The Best Response for Republicans to the President’s Plan on Illegal Immigration
Unfortunately, it is simple human nature for people to get defensive and then project their anger when confronted with actions they strongly oppose. But from a public policy perspective, professionals, even professional politicians should be able, at least once in a while, rise above their anger and do their jobs as the stewards of our public policy.
The president was clearly angered by the drubbing he took in this year’s midterm elections. And Republicans have strong feelings about being “dissed” by the president. But folks, for goodness sakes, let’s at least try on this one to do something right. We will never reconcile all views on illegal immigration, but our system is one of compromise, three equal branches of government, and an allegiance to the best welfare of the American people.
My plan is as follows:
1. The president, Democrats and Republicans agree upon a date to achieve a consensus on proposed legislation. Let’s say a target date of May 1, 2015
2. In exchange for the date agreement,
a. The Democrats get Republican approval to do part of a DACA program for the adults that are the object of this issue, similar to what was done with DACA. There would be no decisions about status for the people involved, but all the information work would get done.
b. The Republicans would get an immediate all out effort on the part of the federal government to seal the borders by whatever means is required to actually show tangible results
3. Next an equal number of Republicans and Democrats would form a project team to come up with a consensus plan. Importantly, all meeting on this topic in the White House or by the White House team between now and when the legislation is agreed to would be exclusively by the agreed upon team and the president would promise not to have any partisan meetings on the subject.
4. A broad outline would be immediately agreed upon as a structure for the final result
a. Hard, tangible metrics for identifying success in sealing the border would be agreed to
b. It would be agreed that no deal is complete without demonstrable success in sealing the border
c. There would be a minimum of a 10 years wait for any newly approved legalized people before they could apply for citizenship and voting rights
d. But the process would approve a process for legalization after the 10 year waiting period.
Now I know that the Democrats will complain that there is no way to truly seal the border and would protest that part, and the Republicans would call the post 10 year wait and amnesty and would protest that part. But the fact is that both parties and their presidents and big shots are responsible for the current situation with millions of illegals, so both parties need to step up to the plate and make a compromise. But within this broad outline is a deal that can resolve most of the issues for both parties and stop the problem from persisting.