Proposed Immigration Bill

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A lot gets lost in the current debates over immigration in the United States. When we regurgitate what we hear on the news or on Facebook, we fail to think deeply or critically about the issues. This nation is a settler nation; of that there is no doubt. European settlers displaced, forcibly removed, betrayed, and in many cases killed indigenous people whose land this was for centuries before.

Those same Europeans cultivated a sense of entitlement to these lands, pushing farther and farther west until they hit yet another ocean. And they did not even stop there. They pressed onwards, eventually taking over the Polynesian kingdom of Hawaii. During the era of Manifest Destiny, Americans also encroached upon and had war with Mexico, and it would appear that many Americans have forgotten that much of our southwestern lands were once Mexican territories too. This is reality. This is history.

Fast forward to the late nineteenth century, even before France gave us the Statue of Liberty, a symbol we hold dear, we built our nation’s railways by the blood, sweat, and tears of Chinese immigrant labor, and never once considered welcoming their wives so that they could start new lives in the land of the free, home of the brave. This nation has struggled for far too long between two antipodes: on the one hand our belief in our melting pot multiculturalism and on the other hand our chronic mistrust of foreigners, of change, of anything that has not yet been branded as “American.” The time has come to reconcile our desire to live up to the promise of America, the place were people from all across the world can come and live a life of rugged individualism and unbridled capitalism. We need to continue welcoming immigrants, and providing pathways for their success. Within this framework of genuine freedom and liberty, we argue FOR Immigration Bill #1, but we do have some concerns with Title I. Here are the reasons why:

We Disagree With Title I. We Propose the Following Changes:

Regarding Sections A-D: The wall is a waste of money and so too are the doubling of border control forces and the other physical barriers that create a police state scenario.
Is this the land of the free, is this a vision for a new America? No, it is not. Border security and immigration control can be achieved without such draconian measures.

Title I, Section E is, however, generally sound. Funds can be much better spent than on interior enforcement, but it is agreed that a pilot program for notifying immigrants their visas are about to expire is a very good idea. This is a compassionate and sensible solution to preventing overstays.

Title II

Regarding Title II, we agree that more robust legal pathways for immigration are necessary, sound, and sensible. The Registered Provisional Immigrant program (RPI) outlined in Section A is superb idea, and none of the sub-sections infringe on any human rights. The $1000 penalty is just steep enough to be a deterrent, but not so much as to be inhumane to those who have been remiss. The security provisions and background checks are totally understandable, and are no more strident than what any citizen has to go through to receive their Global Entry or TSA pre-check. We especially appreciate the Section D Accelerated RPI path for DREAMers, which provides clear-cut rules for how this important cohort can achieve their goals and contribute to the future of our nation.

Similarly, the Blue Card system is a welcome boon to the current immigration model that creates artificial binaries between “legal” and “illegal.” These types of provisions say “no more” to such a rigid and senseless mentality. Many migrant workers have a lot to contribute to the American economy, and if allowed to stay under the blue card program would tremendously benefit the United States. Also of note is the Two Tiers for Merit-based Point System: which is a system that works well in other immigrant countries like Canada and Australia. The United States education system is failing our own students, and our economy is doomed for failure unless we welcome highly skilled workers from around the world. Similarly, the point-based system is used in other nations and has proven successful. These provisions fall under the rubric of Fairness Provision….....

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