Sunday, December 16, 2007

From Illegal 2 Legal

One of the functions of immigration lawyers is to take someone who came here illegally and somehow change their status to legal. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, that happened about 1.5 million times from 1990 to 2000. Call it someone’s “personal amnesty” if you will.

Let’s suppose for a moment that someone came here ten years ago by sneaking across the border. He now stands before the Board of Immigration Appeals and wants to be granted a green card because he and his wife have two children born here who are citizens.

Chances are pretty good he will get his wish if he doesn’t have some record as a violent criminal. And so he pays the immigration lawyer $8,000, they shake hands, and the judge thinks he’s had a pretty good day.

Now, let’s go back and look at the idea of self-support. If the man has worked for ten years there ought to be a review of his tax liability at the federal, state, and local level. He should be responsible for his back taxes. I paid ‘em; so should he.

And he ought to be brought to account for ID theft, which could include jail time and/or restitution for those who were harmed by his abuse of their identity.

Then there is a matter of those anchor babies. Right now the law says they are citizens, but it doesn’t say they aren’t responsible for the medical bills for labor and delivery. They need to be paid in full as well. There’s another $15,000.

It turns out that our friend sowed some wild oats before he got married. He has two other children by two other women. The same thing with them. Another $15,000 is owed to the hospitals for the births of those children also.

And, he’ll need to pay $47 a week to each of those women for child support until those children reach the age of 18.

He will also need to show the judge proof of insurance and license.

Now, tell me that isn’t fair. Tell me he shouldn’t be responsible for those costs. Tell me we’re being mean or discriminatory.

If we really did that there wouldn’t be near enough work for the immigration lawyers because few people would apply. They want the green card but they have a history of not paying their own way.

Now, why are we so foolish as to allow this to happen? That is a really good question.

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