By Jay Taylor, Vice President of Political Strategy – Liberty Alliance, LLC

So immigration has certainly become a hot button topic in this election cycle. Our southern border is a porous joke where people easily walk across into our country without any checks whatsoever. Candidates like Rick Perry are trying to claim compassionate conservatism by allowing children of illegal immigrants to receive discounted college tuition and other benefits that greatly enrage other conservatives who believe in the strict rule of law. What Perry wants conservatives to understand is how the US government has failed in its immigration policy that doesn’t allow a practical approach to immigration. There are lots of horror stories of families waiting decades for any kind of admittance into our country and others whose relatives are deported for little reason at all. So what is the balance and solution to this issue that will satisfy all involved?

I offer you a three step plan that will fix this once and for all: Seal, Path, Count. Now, before I begin I hope you understand this is a compromise plan. Personally I’m not totally happy with this idea, but believe it will be enough of a compromise to correct the problem and fix it for all time. So let’s begin.

First you must seal the border. Totally. Sealing the border has to be an emphasis. This talk of a fence “not working” the whole way just sounds like an excuse and is a bunch of hooey. Who cares if it’s a physical fence, virtual fence, or boots on the ground, it just needs to be a sealed border where every inch is covered. Period.

Next is the hard part. We have to do something with all illegals currently in this country. And this is where a big compromise comes into play: A time limited pathway to citizenship. Yes, this is going to be called amnesty and it has been tried over and over again, but here is how to make it different this time. After a certain period of time once this pathway has been started, say one year or so, then and from that point forward, any undocumented person will be deported no matter what. And undocumented people will not be eligible for jobs, education, benefits, housing, or anything. Implementing e-verify so that any transaction requiring an ID (including police, schooling, medical, employment, banking) automatically reports undocumented persons and will help stop the abuses of our system.

And finally we need to fix the way immigrants come to this country. It’s impractical to say that we will let any number of people in, but we need some kind of specific way to fairly allow those who want to come to our country the opportunity to do so. This limit could be a percent of the total US population per year or something else specific, but we just need the ability to check people as they enter our country and not just open the flood gates.

Somewhere in our family tree we’re all immigrants to this country. Even Native Americans came here across the Bering Strait. But we all want to live the American dream. This goal is quite honorable and filled with a rich tradition of hard work and accomplishment. One of the best things about fixing problems with illegal immigrants is that people won’t be able to take advantage of them as slave labor with miniscule wages. Until someone takes bold steps like the Seal, Path, Count plan illegal immigration will remain a problem in our country for years to come.

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