Wednesday, August 22, 2018

On The Issues, 1 of ?

I've been asked by many people, "where do you stand on XYZ issue?"  I understand that as a candidate for political office, voters want to know where I stand on the issues.  But I also want the voters of my district to understand that I am not running for office for personal reasons, I am running to give the people of my district, a voice in Washington. That means, my will is to do the will of the people who elect me. That being said, in this first post of several on the issues, I will be addressing my thoughts on the issue of immigration.
       Boiling the issue down to it's key components, here is what we are dealing with. By some estimates we have as many as 11 million people in this country illegally. By that I mean, they came here without going through legal channels - they simply came here and stayed.  Why do they come here illegally?  Some have ill intent- crime, drugs, human trafficking,- some are seeking asylum for fear for their well being, but most simply want a better life.  Currently there are four ways an immigrant can gain access to our country; be sponsored by an employer for a job in the U.S., be sponsored by a family member living here already, having special skills or education needed by our workforce, or sneaking in illegally.
SO, as I see it, we have a three part problem:
1. Those illegal immigrants that are currently here in the U.S.
2. the ones that are coming in every day
3. and the difficult requirements for someone to come here legally.
Here are my thoughts on how we address each of these problems.
       To address the immigrants who are already here but hiding in the shadows, if they have been here for more than a certain period of time and can prove they are self sufficient, you give them the opportunity to make things right. Pay for their illegal behavior by making paying a fine, and back taxes. Then they must become citizens by completing the naturalization process within a specific time period.  If they choose to ignore this path to citizen ship and remain in the shadows, they become susceptible to deportation. Through this process we can gradually weed out the immigrants that are productive and truly want to make a life here from the ones who are a drain on our systems and mean to do others harm or participate in criminal activities.
       To address the ones coming here illegally on a daily basis we need to remove the magnets that attracts them to come here illegally in the first place.  Many would argue to build a big wall.  A wall can be an imposing deterrent and would definitely make it harder for people to physically sneak across our borders, and I am not against building a border wall.  I think a wall is one part of the deterrence, but the other part has to be to remove the magnets that attract illegal immigrants in the first place.  Magnets are things like free education in our public school systems, free health care at our hospitals, government handouts, and jobs that pay cash under the table. If you can find ways to turn off the spigot of free handouts, there would be little incentive for people to come here illegally.  Our country is very generous, almost to a fault, and people around the world know this and they take advantage of us and our generosity. We should always be willing to help those who follow our laws, and hold those who do not, accountable.
        To address the legal pathways to citizenship, I am in strong favor of revisiting every aspect of our immigration processes and modernizing the system to make it more fair, and expeditious. I do not know what a modern system would look like but I would be interested in working with any members of Congress on making significant changes to our immigration system as long as they are sincere and are willing to leave their party badge outside the room.  Things can be accomplished for good but only by good, honest people. I wonder how many there are of those in Washington.
       These are some of my personal thoughts on how we might address some of the major issues in immigration that we are facing.  Over the next couple of months as I visit various towns throughout the district I will be talking to many people and getting their opinions on this issue and many others. My aim is to take what the people tell me and make a new platform that represents what the people in this district want.  A platform of the people.

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