I suggest that the resolution of America’s immigrant problems requires a more holistic approach. Patches have proven totally ineffective.
Immediately initiate reform of E-verify. Assure prosecution of all violators. Undocumented workers and those who hire them have been nearly immune to prosecution. That must end.
Use the threat of E-verify to induce the desirable heard-working but illegal immigrants to come in out of the shadows. Offer periodically renewable permanent green cards based on a documented work history and good behavior.
That would allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify the remaining undocumented individuals as probable subjects for deportation. Many of the remaining people could find refuge from deportation because of student status or supporting family ties and could be provided alternate identification cards.
Use this “carrot and stick” approach as a basis to begin a bipartisan debate to develop comprehensive immigrant legislation. It could spark an interest in all political factions to work on a comprehensive solution to a problem long festering in the United States.
The multitude of benefits, both to our immigrants and the prosperity of our country, would be manifold.
Wallace J. Hughes
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Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion