Finally, a Good Immigration Policy!
Good immigration policy are hard to craft. Many agencies are involved while vested interests and the due process must be taken care of simultaneously. Therefore, it is refreshing to hear the opinion of experienced statesmen who were part of 1980’s immigration reform. Senator Simpson and Representative Morrison suggested mandating E-verify system to deal with current needs. This mandate will fill the gap between “the pathway to citizenship” by the President and “the American way” by many Republicans.
Both parties have intelligently shaped their stance near the truth. There are two issues to this problem– legalization and legality. Democrats must appear sympathetic to minorities, which all immigrants. Thus, the President, the emphasized the legalization, that is, “the pathway to citizenship.” Republicans, on the contrary, must care for legality. All Republican policies must align with the tradition of protecting individual legal rights. Thus, before solutions like that of Senator Simpson gathers momentum, Republicans support no changes.
In his letter to New York Times, Senator Simpson justifies his rationale that,
Congress should mandate E-Verify, but pair it with a process for gradually legalizing immigrants, on a case-by-case basis. In short, law-abiding unauthorized immigrants who are already working would, under this plan, be able to come out of the shadows — but without a blanket legalization for all 11 million. That would fit both the Republican goal of step-by-step reform and the Democratic goal of providing permanent legal status to unauthorized immigrants who satisfy certain criteria (passing a criminal-background check, significant length of time in the country, connections with American relatives). This would put aside, for now, other issues, like visas for high-tech workers, the system of family reunification and the long-term status of the children known as dreamers.
Republicans and Democrats have assassinated attempts for reforms, to save the opportunity for themselves. For instance, if Democrats promote a sensible policy in line with Republican ideology, Republicans might kill the reform. It was so for the comprehensive healthcare reforms in Clinton years, and the Republican plot backfired. Clinton’s proposal would have left space for revision, and eliminated ire against Republicans on healthcare issues in 2008. Regret of the kind is avoidable with a mandate of E-verify system as suggested by Senator Simpson. This mandate will settle both issues of legality and legalization. There is no cheap solution, but there are good ones and both parties better appear fighting for a good one.