America is a land of immigrants. Legal immigration should focus on making it easier and simpler for willing workers to come here with a temporary work visa, pay taxes, contribute to society, and fill jobs as the market demands.
As the former governor of a southern border state, I know fences and walls do not keep out illegal immigrants. Real border security means knowing who is coming here and why.
With workable employer verification systems, smarter border enforcement, and common sense, a national problem can be turned into a national benefit.
The U.S. must adopt two approaches:
Simplify Legal Immigration
LEGAL IMMIGRATION STRENGTHENS AMERICA'S ECONOMY AND THE social fabric. It will also strengthen our relationship with our southern neighbor Mexico.
- It should be easier for a potential immigrant to get a work visa. Potential immigrants should pass a background check, and then be issued a Social Security card, which would allow them to pay income, payroll, and all other taxes workers pay.
- There should be a two-year grace period for illegal immigrants to attain work visas so they can continue contributing to America and begin taking part in American society openly.
- Immigrants with temporary work visas should have access to the normal procedures for gaining permanent status and citizenship, and should be able to bring their families to the U.S. after demonstrating ability to support them financially.
Tackle Illegal Immigration
REAL BORDER SECURITY MEANS KNOWING WHO IS coming here and why.
- Legalizing marijuana will reduce border violence and illegal immigration significantly, decreasing the U.S.-Mexican drug trade by 70 percent. Without a monopoly on the marijuana trade, Mexican drug cartels will have vastly diminished incentives to violate U.S. law and risk capture.
- Streamline the legal immigration process to reduce illegal immigration and allow the U.S. to know who enters the country and for what reasons.
- Enforce a 'one strike, you're out' rule for immigrants who circumvent the streamlined work visa process.