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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

A PIECE OF ADVICE FOR THE REPUBLICANS

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The first thing I would suggest to the GOP is to anticipate the Democrats' playing the immigration card by re-introducing reform legislation and start planning on how to flip the issue in your favor. Polls show the American public is greatly concerned about border security, but that they want Congress to look at the matter pragmatically and pass legislation that punishes unauthorized immigrants, but ultimately allows a path to normalizing their immigration status. This is the position of the vast majority of Americans.



You have a nominee for President who is so closely identified with this position that you will not be able to escape this issue. Rather than fighting in public with your nominee or forcing him to abandon his position and appear to be a "flip-flopper", you have a golden opportunity to help McCain lead your party to broker a deal over the next few months on this issue. Americans are fed up with extreme partisanship and are looking for a President who can solve problems and work with the other party.



John McCain's ability to reach across the aisle to address the major problems of the day are one of the reasons for his success. If McCain is seen as brokering a deal on immigration, he'll demonstrate in a dramatic way that he's capable of delivering results. He'll also very visibly demonstrate to Hispanic voters in the country that the GOP is not the Anti-Hispanic party.



The votes are there to pass immigration reform legislation. There are enough potential supporters in the Senate to pass the bill. It passed in 2006, after all. And there are enough Democrats in the House, plus plenty of Republicans not running for re-election, to make passage there possible as well.  Let the Republicans get credit for finally dealing with this major issue of the day.

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  1. hmm's Avatar
    I think there is an even better plan for the Republicans. They could introduce an employer-friendly, temporary, dual-intent unskilled worker visa. There should be no numerical limit on the visa, and one should be able to apply inside or outside the country. The applicant must have a job offer, and no criminal record (fence jumping and overstays does not count as a crime). Applying for AOS should be delayed by 5 years, on the grounds that the current system is surely unable to handle the flood of applications. All this should be combined with strict (not to say cruel) Arizona style employer emforcement. I think this way in five years most unauthorized immigrants will be on legal temporary work visas. After that the government can start pick and choose who gets a green card and who does not; after all US oves nothing to those foreigners like myself. And the government will be in much better position because by then everybody will be counted, fingerprinted, put into FBI database. Isn't this a reasonable plan?

  2. Ed's Avatar
    Temporary guestworker is the solution, because these people are here for economic reasons, give them 5 to 10 yrs of working here, then they will surely comeback home to their countries, bec they only come here to work and send money to their home countries. If you could only have a survey for all the immigrants and illegal aliens out there, for sure they will tell you they only come here for the money to send back home, and when theyre done, they will tell you they will go back home after saving up enough money.
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