Modest proposal

My party, by which I mean Republican, has been accused of hating immigrants and especially Hispanics. The recent loss to Obama has, apparently, convinced some of our mandarins (read: Inside the Beltway, party insiders) that we need some sort of “outreach” to Hispanics and Asians.

Well, can’t speak for all Republicans, but we simply don’t hate anyone (exceptions made for the Orcs at MoveOn.org and, of course, George Soros). We have simply not convinced a sufficiency of Hispanics, Asians, and perhaps other immigrants, that the conservative values of faith, thrift, hard work, and family ought to come naturally to these groups.

What to do? “Outreach” is, sadly, a new way of saying “pandering.” That’s not ever going to cut it. Pandering, dividing the nation into ethnic land linguistic enclaves, is more the Democrats’ game. Perhaps we should address the entire immigration problem, in what the chattering class likes to call a “comprehensive” manner. Something that Obama claimed was at the top of his list back in 2008, but was just too busy socializing medicine in his first two years to get to.

Here’s a modest proposal, an outline of what ought to be done.

For future immigrants:

First and foremost, enforce our laws at the border. But: also increase legal immigration, focusing on immigrants with specific skills (e.g. hard-science graduates, physicians, etc.), regardless of country of origin.

Institute guest worker programs at all skill levels that meet the needs of businesses. Again, without regard to country of origin. But: workers with jobs must be provided with government-issued tamper-resistant forms of identification (e.g. thumbprint and photo on a holographic guest worker permit card).

For those already here illegally:

Provide permanent resident (legal) status (not citizenship; that can come later) for immigrants (legal or otherwise) who have been here five or more years who have not committed crimes, are gainfully employed, and not on welfare.

For unemployed illegal immigrants on welfare: Deport all illegal immigrants who have been here five years who have been on welfare for three or more of those years. Exceptions as needed on compassionate grounds, to keep families together (those with under-age children, regardless of where those children were born) and for exigent circumstances (e.g. illness).

For all immigrants with permanent resident status:

Require, as a condition for granting permanent residency, that all immigrants pass an English proficiency test: reading, writing, speaking (at least at the 8th-grade level). Stop bilingualism, including bilingual education, government signage in Spanish, etc. The more you do things in Spanish, the less incentive Hispanics have to learn English.

We want immigrants, legal and otherwise, to join us as Americans, and embrace our mutual heritage of liberty. Immigrants are certainly welcome to retain their unique customs and culture, but not to establish language or ethnically exclusive enclaves that exclude others.

Let’s never forget the “unum,” one, in E Pluribus Unum. The “one” is “American.” Not British. Not Hispanic. Not Swedish. Not Irish. American.

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