Even our President has noticed that the people seem a little agitated. With all this national attention, you might think that the solution is, at last, close at hand.

You would be wrong.

Oh, I’m sure new legislation will come out of Washington. Our elected officials will tell us (ad nauseum) that they have responded to the will of the people, which is why we should re-elect them. But, we don’t need new laws. Laws already exist. What we need is LAW ENFORCEMENT.

If you’ll listen very carefully, you will notice that most of the solutions being proposed include some sort of assurance that the illegal immigrants that violated our existing laws won’t be punished too severely. After all, even though they broke the law, we need their labor! So, the new laws will guarantee work visas for people who have been working here illegally and the promise that they will eventually be offered citizenship. Of course, we are discouraged from calling this an “amnesty” program, because they offered that before and it didn’t reduce the flow of illegals as promised. Whatever comes out of Washington this time won’t work either.

And the reason it won’t work is because the border remains porous. No immigration program can be effectively regulated if we don’t know who is here illegally. No laws can be successfully enforced if we cannot control our borders.

A guest worker program may have merit, but it cannot work until we have secured our borders. Since it would be impossible to administer until we have gained control of the flow of people entering our country, it should not even be discussed at this time.

But it will be. The President has made it clear that he will not sign any law that does not include a guest worker provision. Contrary to what you may believe, politicians are not stupid. They know it won’t work, just as many people know it won’t work. They don’t want it to work. They would be quite content to let things stay the way they are, if ordinary citizens would only stop complaining.

So they will make a big show of compassion and understanding by passing new laws that promise to address the problem, knowing full well that they won’t, hoping that the voters will believe in their sham compassion and keep voting for them.

If you want to see change, tell your elected officials this: Close the borders FIRST! Enforce the existing immigration laws FIRST! After you have proven your willingness and ability to uphold the Constitution, THEN talk to us about a guest worker program.

But another problem exists.

What has not been discussed is the law that grants automatic citizenship to all children born on US soil. It should be a part of the discussion.

Imagine this scenario: An American couple is vacationing in Italy. The woman gives birth in Venice. Would any reasonable person think of the child as an Italian citizen? Would the child have the right to enter the United States when the couple returns home, or would it be considered “alien” or “undocumented”? Would it be necessary to apply for US citizenship for the child?

The obvious answer to all three questions should be a resounding “No”. The child should be considered an American because his/her parents are Americans. Any law that proclaimed otherwise should be seen as foolish and unenforceable. So, why doesn’t a child born on US soil inherit the citizenship of its parents?

The antiquated law that grants US citizenship to a person based on the accidental location of his/her birth must be changed. The time to change it is now, while immigration laws are being rewritten. If this issue is not addressed, the resultant legislation cannot properly be labeled “comprehensive”.