Friday, January 27, 2017

Twenty-Nine-Point Comprehensive Immigration Plan

            1. THE WALL: Do not add fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border, and do not build walls on the borders with Mexico nor Canada.

            2. CIVIL RIGHTS: Do not revoke the civil liberties nor civil rights (such as rights to equal protection of law, and due process of law) on the basis of the suspect's national origin, religion, nor enemy combatant status. All persons have these constitutionally recognized rights; not just American citizens.

            3. BANS: Enforce neither temporary nor permanent bans on immigrants and refugees coming from particular countries; especially not as a way to discriminate against refugees on the basis of the religious majority of the nations from which they come.

            4. REGISTRIES: Pass legislation specifically prohibiting the creation of federal registries, and of lists of Americans' races and religions.

            5. VETTING: If illegal immigration is really the problem, then maybe we shouldn't worry about who is trying to immigrate into the United States legally as much. Either way, relax procedures for the naturalization of legal immigrants and refugees; background checks and health examinations should take up the majority of the procedure.

            6. CRIME: As soon as possible, deport all undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of violent crimes.

            7. ARREST: Do not allow police officers, nor immigration and customs officials, to detain and deport undocumented immmigrants for non-violent crimes; not for breaking petty vice laws, nor for having insufficient identification.

            8. HARBORING: Urge all governments (at all levels) to decriminalize harboring and assisting undocumented immigrants and refugees; these actions should not be felonies. State and local governments, the private sector, and charity and religious organizations, should not be punished for providing humanitarian relief (such as housing, education, health services, and food), to undocumented immigrants and refugees.

            9. AMNESTY: Grant permanent or temporary amnesty, temporary work visas, or Green cards, to all non-violent undocumented immigrants, regardless of their religion or national origin.

            10. BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP: Continue allowing all people who were born on U.S. territory to apply for U.S. citizenship when they turn 18.

            11. CHILD ARRIVALS: Ensure that undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children – especially in the last 35 years – are not deported; and ensure that they are not separated from family members who may be undocumented immigrants, unless they have been convicted of violent crimes. Support congressional deferred action for childhood arrivals and their parents; not executive orders which bypass Congress.

            12. TRAVEL: Increase the freedom of movement of labor and capital – and refrain from inhibiting the freedom of locomotion of non-violent undocumented immigrants to other countries – by decriminalizing the act of entry into the United States without going through required naturalization procedures. Urge governments to agree to make monetary settlements with any legal immigrants who feel slighted by the relative ease with which undocumented immigrants become citizens.

            13. NATURALIZATION: Ensure that the federal government retains its authority to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. Oppose and abolish any and all support of immigration quotas as calls for unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of national origin.

            14. WORK: Do not make work a condition for citizenship. Make it easier (for undocumented and documented immigrants alike) to get green cards and temporary work visas; by increasing the number of temporary work visas for immigrants who want to come here to work (especially the number of visas for high-skilled workers). Provide easy paths to legal work, lawful permanent residency, citizenship, and full voting rights.

            15. IDENTIFICATION: Do not establish a national identification card. Do not require businesses to use e-Verify (or similar programs) to confirm citizenship as a condition of hiring. All this does is turn undocumented immigrants who want to work into unemployed second-class citizens, and turn hiring managers into immigration enforcement officials.

            16. VOTING: Allow non-violent undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S. to vote, as long as they are not eligible to vote in any other country.

            17. PURCHASES: Ensure that undocumented immigrants are not expected to show identification documents that would reveal their citizenship status, in order to purchase products that have legally mandated minimum ages of purchase (such as alcohol and tobacco).

            18. DRIVING: Make it easier for immigrants and refugees – and ordinary citizens as well - to obtain drivers' licenses. First, by urging more states to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses for non-citizens; second, by urging courts to find that charging fees to license drivers amounts to charging people to leave their state, which interferes with the freedom of locomotion. As long as driver's licenses are considered constitutional, and as long as people are expected to carry identification, all levels of government should be urged to issue driver's licenses and identification documents at no charge to the recipient.

            19. WELFARE: Ensure that state and federal welfare agency employees do not violate immigrants' Fifth Amendment freedom from self-incrimination, by using undocumented immigrants' state of need as an excuse to make them state their citizenship status, in order to have them detained and deported (without any evidence of commission of a real crime against person or property having appeared).

            20. SOCIAL DIVIDENDS: Ensure that governments cannot discriminate against undocumented immigrants seeking welfare support in the form of cash payouts from social dividends; if the opportunity arises to choose between a residents' dividend and a citizens' dividend, a proposal of a residents' dividend should be drafted and passed rather than a citizens' dividend.

            21. SAFETY NET: Stay open to the possibility of revoking federal social safety net benefits for undocumented immigrants; but only consider doing so after all structures supporting the corporate welfare system are abolished, and during the same time period that the federal social safety net is being phased out for all residents.

            22. SOCIAL SECURITY: The right to receive social welfare supports (including the entitlements, the S.N.A.P. / Food Stamps program, and others) should not be contingent upon paying taxes and paying into Social Security. There is no enumerated constitutional authority for federal involvement in retirement savings nor welfare; federal involvement in retirement should end; authority for any continued federal involvement in welfare should be passed constitutionally; and all government revenue should derive from fines that penalize waste rather than taxes that penalize productivity. Such a policy on welfare and taxation will provide additional tax relief to low-income undocumented immigrants and refugees; easing the transition to work, without overwhelming the worker with tax forms. Allow immigrant and native-born workers alike to opt-out of the Social Security system.

            23. SANCTUARY: End the federal government's monetary support of so-called “Sanctuary Cities” for undocumented immigrants; but only do so as part of a broader effort to stop these unconstitutional payments from the federal government to community governments.

            24. STATE WELFARE: Allow state and local governments to decide whether to grant undocumented immigrants' requests for social welfare benefits such as housing, education, health, and food assistance.

            25. PRIVATIZATION: Save money, shrink the welfare state, and make ordinary consumer goods more affordable (for immigrants and the native-born alike), by making health, education, and housing easier to purchase on the open market. Phase-out federal involvement in those sectors, and urge state and local governments to decrease regulations and taxes on them. Make purchasing goods like health insurance, medications, and education – and buying or renting housing – as easy and affordable as buying foods and drinks.

            26. EDUCATION: Require all publicly funded universities to offer in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants who reside in the state. Do not inhibit private colleges from offering scholarships and grants to undocumented immigrants.

            27. MILITARY: Ensure that acts of Congress concerning immigration allow non-violent undocumented immigrants to serve in the military (and become citizens); rather than giving undocumented immigrants a choice between serving in the military for two years or attending college. Do not make undocumented immigrants, nor anyone else, subject to selective service registration, military drafts, nor civil emergency preparedness service; not as a condition of citizenship, nor for any other reason.

            28. LANGUAGE: Do not interfere with the First Amendment freedom of speech of undocumented immigrants and refugees who speak languages other than English. Do not make English the official language of the United States of America; and pass a constitutional amendment formally prohibiting any state or local government from doing so. Do not require immigrants nor refugees to learn English as a condition of citizenship.

            29. CULTURE: Do not interfere with the freedom of cultural expression. Do not expect, nor require, immigrants and refugees to "assimilate" to American culture; which includes liberal and conservative political cultures, neither of which fully embraces all of the freedoms that make people want to come here. Achieve civic pluralism by respecting ethnic and religious cultures' self-determination rights; while protecting the rights of ethnic, religious, and political minorities, with full civil liberties, and equal protection of law with due process.

Written on January 26th, 27th, and 30th, 2017

Edited on February 18th, 2017

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