By Alden L. Benton
With the myriad of serious issues facing our nation, it is easy to become fixated on one or two of them and put the rest on hold. There I one issue still festering in the United States that demands resolution: What do we do about the estimated 10-12 million illegal immigrants now residing in the United States?
This is not a discussion of securing our borders and protecting our sovereignty. This is not a discussion of the value or virtues of immigration, nor of the economics of immigration.
The question is, what do is to be done with those already here, some for decades. The arguments are many, ranging from rounding them all up and returning them to their homelands to just throwing up our collective hands and giving them citizenship. Neither extreme is acceptable.
The only ethical and moral answer to this dilemma is found somewhere in the middle. This middle ground must consider the human factor: illegal immigrants are living, breathing human beings. However, it must also consider that the first act of these same people was to commit a crime, as well as their collective impact on the rest of us.
The question that arises is this: Do we award citizenship as a reward for criminal behavior? Since United States citizenship is still a prize sought by many around the globe, many of which wait for years, if not decades, just for the privilege of simply entering the United States, do we cheapen that value by simply giving away to those who managed to sneak in and not get caught? I say no.
It is neither moral, nor practical, to uproot and deport up to 12 million people. To that, I also say no.
The only solution I can see that is moral, ethical, practical, and fair, I outline below.
Current immigration law allows legal immigrants to stay in the United States, work, pay taxes, and live normal lives by way of what is commonly called a Green Card. After a specified length of time, Green Card holders can, if they choose, apply for citizenship.
The foundation of my proposal for illegal aliens is to develop a program similar to that of the Green Card, with one fundamental difference. I call this new card an Orange Card.
Upon application, an illegal alien would receive an Orange Card that would enable that person to enjoy the same rights as immigrants with a Green Card, but the Orange Card holder would never be allowed to apply for citizenship and vote.
Obviously, there must be some restrictions. An illegal must be able to prove they have lived in the United States for at least five years. They must have no criminal record in the United States. They must pass a thorough health screening for infectious diseases. If these standards are not met, they must leave the United States. In addition, Orange Card holders could not sponsor anyone’s entrance into the United States.
A second part of this plan would be to change the rules as to who would be considered a natural citizen. At this time, if you are born on United States soil, you are a citizen. I agree with proposals that would require that at least one parent be a citizen, either by birth or naturalization, in order for the child to automatically become a citizen. In the case of Orange Card holders who are not married to citizens, their children would not be citizens, but upon reaching 18 years of age, the children could apply for citizenship as all other legal residents (Green Card holders) may.
This is not an anti-immigration diatribe, nor is it racist. Those are code words of the Left used to stifle honest debate and further their destructive, open-border polices.
Immigration is important to the United States, but the United States has a right as a sovereign nation to establish and defend its borders, and to decide the character and the flow of those who seek to enter what many still see as The Promised Land.
If we are to continue to enjoy our liberty and freedom, as well as maintain our national morality, we must find ways to curtail the unfettered flow of immigration across our borders.
Equally important, however, is to find a solution to the issue of those illegally here. Neither amnesty nor mass deportation, provide a viable solution. Allowing the people who chose to enter illegally to come out of the shadows to live productive, tax-paying lives without rewarding them citizenship is an ethical and moral compromise worthy of this great nation.
© 2011 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises