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It's A Gray Area: An open letter to Rep. John Campbell

April 02, 2011

As was discussed in this column on March 20, the immigration system in our country is not hard to repair, but the problem is that neither many Republicans nor Democrats actually want to do so. Why is that? Because many powerful Republicans want the continuing source of cheap labor, and many powerful Democrats want people to continue to come here illegally with the expectation that eventually they will vote for Democrats.

Of course this dysfunctional system has caused such frustration that states like Utah and Arizona have been forced to take measures into their own hands — and who can really blame them? Thus it is the purpose of this letter to motivate you, as the member of Congress in this area, to help to install a workable system. I know this is an emotionally sensitive and complex area, to say the least, and that there are political risks for even discussing it, so I am going to assist you by proposing a program which can serve as a model.

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The first thing to do, as set forth more fully in the prior column, is to establish a fool-proof identification card for guest workers — call it an "Orange Card" — and then prosecute any employer who hires or continues to employ anyone who does not have proper identification showing they are here legally. This, along with disqualifying people who are here illegally from receiving such things as welfare payments, should go a long way effectively to closing our borders.

Why? Because most people come to this country to work, and if they cannot find or maintain employment, they will probably go elsewhere.

But secondly, and fully as critically, we must at the same time publish guidelines about a fair and equitable course of action that will be followed for people already in our country illegally. With some justification, many people see even a discussion of this issue as a direct attack upon them personally.

Why? Because this is not just a "close to home" issue, it actually is home!

Of course drawing up fair and effective guidelines is not easily done, but here is my attempt.

First, the burden should be on the federal government to show why people who can prove they have been in this country illegally but continuously for 15 or more years should not be offered citizenship. In this regard, their employment history, criminal record, if any, and general citizenship, etc., should all be considered.

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