Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rubio Working on GOP Version of DREAM Act to Let Younger Illegal Aliens Stay Legally In U.S.

( - Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says he is working to craft an alternative version of the DREAM Act that would allow younger illegal aliens who came to the United States "through no fault of their own" to stay here legally and, if they wished, get in line to become a citizen.

"There is nothing that prohibits them from getting citizenship,” Rubio told the Tampa Bay Times in an April 3 interview in which he explained his plan.  “We just don't create a new pathway. The bottom line is they would have a visa of some sort and like they and any other visa holder in this country can get in line and apply for residency. You have to wait in line but you get to wait in line in the U.S. legally.”
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Good for Senator Rubio! I hope Republicans do not go nuts over Rubio's sensible, humane first step toward solving a difficult issue.

While I am an advocate of sealing the borders and while I support programs like the 287g program, I have always thought we need a program to deal with those who are here illegally.  "Round 'um up and send 'um home" is not a program. How many concentration camps would we have to build to hold them while waiting to transport them home? At what cost?  Rounding up and deporting 12 to 20 million people is not a viable option. That would be viewed as ethnic cleansing and an atrocity by the rest of the world.  It would make the trail of tears and the Japanese internment look like child's play. It would probably destabilize Mexico to have 12 million people return in a short period of time. Mexico is already teetering on the verge of being a failed state; we do not need to push if over the edge by returning 12 million unhappy citizens.

I have always thought that anyone who is willing to serve our country in the armed forces should be moved to the front of the line in the quest to become a citizen, however I never did think that simply obtaining a college degree should be treated as equal to serving in the armed forces. If I were developing a "dream" act, I would support a policy that allowed anyone who honorably served our country in uniform to be granted a rapid path to citizenship.

Governor of Texas Rick Perry took a lot of grieve from the nativist crowd because he favored letting children of illegal immigrants who had been brought to this country by their parents and had been educated in the Texas public schools, attend Texas State colleges at the in-state tuition rate. I thought that was humane and reasonable, but Perry lost some conservative support because some viewed that policy as amnesty.

Newt Gingrich has a reasonable proposal to grant work permits to those here illegally and to establish something that resembles a draft board in each community.  This board would determine who should be put on a path to eventual citizenship and who should not. “I do not believe that the people of the United States are going to take people who have been here a quarter century, who have children and grandchildren, who are members of the community, who may have done something 25 years ago, separate them from their families and expel them,” Newt has said.

Beyond some sort of sensible humane "dream" act, the next thing we ought to do is allow illegals to register and get a work permit as Newt has suggested.  We need somebody to pick those oranges and tomatoes. Despite 8% unemployment, Americans will not leave their home and become migrant farm workers. We need Mexican labor. Let us admit that fact. Let those who are here illegally register and let us find out who is really here. That would be a good starting point. Let those who are willing to pay a fine and pay back taxes and who have become Americanized, become Americans.

I hope there are more Republicans who think like Rubio, Perry and Gingrich as opposed to the "round 'um up and send 'um home Republicans. Not only is alienating the Hispanic vote a recipe for electoral disaster, we also ought to humanely deal with the problem of illegal immigration because it is the right thing to do.

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