One of the next big items that I believe will become a topic of debate in the USA will be immigration. There are many facets to this problem, and I believe that it would be wiser to tackle them separately, rather than all at once. I believe that it is foolish to try and solve all the problems at once. There's too much that can go wrong. (See my posting on health care and unintended consequences.)
1. What do we do about the people that are already here illegally, who came as adults?
2. What do we do about people who are here illegally, but who came as minors? (presumably with their parents)
3. What do we do about those who wish to come in the future?
The following are my opinions only, and subject to change based on intelligent arguments and discussion. Please don't throw any accusations about racism. No name calling.
1. I believe that those who came here illegally as adults should permanently lose their chance to become US citizens. They should, subject to certain conditions, be allowed to stay legally.
- No serious criminal record (Let the legislators decide how serious)
- Payment of a fine - not enough to be crippling, but enough to show the seriousness of their actions. The fine would be payable over several years, and not all at once.
- Employment and being productive members of society
- Successful high school graduation with at least a "C" grade point average (Special needs students would obviously excepted)
- Sufficient English skills
- Employment or college
- No serious criminal record
- Those who enlist in the military should be given a fast track to citizenship, barring other factors.
3. Here I'm out of my league. We need to control the borders, and who is allowed in. A guest worker program might best fit the bill. From what I've heard the entire immigration system needs reform (but not all at once). It's byzantine, unfair, and keeps people whose skills we need out of the country.
Anyway, there are some thoughts. What are yours?