By Gary H. Kah
The following is a framework for a bill that would deal with illegal immigration in a fair manner that I believe would be acceptable to most Americans. After praying for several weeks about our immigration situation, I woke up at 2 AM a few weeks ago and the following ideas started flooding my mind. I believe it was the Lord who impressed these thoughts on my heart. As the son of immigrants who came here legally after World War II from Croatia and Germany (as survivors of the war), I have a deep personal interest in matters of immigration and hope that these ideas might be helpful in arriving at an acceptable solution.
I recently gave a copy of this proposal to a long-time friend who for many years worked as an assistant to Vice President Pence when he was our Congressman and then Governor. I asked him to forward the proposal to the VP, which he has since done. Please pray that President Trump would take notice and consider these guidelines as a framework for his immigration agenda.
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Proposal for a 2018 Immigration Bill (Framework)
● Illegal immigrants with no criminal record are able to remain in the U.S. and become permanent legal residents under the following conditions:
- They pay a $2,500 penalty per family member ($3,500 if they are here as single individuals – not part of a family unit).
- They begin paying federal income taxes.
- They cannot become citizens.
● They would have up to 5 years to pay the fines, while their payment of federal taxes would begin shortly after the passage of this bill.
● Those illegals who came to the U.S. prior to age 18, or were born in the U.S. to illegal parents, would be given a path to citizenship (but would still have to pay the $2,500 fee and federal taxes). Once they are citizens they would gain the right to vote.
● Those illegals who do not comply with the terms of this bill would have to leave the U.S. or be deported.
● Those illegals with a criminal record would not be deported, but would be detained in federal prisons until such time that our borders are sufficiently secured (so that they cannot continually re-enter the U.S.).
● Monies (fines/fees) collected from illegal immigrants – in compliance with the provisions in this bill – would be directed toward building the wall and tightening border security. (i.e. Eight million illegals paying $2,500 each would result in $20 billion.)
● The new federal tax dollars collected from illegals could initially be directed to pay for the construction of two (or more) federal prisons – i.e. one in the eastern part of the U.S. and one in the west – to detain illegals with a criminal record (until they can eventually be permanently deported). Any tax dollars above the amount needed to fund these prisons would become a permanent source of revenue for maintaining the wall and border security.
● The bill would call for an immediate end to the visa lottery program.
● It would also call for an end to chain migration except for core family members and in rare and unusual circumstances – for example, involving matters of personal and national security, etc.
Comments: The beauty of such a bill is that it would be humane and fair toward illegals (including DACA kids), while simultaneously funding the border wall with their money, thus getting U.S. taxpayers off the hook. The provisions would also fund federal prison expansion to keep illegals with a criminal history off the streets, solving that problem as well – all with new tax revenues generated by illegal immigrants who are made legal residents or citizens. Most of the new legal residents/citizens would likely become patriotic Americans who would contribute significantly to our annual GDP. Whereas if all illegals were deported – assuming it is logistically possible to do so – it would create an immediate housing vacancy increase of around 2.5 percent. It would take at least 5 – 7 years for the housing market to recover from this – not good. There would be other economic ramifications as well, some positives but more negatives in my opinion.
The only people who would strongly oppose such a bill are those Democrats on the far-left who would not be able to claim all the illegals as future Democrat voters, and those on the very far-right who want all illegals out of the country no matter what. However, I believe that 70 to 80 percent of Americans would privately support this bill as a common sense, fair, win/win approach that would solve most of the illegal immigration problem without granting unconditional amnesty (which would be unfair to those immigrants who came here legally – like my parents). It would actually benefit our country’s economy and keep many families from being broken up – while funding the solution to the problem so that large-scale illegal immigration will be prevented in the future.
Additional Thoughts: It is important to understand that this proposal is a basic framework, a starting point from which technical details can be hashed out and fine tuned. Also, it must be viewed as an exceptional one-time fix to the current immigration crisis facing the United States. This massive problem – decades in the making and involving an estimated 8-12 million people – was created as much by the lack of congressional and presidential action and leadership as it was by the illegal immigrants themselves. When a person from a poor nation has a one in three chance of successfully crossing our borders and staying, who wouldn’t rather live here and take the calculated risk of getting here – given the prosperity and opportunities that America offers? Therefore, we must address this specific situation at this moment in time, and never allow it to happen again.
The failure of our once robust migrant workers program helped give rise to the current illegal immigrant crisis. Over time, our federal bureaucracy added more and more red tape, making it next to impossible to bring a foreign worker into the U.S. legally on a seasonal basis. The paperwork and requirements became so cumbersome that most farmers we know finally gave up and were forced – in some parts of the country – to hire illegals in order to stay in business. In some areas of the U.S. it is virtually impossible for farmers to get all the help they need from locals – especially during harvest time. Many African Americans avoid this type of work because it reminds them of the plantation days and slave labor. Most Whites shun this work because they view it as being beneath them. Why should they do hard work in the fields for little pay when they can easily make 10-15 dollars an hour elsewhere? All this to say, we need a strong, less bureaucratic migrant workers program. The current system needs a complete overhaul. This in itself would solve much of the illegal immigration problem going forward.
Re: Legal Immigration. America’s legal immigration process also needs to be examined. It likewise is due for an overhaul. The number of new legal immigrants permitted into the U.S. annually needs to be set at a reasonable/sustainable level; and, the process needs to be simplified and expedited. For example, it should not take 7 years for a highly-qualified scientist/engineer to gain legal residency status after being offered a position by Dow Chemical. An exceedingly slow immigration process only hurts our country and makes us less competitive.
Caution: While it makes good sense to allow some of the world’s smartest and brightest into the U.S., we must not make the mistake of automatically closing the door to those who do not fit this category. If this would be the case I, for one, would not be here. My parents only had an eighth grade education because of going through World War II. The fact is, many of us are in the U.S. today because our ancestors fled persecution in other lands. There is a need for biblical compassion and common sense on this matter. Persecuted individuals who make it to the U.S. and see it as their place of refuge generally become our country’s most grateful, appreciative, and loyal citizens. This was the case with my parents – and me, their patriotic son. The same holds true for many of south Florida’s Cuban Americans and their offspring, as well as Syrian and Lebanese Christians, and Jews from the former Soviet Union, along with many other people groups who have made it to our shores.
If congressional Republicans do not pass an immigration bill this year, liberal Democrats will pass a far-left, open door, sanctuary city plan the next chance they get. In doing so, they will permanently gain 80-90 percent of the Hispanic vote. This would solidify the leftist agenda for America and doom any future efforts by Conservatives to restore our nation to what it was intended to be – a constitutional republic based on a Judeo-Christian ethic, one nation under God.
There is a practical side to all of this that must be considered. If the Republican-controlled House and Senate were to back the proposal outlined above, they would control the immigration narrative and be able to take credit for solving this long-standing problem. And, since it would be the illegal immigrants who would be paying for the wall (and much of our future border security), President Trump would essentially be able to say that “Mexico is paying for the wall” – thereby fulfilling his campaign promise. What is especially appealing about this approach is that it takes the problem (illegal immigration) and turns it into the solution (securing and defending our borders). Think about it! It would be a win/win situation for everyone (except for the true criminals who’d be locked up).
Recommended Action: You are urged to make copies of this immigration proposal and get it in the hands of conservative elected officials, Christian pastors and leaders, and conservative talk show hosts and commentators. Please move expeditiously and creatively. Time is of the essence! We’ll be posting this proposal on our website at garykah.org so it can be easily accessed, downloaded, and passed on. Urge your elected officials and those in your sphere of influence to act on the ideas contained in this proposal. And, pray that President Trump would give it serious consideration.