Let’s take another break from structure. What do you, the readers and contributors, want to discuss? How about March Madness? The weather? The cherry blossoms/parade? Court-ordered psychological exams? Gardening? Spring Break plans? A new recipe? Reporting in from Committee of 100 or the health care symposium?

Have a go at it. Inquring minds want to know.

75 Thoughts to “Weekend Discussion”

  1. IVAN

    Moon, How about those games this weekend? I think I’m gonna have to agree with the POTUS and pick Carolina to win it all. March madness rocks.

  2. YankeeForever

    “Citizenship is precious, and carries with it serious obligations.”

    Or, to put it another way, there should be benefits to membership, otherwise why would ANYONE bother to pay dues? (unless they happen to be Secretary of the Treasury, of course)

    I will always stand by our right to be a sovereign nation, to protect our borders and hold on to a common language as a people. There should be no shame, no accusations of “xenophobia” in having a national language and unique identity as an American people, albeit a melting pot.

    And I would like to know more about using bleach pens to clean grout, Alanna.

  3. Just in time

    1. Border security

    Border security involves completion of a fence (either physical or electronic) on the southern border matched with a much larger border security force, ending the catch and release program, and beginning a biometric identification program for all those who enter the county, and eventually for all those who are here. (Yes, I am talking about a national ID program.) When some Islamic terrorist with a suitcase nuclear device enters the country from Canada (where there is no fence and little security), and is stopped for a traffic violation, it would be nice to be able to detain him for not having the required ID card.

    The civil libertarians on the left will scream bloody murder about this, as will libertarians and others within the GOP. But if you want to know who is here, then we need to go beyond the current identification methods available to law enforcement, and create a uniform national program. Many European countries have already moved in this direction. The failure of the catch and release program — the inability to even temporarily hold all those now captured near the border — proves the utter fantasy of a deportation program. If some one could explain exactly how a deportation program would work — how the 12=20 million illegal immigrants who are here would be identified, rounded up, and then deported, as well as the cost of such a program.

  4. Just in time

    2.Guest Worker Program

    A guest worker program should be part of the general legal immigration program and process. Today, there are roughly 65,000 H-1 B visas issued each year for certain specialty work categories. This is far too few to meet the demand, especially in the high tech field. Those interdisciplinary studies majors on the field for LSU the other night are not going to create the next iPhone, and too many of America’s brightest students want to work in the private equity field and run hedge funds.

    If we are not growing enough of our own top talent, then bringing in more engineers and scientists and other talent from overseas keeps our industries the most innovative and successful. Our ability to attract talent from all over the world and build a system of entrepreneurial innovation constitutes a huge source of strength for our economy. The industries of the future are not a zero-sum jobs game with every new foreign worker costing one American a job.

    Multiple classes of guest worker visas could be established. A point system like Canada’s or some other method could identify candidates for landed immigrant status with a clear path to citizenship, and for special categories of skilled labor visas with paths to permanent residency and citizenship.

    But to provide workers for many other job categories, a temporary work visa program is in order.

  5. Just in time

    3. Temporary Work Visa

    A class of temporary work visas would exist for people who want to legally come to the United States, work hard, play by the rules, and having enriched themselves and our economy, return to their home country with honor, always welcome to come back on a tourist visa to spend time with friends and family.

    No path to citizenship would be allowed. If a TWV holder wants to apply for citizenship, another channel must be used after the TWV is surrendered.

    The guest worker visa explicitly is not a lifetime permit. The worker must eventually leave the country, after a specified number of renewals.

    These workers would pay income taxes to the extent their pay was high enough, and social security taxes, even though they would not benefit from the program. It is time for a presidential candidate to denounce the delusion that workers pay into a trust fund for their own retirement. They pay social security taxes to provide benefits for those now retired.

    Hence the TWV becomes a transfer program from guest workers, helping make the social security program more solvent as the price of coming to America.

    There would be no chain visa to bring in families, since this is a temporary guest worker program.

  6. Just in time

    4. The Reinstatement Visa

    Deporting 12 million illegals is ridiculous, and totally impractical. It may be a good sound byte in some places, but it is not real public policy. The Bush plan was too generous in the other direction. Many Americans were rightly upset about providing a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally, when so many millions abroad wait years for a chance to get here legally.

    In any case, those who entered the country illegally did so to work, not to vote, so there is no reason to offer a path to citizenship and voting rights. The humane but fair approach I think is to create another new visa category for those who entered the country illegally, the reinstatement visa.

    In practice, this means: Pay a fine, learn English, and you get to stay and work. But it formally acknowledges an infraction, restitution, forgiveness. It is in everyone’s interest that America and her guest workers treat each other with respect going forward.

    Some have argued for making distinctions among the illegal immigrants already here, based on how long someone had been in the country. But since you are talking about an illegal immigrant without documentation, how would you really know whether someone was telling the truth as to when they arrived?

    There is no reason for providing a path to citizenship for those who entered the country illegally. These individuals would also not be granted permanent residence status (which provides some family unification benefit). If you are here without your family, and want to bring your family over, then you can leave the country, and get in line and apply with others from your home country for permanent residence. If your family is here already, they get to stay, but other than those born here, there is no path to citizenship for spouses or others not born here.

    These workers would not only pay income tax (to the extent their income is high enough) but also social security tax. Those who entered the country illegally and committed a crime while here for which they are convicted, would be deported.

    Since every person in the country would need an identification card, the only ones without them would be illegals who did not come out of the shadows to apply for the new visa program or those Americans who avoided getting one for another reason. Employers who hired illegals (those without the new visa or ID card), once the guest worker program and the new visa program for those who came here illegally were established, would be sanctioned and made to pay stiff fines.

    Once the new programs were adopted, the federal government should not respect any designation by cities that they are sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, and should enforce the law everywhere. Cities should face a penalty in federal support funds if they interfere with federal enforcement of the law.

    There are myriad details to be worked out for all the components described above (how immigrant status might change through marriage is one such issue that is more complex than it might seem).

    But I think a plan similar to what I have outlined is more balanced and practical and fair than what any of the politicians are now touting. It will provide for a steady work force, treat people humanely, make it more difficult to sneak into America , make it easier to identify those who do break the immigration laws, and provide penalties for those who do all the way up to deportation ( for those convicted of crimes of any nature).

  7. Elena

    Very interesting idea and addresses, pragmatically, a fairly comprehensive approach. Do you think it creates a second class citizen? What are the potential negative impacts?@Just in time

  8. “This is far too few to meet the demand, especially in the high tech field.”

    Tell that to the thousands of American high tech workers who are unemployed right now, whose jobs have been outsourced or taken over by imported workers who are willing to work for much less!

  9. A PW County Resident

    I didn’t read any of it. When I saw the volume, I thought it was way over the top.

    Can someone tell me if I agree or not?

  10. Moon-howler

    Actually APWCR, it is worth the read. I usually avoid volumes also, including my own. But Just in Time has put some thought into this process. I felt he/she offered up some fair ideas–at least a plan which is more than most people have.

    AWC, I think there are areas where there have been shortages in the high tech fields–way too specific for me to even name. I do know that medical care, especially in elder facilities has to be imported also. I think we need to keep the needs of the country open and flexible. Right now probably isn’t the best time to be making permanent decisions though and you do have a point. Sort of like ‘R-A-I-S-E and B-O-N-U-S have become bad words.

  11. Moon-howler

    Ivan, it was one hell of a basketball weekend. I decided that the place to be was Damons in Chantilly, right there were 28 and 50 intersect. The place was packed and loud. Their prime rib is usually as good as City Taverns. Ask for Mitch as your server. Mitch rules!

  12. Witness Too

    Didn’t mean to offend you AWC. And that’s great you are an immigrant to this country. Welcome! I’m also glad that you support reforming our immigration laws. I just think we should be careful not to justify generalizations that focus on all immigrants, simply because the immigrant population has the same diversity as all other populations, including some bad people.

  13. IVAN

    Moon, Thanks for the tip on Damons. Just in Time has offered up some pretty thoughtful and interesting suggestions. I hate to go off topic again but the DOW is up 23% for the month of March and articles on Yahoo and in the WAPO indicate that this areas real estate market is heating up. A realtor friend of mine tells me that as soon as a Foreclosure comes on the market it is being bought up immediately. Could it be that the U.S. economy is being “stimulated”?

  14. Moon-howler

    Ivan, I hope the DOW sustains. The bulls and bear type shows over the weekend didn’t sound particularly optimistic. I think it will continue to grow. Anhd I sure needed that 23%!

    I think things are just stimulating away here in PW Co, despite arguments to the contrary.

  15. Rick Bentley

    The Reinstatement Visa concept is bogus, and would make no one happy.

    A lot of the illegal activists are fighting for the rights of families to chain migrate in here, and will fight hard for that. Obama’s rhetoric indicates that he will too. There’s a train of thought that split families is a horrid thing to be avoided.

    Meanwhile the elitists who run this country want a continuing source of labor, they don’t want to limit it and invest the lower class with any type of permanence and rights along with limiting their numbers.

    Those two things combined along with the knowledge that we grant an Amnesnty every 10-20 years mean there would be no real diminishment of inflow. The borders are still wide open.

    If we can enforce the law, we’d better do it now. If, as it appears, we don’t collectively have the integrity or cojones to do so, rewarding 10-15 million more lawbreakers is hardly going to take us in a direction of “managing” the problem. “Comprehensively”.

    It is inane on a level with Mos Def’s appearance on this week’s “Real Time With Bill Maher”, which made me want to throw a shoe at the tv. His assertion was that if we are worried about terrorists and maniacs acquiring nuclear weapons, we need to set a better example and unilaterally disarm. Then and only them could we all live in peace and harmony.

    Here, teh arguement is that because it’s not to our taste to enforce sovereignty, we should let another 15 million people in and create a stronger center of gravity not to enforce it and then later we can enforce it. This is the “punt and deal with it later” approach that has gotten us to this sorry state where we can’t take care of our own citizens and despite huge revenues can’t maintain our own schools and hospitals.

  16. Rick Bentley

    There’s hungry people breaking in to my house every day to steal bread.

    I could install a burglar alarm and or tell the police they are stealing, but that would leave the people hungry. I don’t want to do that.

    I think the best thing to do is to leave the door open and let them bring as many relatives as they can in for a few days, then they’ll probably stop.

    I think it would be a good comprehensive solution if I at leat made them wear green arm bands so that if I run into them when they’re in the house, I’ll know who they are. That would be a real acheivement. I’m going to go negotiate with them on that.

    Meanwhile, I’m off to buy more bread. Seems like the more I buy the more they eat! Oh well I’m probably making the world a better place, I might even cure world hunger this way. Only thing that bothers me is that my own kids have lost a lot of weight while this has been going on.

  17. Moon-howler

    I actually like the anti-immigration bird feeder story better, Rick.

  18. Rick Bentley

    Apparently we need more and more metaphors until other Americans under stand this … and we no longer hear morons and duplicitous elitists say out loud “But we can’t deport 15 million people” as if that were the idea.

  19. “Sort of like ‘R-A-I-S-E and B-O-N-U-S have become bad words.”

    What “raise and bonus,” Moon-Howler…people are having to sacrifice benefits, as well. My own husband will probably have to take a job for more than $25,000 per year less than his previous…that’s actually less than he’s made in the last 10+ years! No, it’s industry doing exactly what it’s been doing to the blue-collar worker for years…bringing in cheap, foreign labor. Did you know that there are actually law firms that specialize in training big business in getting around the immigration laws by showing them how to legally blow off American workers so that they can bring in foreign? Look it up…Google it…take a look at what all our kids are facing, much less us.

  20. @Witness Too
    I’m not actually offended Witness Too…I was making a point. And, by the way, I do NOT deal in sweeping generalizations, nor do I support them (note comment to Alanna). If you have read my comments carefully, you will always note a qualifier word/term. If I fail to add my qualifier, I will clarify…I happen to have a very good command of the English language. As a matter of fact, I’ve had that since the age of 3 (fluently bi-lingual) so, no, you did not offend.

  21. Elena

    Stop that Ivan! What will Glenn Beck cry about if the Obama plan actually works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM4xqnukQrM @IVAN

  22. IVAN

    Unless Mr. Beck is eyeing a move to MSNBC, I’m sure he will find something to complain about.

  23. Rick Bentley

    Here’s one way for an illegal immigrant to get a stay in the US, and even a pass on using government-subsidized housing. Have your nephew become President – http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2009_04_01_Immigration_hearing_for_Obama_s_aunt_closed_to_reporters/

  24. I thought his supporters believed that Obama was such a great humanitarian. You’d also think that he would not condone welfare fraud, allowing his aunt to continue to live in Section 8 housing when there are so many citizens waiting in line who have far greater needs…and a legitimate claim. Yet the current President of the United States apparently cannot take care of his own family member, but chooses instead to continue to allow the taxpayer to take care of her as she continues to play the system…I guess that’s a new perk of office. Why should other illegal aliens do differently if the President of the United States shows how he condones this. Obama has given a public face to “selective enforcement.”

  25. If the group consists of a grandmother and her daughter and her granddaughter, then the three of them would constitute two mothers and two daughters. ,

Comments are closed.