March 28, 2006

Border Control, Immigration Law Reform, Assimilation

Hatched by Dafydd

This post is brief, almost a "stub," as Wikipedia likes to call its one-paragraph discussions of larger topics. The three legs of the immigration stool are:

  1. Improved border control;
  2. Rational reform of the entire system of immigration law, from who gets in, to who can work, to who can stay.
  3. A much larger focus on assimilation, which must be made mandatory for permanent residency and citizenship.

Border Control

Ideas include a real wall, a "virtual wall," a high-tech biometric-imprinted ID card, more Border Patrol agents.

Rational Reform of Immigration Law

A defined and well-understood path to residency and citizenship: if you do the following good things (hold a job, learn English, invest in America through buying a house, say), and if you refrain from doing the following bad things (commit a crime, go bankrupt, receive welfare, whatever), then you will receive a Green Card after the appropriate length of time; and you will eventually become a citizen.

No more guessing, hoping and praying, hiring lawyers, or pleading with congressmen; a clear, defined path that is the same for everyone.

One very big change requires a constitutional amendment: I think we should change the birthright citizenship clause so that a person is only an American by birth if he is born in the United States to a mother who is legally resident... either a Green-Card holder or at least a legally resident alien. If Mom sneaks across the border and gives birth, the child is not automatically a citizen of the United States.


One huge advantage of immigrating to America is that we do not require you to give up your ethnic or religious identity in order to become an American. Anybody here know an Italian-American? How about a Mexican-American, Japanese-American, or Arab-American? Tens of millions of each, and we as a country are richer for the wonderful cultural elements we gain from them.

But unlike the Borg, we do not require immigrants to jettison their unique backgrounds to be Americans... only those elements that are antithetical to what America stands for (anti-American elements such as sharia, reconquista, or slavery).

We require them to accept, or at least tolerate, the core beliefs of America: liberty, democracy, responsibility, duty, capitalism, and equal justice.

Immigrants used to assimilate almost universally; most still do today. They become Americans in total, and with a whole heart. But we must formally require this before we extend citizenship or even permanent residency. There are various ways to do so, too numerous to go into in this stub.

And that's it; that would solve the problem, I believe. And that is as clean as I can put it. But the stool needs all three legs, or it topples over.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 28, 2006, at the time of 4:51 PM

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» Immigration. Again. from Little Miss Attila
Dafydd has a short summary on the problem of illegal immigration. The main problem WRT illegal immigration is that no one will budge an inch on either side: the free-market types won't concede that border control is a good idea... [Read More]

Tracked on March 29, 2006 3:33 PM


The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

I've linked to Border Control, Immigration Law Reform, Assimilation, Migrant Protectionism, and Ins and Outs of Immigration from Muy Caliente. My It's past time to turn back the illegal invasion and ¡No! ¡No se pueden! posts also relate to the matter at hand. There are still some things we don't quite see eye-to-eye about but you've softened my stance on the situation at least a little.

I'm going to have to give up the computer for a little bit to keep peace in the family but I'll update my Muy Caliente post as soon as I can manage to include a summary of my current thoughts similar to your Border Control, Immigration Law Reform, Assimilation post.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 6:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

a person is only an American by birth if he is born in the United States to a mother who is legally resident... either a Green-Card holder or at least a legally resident alien. If Mom sneaks across the border and gives birth, the child is not automatically a citizen of the United States.
I would amned that to

if the mother or the father is a US Citizen. Let the children of resident aliens be naturalised with the parents.

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 7:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Next Generation E-Passports Go into Phase 2 Testing
by Tuan Nguyen
January 17, 2006


The new "E-passports" as they are called, will allow airports and customs officers at the border to quickly scan a traveler's passport and verify information. The integrated RFID circuitry in the passports will contain information about the passport bearer which will match the information that is printed in the passport itself. The chips will also carry a digital image of the bearer. Using this method, a customs officer can quickly identify a counterfeit passport from an authentic one or identify whether or not the passport itself is in the right hands.


What has some folks concerned about the new passports however is that the information on the embedded RFID chips is not encrypted. While they are signed electronically by the passport issuer and the RFID chips themselves are write-once only chips, there are no means of securing the onboard information. Theoretically it is possible to have the information copied using a rogue RFID reader. A somewhat sophisticated organization could read a stolen passport's information and then duplicate that information in print for a match.

As of right now, the new passports are circulating to a small number of people. The tests will continue until there is an absolute certainty that the passports are secure.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2006 8:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

I've updated my Muy Caliente post to sort of compare my version of your "three legs" to yours. Actually your post and your two previous related posts changed my thinking about some things, but there are still things we'll just have to agree to disagree agreeably about. The two paragraphs in my post you'd probably agree least with read:

I don't see how anyone worth even trying to carry on a conversation with could disagree with the need for much stricter control of our borders and other points of entry into the country. Where I'm to the right of Dafydd, and no doubt some others, is that I think it's time to use whatever means necessary to stem the flood. If we can do it with increased funding and staffing for the Border Patrol, so be it. If it takes razor wire, minefields, and airborne gunships, then I don't have a problem with that either. Please bear in mind when reading this that poor hard-working Mexicans aren't our only only border concern -- Drugs and WMDs are at least as big an issue. Once the word gets out that we really do mean business we won't have to prove it very often. Considering the number of people who've died recently lost in the desert with no water or locked in the back of abandoned 18-wheelers a razor wire/minefield/gunship approach might well even save lives.

As soon as we have our borders under control we need to get to work on getting rid of about about 10 million illegals that are already here. I don't think anyone to the left of David Duke wants to see jack-booted Storm Troopers marching into our immigrant neighborhoods and rounding up people to be placed on south-bound boxcars, but there are other ways to get a huge portion of the illegal population out of the country. We need laws with serious teeth in them against employing anyone who can't produce proper papers. Serious teeth. To accompany such laws we should establish conveniently located gathering points where illegals can voluntarily turn themselves in for free transportation home; no courts, no jails, no hard feelings, just Adios. Once they're home they should be free to apply for legal reentry.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 29, 2006 1:08 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

An interesting post, Dafydd, as always. As to your constitutional ammendment, the issue of the nationality of children born to resident aliens (whether legal or not) is a difficult one. I have a friend who is a Chileno, as is her husband. He works in high-tech and spent twelve years working in Germany which is where their children were born. The family moved to the US and has lived and worked here for a number of years. Children born to non-German parents living in Germany do not become German citizens (a policy you suggest the US should emulate). Children born to Chilenos living abroad must actually reside in Chile for at least one year to become Chilean citizens (so her children don't qualify). When she and her family travel her children (now teen-agers) travel under Croatian passports since their maternal grandmother is Croatian and it is relatively easy to become a Croatian citizen. This is, of course, no reason not to emulate the German policy but it would be nice if the issue were thought through a bit so we understand the ramifications.

Of course, many of your readers won't care at all about my friend and the problematical nationality of her children. It doesn't feed their anger, which for too many seems to be the primary basis for their reasoning. In my latest posting I wonder if there isn't something wrong with us, you and I, that we don't seem to be sufficiently angry about the immigration issue. Perhaps we have vented our spleen once too often and have run out of bile.

I have written before about my failure to be sufficiently pissed off in Wetbacks which I ended with this summary --

Immigration has been much in the news lately. Post-9/11 nervousness about our porous borders has made a number of people, myself included, re-examine their stands on immigration law and enforcement. I find myself reluctantly persuaded that we need to tighten up enforcement on our borders. That's where my head is but, I must confess, my heart isn't in it. When I hear stories of people who ford the Rio Grande and hike across forty miles of desert, just to get a job flipping burgers for minimum wage, or nailing shingles in the hot sun, I have trouble being properly indignant. I suppose my impression may be colored by the fact that North Carolina is quite a distance from the nearest border. The illegal immigrants who make it this far are likely to have come looking for work -- not for handouts. Most of them work hard, live cheaply and send most of their pay to their families back home. It may all be illegal but it still seems like enterprize to me.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 29, 2006 8:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I tend to agree with this, it makes sense. But I have a problem with amending the Constitution to change the citizenship by birth status. This does not seem right to me. But I am willing to compromise for a law that works over all.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 29, 2006 11:35 AM

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