Denver University's "Architecture for Immigration Reform" and the Possibility for Compromise
Why the nativists hate America: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
After a year of debate and study amongst its 20 panel members, the University of Denver's Strategic Issues Program released a final report today titled "Architecture for Immigration Reform," which provides an honest assessment of America's immigration dilemma along with detailed suggestions for guiding U.S. immigration policy.
There's much to like about the report for those concerned about the ethical treatment of the undocumented in our midst. In general, the report regards immigration as a net plus for America, if regulated properly. And it suggests a path to legalization for the undocumented that's linked to a comprehensive approach to the issue. This would require increased border security, a national I.D. card, and a dramatic overhaul of the nation's visa system.
Rejecting the notion of deporting the estimated 10 to 12 million persons in the U.S. illegally as "interesting talk show chatter" that "strains credibility in terms of feasibility and logistics," the report lays out a plan for the undocumented to apply for a time-limited "provisional legal status program." If the undocumented leap all of the necessary hurdles -- including background and medical checks, paying back taxes, learning basic English, and so on -- they could attain permanent legal status within five years.
Past a five year renewal, 10 years in total, if an undocumented person does not meet the necessary requirements, he or she would have to return home. The report foresees this legalization of the 12 million being phased in along with all of its other suggestions for reform and restructuring, hypothetically preventing a rush to the border by those wishing to take advantage of what's essentially a form of amnesty by a different name.
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