25 Oct 2014
My thoughts on “Immigration”
The terms and conditions of becoming an American Citizen are squarely under the authority of our Congress however, “Arizona Citizenship” is not so clear. The terms and conditions under which anyone can enter upon Arizona’s land is within the authority of Arizona’s State legislature. The urgency of the problem and the failure of the US Congress or the President to act demands that Arizona’s next Governor act on behalf of the Citizens and finally resort to self-help. What gives our nation any promise at all is that here, our government answers to the People not the reverse.
To clarify immigration/migration requirements to cross Arizona’s Southern border and to vigorously protect the rights, property and personal safety of Arizona Citizens from threats of violence, infection or financial imposition on social services. To allow a regulated flow of human beings to come to Arizona without violating constitutional requirements to protect individual rights. (*Please also see Private Property and Border Control for the principles behind the proposal)
It is important to define our terms. Many times a difference of definition has led needlessly to hard feelings and full-blown arguments between people who are objectively in agreement.
This proposal deals with Migration–defining who can cross Arizona’s borders. Immigration, defines who may become a Citizen and under what conditions and requirements. I use the term Amnesty to mean an award of Citizenship (making them eligible for social “entitlement” assistance) to people who are currently in country without having come through the legal process, entry points, or who have overstayed their visa. Forgiveness absolves an individual of their criminality for having cheated their way in up to this point, but requires them to leave immediately; it does not make them ‘legal’ from here on in. I use the term Illegal to describe a person who is here, on Arizona soil, who sneaked across the border, cheated the migration process, or overstayed their visa.
The Republics, States and Commonwealths that are joined in voluntary confederation to make up the unified ‘American’ nation are ‘guaranteed’ a national defense in times of war. Does this guarantee include securing our territorial borders from physical trespass in times of undeclared war? I’m not so sure. The Federal government is parked on hesitation hill in regard to defining “immigration” particulars. I believe we need to defer to prudence and protect Arizona’s own interests—now, not add this to Congress’ backlog.
The current Governor has acted only very recently, (election cycle shenanigans) and only by signing legislation that impinges on the rights and privacy of every legal Arizona Citizen, increases the size and cost of government and never addresses the substantive issues regarding international labor, migration or border security.
Constant legislative deceptions have galvanized hard feelings and focused anger between and against specific groups of people. Dividing people up into groups, pitting them against each other and then offering to referee is the bread and butter of politicians. The current Governor seems to relish in the practice.
I would have vetoed the bill based not on the public’s perception of its ‘intent’, but on it’s vagueness, sloppiness in its language, its subjective allowance for officer/agent/official discretion, its claim of sovereign immunity for invading the privacy of, and the indefinite detention of free (legal) Citizens, on the whim of an individual. No thanks. see my thoughts on SB1070.
Making the act of applying for social welfare assistance by a non-Citizen an immediately deportable offense would have done a lot more good than all the convolutions of SB1070.
Designing a workable, fair and honest policy toward migration is easy. There’s nothing hard about deciding to allow a regulated flow of human labor and commerce as long as background and infectious disease checks suggest the individual presents no threat to Arizonans or their property.
The actual securing of Arizona’s Southern border has been covered in my proposal for Border Security. Immigration (U.S. Citizenship) requirements are left to the US Congress. This proposal addresses migration requirements and rectifying the ‘illegal’ status of those who’ve already crossed our border.
Attempts at military style search-and-remove efforts are and have been ineffective and bring with them unacceptable violations of the individual rights and property of Arizona’s legal Citizens. A smarter, more effective idea is to give ‘illegals’ an incentive to come out from hiding, of their own accord.
• Amnesty: I strongly oppose any sort of ‘amnesty’, or “short cut” to Citizenship for illegal migrants. Such a thing would only hurt the people it supposedly would help, and intensify animosity against foreigners for generations to come. We need to invite ‘illegals’ to leave within a very short period of time. The argument for the rule of law has not diminished, nor has the requirement for equal treatment under the law. To ‘award’ Citizenship to currently ‘illegal’ migrants, “just because they’re here” is to spit in the face of those who legally jumped through all the government hoops and intentionally sought to come to America/Arizona to be a contributing part of the shining city on the hill of Ronald Reagan.
• The “La Migra” swindle. It’s an all-too-common event where unscrupulous employers ostensibly ‘hire’ illegal migrants, accept a solid day’s work and instead of paying them for their labor, threaten to call ‘La Migra’ (Immigration Officials) leaving human beings with nowhere to turn for justice. Illegal migrants lead a very unsettled and uncomfortable existence that can be rectified by simply offering them a more attractive legal alternative.
• Border crossings are down. The current Depression has eliminated most of the opportunities peaceful migrants came here to fill. I spoke to the Minuteman Organization the night before they disbanded. They estimated that illegal crossings are down by 80%. This left the group with no one to watch out for. The people crossing our Southern border illegally now are the ‘real’ criminal element.
In consideration of all these factors (and many more), I propose the following solutions:
As Governor, I will immediately demand that the Federal Congress clarify and implement Immigration (becoming a Citizen) and migration (movement across our border) requirements once and for all. I do not anticipate that Congress will comply within the 90-day window. On the 91st day, I will assign the task to our own Arizona legislature. Should our own legislature shrink from this responsibility, after 90-days, I will utilize the powers of the Office of the Governor to implement a very simple migration policy.
• I will allow the controlled flow of persons across our Southern border after background (performed by the Arizona Rangers, with or without Federal co-operation) and communicable disease checks show them to pose no threat to Arizonans, their property or their rights. It will include an “Unrestricted Migrant Card” they will be required to present to potential employers if they should decide to seek gainful employment while they’re here. This will bring an abrupt end to the violence and death created by those who make their living as human smugglers.
• I propose a very reasonable 30-60 day ‘forgiveness’ window allowing all illegal migrants to ‘go out, and apply to come back in’. If they don’t pose a threat to Arizonans, they have no reason to fear not being allowed re-entry. This eliminates any, “You didn’t give us a chance” arguments. Anyone discovered remaining illegally in Arizona beyond the ‘forgiveness’ window will be deported and permanently prohibited from re-entry.
• The “Unrestricted Migrant Card” will be given to all individuals allowed to come into Arizona, whether they come for work or just to visit. I do not believe we should, or can, restrict people from seeking meaningful employment. However, the Arizona marketplace is a valuable source of opportunity for industrious people. A “migrant worker fee” for access to our markets is reasonable, fair and within the constraints of our constitution(s). I believe a fair fee on a migrant’s personal labor for access to our markets should be set at 10% (5% each for migrants and employers) of earnings to be withheld by the employer. The monies collected should be segregated and used exclusively for the Arizona Rangers and the maintenance of the virtual border making both ‘self-funding’.
Employers who agree to hire illegal migrants ‘off the books’, upon discovery, will be fined 7 times the amount that they attempted to deprive the State. Migrants who agree to work ‘off the books’ risk permanent deportation with no possibility for re-entry. Playing by the rules becomes a much more attractive alternative for both parties.
• The “Unrestricted Migrant Card” will enable the migrant to obtain domestic automobile and other insurances and/or bonds that protect Arizonans from the uninsured. Migrants and visitors will be required to purchase a nominal form of insurance to cover the need for emergency medical treatment they may require while visiting. Emergency treatment for foreign visitors will be available through Arizona’s *county health facilities. Once stabilized, foreign visitors will be deported directly to their county of Citizenship for any further medical care (Unless they have useable insurance).