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Cover Story February 22th, 2007

  Untitled Document

coverby lyle e davis

I worry about what is likely to happen in the very near future. That worry is about the actions that revolve around the word ‘vigilante.’

A combination of events, including the lack of anyone in government having the moxie to step in and say, ‘enough, we’re going to solve this problem and solve it now,’ together with a continued pushing of the envelope on border control and illegal immigration, all are coming together to beckon, with some urgency, the reintroduction of not just the word ‘vigilante,’ but the actions surrounding that word.

In the Old West, when law enforcement was spotty or nonexistent, vigilantes sometimes stepped in. A known cattle rustler might be found face-down in a gully with a terminal case of "lead poisoning," as they used to say in TV westerns.

The word 'vigilante' has been around for awhile.

It is being used more and more often today . . . and rather than taking on a negative impression it probably deserves, more and more of the public appear to be sympathetic to such a movement.


It appears to be simply because the federal government has not been doing their job. When the public sees that elected officials are not doing their job they often roll up their sleeves, adopt an attitude of, "if they can't or won't do it, we will."

The term 'vigilante' came into being largely due to the formation of San Francisco's Committee on Vigilance, formed by citizens in 1851 to combat organized crime. Later, the 1856 Vigilance Movement became even more active.

Because the people were so enraged at the lack of government attention to serious crime and economic problems a group came together and while they got a lot of things done . . there was also a lot of violence. People died as a result of vigilantes . . . often with the approval of the on-looking public.

I see that coming.

There are other political observers who are predicting, indeed, some are encouraging the idea that the phenomenon of vigilantes will rise again and, further, that violence is so likely to occur that it is no longer a question of if but when.

Let's take a look at the vigilante movement and see what has happened in the past . . . and what, we may be facing in the near future. 1856 was perhaps the most exciting year of the era by reason of the flood of crime into the city which soon brought about the resurrection of the Vigilance Committee of 1856, successor to the earlier Committee of 1851. This was a form of direct action which attracted the attention of the world to a new style of summary justice, the result of extraordinary conditions in San Francisco.

As for local conditions, it is enough to note that in the first ten months of 1855 there were 489 murders in the state and only six legal executions.

In 1853, with the politicans and running the city, the expenditures amounted to $2,646,000. Under a reform management following the work of the Committee of Vigilance of 1856, the city got along in good shape with the expenditure of $353,000. The population was then estimated at 55,000.

Trials in the courts were a farce, and those in power made no pretense of shielding their friends when charged with crimes. An honest man's vote was worthless at the polls, and ballot box stuffing was openly practiced.

James King of William (1822-1856), born of an old Virginia family, and who became a prominent banker Yerba Buena (then the name of San Francisco), only to lose his fortune later in the local panic of 1854-5, was the man who practically alone started the work of rousing honest residents to the struggle of cleaning out the criminal element in power. At that time the criminal element was closely affiliated with certain influential, wealthy people in sharing the profits of political corruption.
On October 8, 1855, he started a newspaper, the Evening Bulletin, which contained 4 pages, 10x15 inches in size. Shortly thereafter, when King took on James P. Casey, one of the city supervisors, and showed that he had been an inmate of Sing Sing Prison in New York, Casey took umbrage and shot King as the latter was coming from the editorial rooms of the Bulletin.

Following the shooting, over ten thousand people crowded around his home to hear the latest on his condition. The crowd later retired to the Plaza, and soon a buzz went through the crowd that a Committee of Vigilance was forming.

At nine o'clock the next morning, members of the 1851 Committee of Vigilance began to reform as the 1856 Committee. Among them was William T. Coleman, a prominent member of the old committee. He was urged to start the new movement. Coleman was member No. 1.

By the time King died of his gunshot wound on May 20th, the Committee of Vigilance had swelled to 3,500 members under arms. With a cannon to batter down the doors, they then marched to the jail, but Casey was delivered to them after a short protest.

The committee later returned to the jail on Broadway and took Casey and another man, Charles Cora, who had shot and killed a marshal, to their headquarters. Both men were given advocates to defend them; both were tried before a jury composed of members of the Committee of Vigilance, were convicted and hanged from a platform extended from the second story windows of a nearby fort. An immense crowd filled the streets to watch the double hanging on May 22nd.

Each Committee of Vigilance formally relinquished power after it decided the city had been "cleaned up."

It has been repeatedly said that crime was reduced by the actions of the vigilance committees for some time afterwards, especially after the 1856 committee.
Switch now to Helena, Montana:

Another newspaper editor, Robert E. Fisk, of the Helena Daily Herald, called for the organization of a vigilance committee. "There is no disguising the fact," he wrote, “that Helena at this time is the rendezvous of a score or more of very hard characters-men that have no visible means of a livelihood and that are watching for opportunities to rob and even murder, if necessary, to carry out their infamous purposes. Would it not be a wise precautionary step to invite some of these desperate characters to 'take a walk,' or shall we wait for other murders and robberies, or perhaps until they burn the town again?

In September 1865, a public notice was posted in Virginia City announcing the revival of the vigilance committee there and vowing "to inflict summary judgment upon any and all malefactors in any case where the civil authorities are unable to enforce the proper penalty of law."

Lynchings in Virginia City resumed a few days later when two suspected horse thieves, John Morgan and John Jackson, were found one morning dangling from the frame of the corral at a slaughterhouse. By the end of 1865, the death toll from vigilante justice in Montana had reached thirty-five.

Now let's fast forward to today.

How did we get to where we are today? Why are organized groups of civilians stepping in to patrol our borders? Why are tensions rising on both sides of the border?

First, the federal government has failed to do all it could do, and should do, to curtail illegal immigration. One of the most recent analyses, from the Pew Hispanic Center, suggests that 10.3 million undocumented aliens live in the United States, up 23 percent from the estimated 8.4 million who were here only four years ago. Most are Mexicans, here illegally. This has happened in large part because the federal government, both its staff and elected officials, seem not to be concerned about the growing tide of illegal immigration. They certainly have not been listening to the people.

There are those who conveniently blame President Bush . . and he certainly is due a share of the blame. But it’s clear that our elected Senators and Representatives have failed miserably to either force the issue upon the administration or to act legislatively to solve the issue. In short, it is the federal government to blame . . . not just one individual.

Amid this chaos, states, local governments and citizen groups have responded. In Arizona, whose illegal population has grown fastest, a citizen initiative called Proposition 200 passed with a solid majority to place curbs on the distribution of public benefits to illegals. Many Hispanic citizens voted for it. Today, an organization known as Project Minuteman has swollen to more than a thousand volunteers with 30 private planes to monitor activity on the border 24 hours a day, reporting what they find to the Border Patrol.

The Minutemen describe themselves as an expanded version of the Neighborhood Watch programs popular in many American cities. From the Minuteman Website:

The Minuteman Project (MMP) is a citizens' Vigilance Operation monitoring immigration, business, and government.

In fact, so far at least, Minuteman volunteers only observe and report; they do not chase or confront and they do not drink on duty. There has never been a violent incident initiated by volunteers. By contrast, in the past 18 months, nonviolent Minuteman volunteers nationwide have been victims of more than 50 acts of violence against their property and persons by those who oppose their freedom of speech and of assembly.

The Minuteman Project is a multiethnic, pro-legal immigration, law enforcement advocacy group. Minuteman volunteers are teachers, college professors, taxi drivers, truckers, construction laborers, lawyers, college students, CPAs, surgeons and physicians, retired police officers, veterans, homemakers, authors, PhDs, politicians, grandparents, and naturalized citizens -- Americans who simply want to help protect their country from the problems of illegal immigration.

Minuteman volunteers take it upon themselves to patrol the border. Along with binoculars, cell phones and radios, a number in Arizona wear sidearms, including state Rep. Russell Pearce, a Republican and a leading voice in the Legislature calling for a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Those planning to patrol were under strict orders to call the Border Patrol and to avoid confronting intruders or drawing their weapons, said officials in charge of the Arizona chapter.

Membership is about 25 percent non-whites and 55 percent women. The board of directors includes women and a black American with a master's degree from the University of Southern California.

There are other organized groups who have come together to do what the government, they say, should be doing. Groups like Civil Homeland Defense, Ranch Rescue, the Arizona Guard and American Border Patrol. They are all non-governmental organizations made up of civilians who are fed up and are working to get a handle on the illegal immigration issue. But tensions are growing . . . and it is only a matter of time before bullets begin flying . . . in both directions. Indeed, National Guard units have already been fired upon by Mexican smugglers on this side of the border. Our Guard units were neither equipped or tasked to pursue the bandits back across the border.

That National Guard unit, armed with construction equipment and paper clips, were placed in the midst of a virtual war zone to build roads and shuffle paper for an outgunned and undermanned federal Border Patrol. President Bush seems to suffer from the notion that the greatest problem facing border agents is insufficient office help, not corrupt Mexican military forces colluding with violent drug cartels and shooting at our people.

Unfortunately, when bullets fly, people tend to die. Here, from a CNN telecast, aired February 9th, is the transcript of one such case, which suggests we are getting closer and closer to armed violence on the border:

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the Arizona desert near Tucson Thursday, three illegal aliens were killed, three others seriously wounded, and an unknown number apparently kidnapped after they were attacked by gunmen while traveling north from the Mexican border.

JAMES OGDEN, PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT.: It appears that they were attacked by bandits coming through this area. And right now we have got -- Border Patrol is up in the air with their aircraft, trying to see if we have other -- we're worried that we have other -- other bodies in this desert area.

WIAN: It's at least the third similar incident in Arizona within two weeks, where armed men have tried to intercept loads of illegal aliens.

OGDEN: With this being a known corridor, it seems that the human trafficking now is not only because of drug smuggling becoming targets, but also human trafficking is also becoming targets.

WIAN: One Arizona police chief tells LOU DOBBS TONIGHT intelligence reports are circulating that heavily-armed bandits are patrolling Interstate 10, waiting for smugglers transporting illegal aliens. Once they spot a group, they move in, sometimes dressed as law enforcement, overwhelm the smuggler, and steal his human cargo. Bandits often resort to kidnapping for ransom and even murder.

Arizona's gang and immigration task force, known as GITEM, says the violence is the result of increased federal and local law enforcement pressure on the border.

COMMANDER DAN WELLS, GITEM: It's becoming increasingly more difficult for human smugglers to get their loads across the border. So, many of the smuggling organizations have turned to hijacking human loads that have already made it across the border.

WIAN: Wells says his department and the Border Patrol have seized an alarming number of AK-47 and other high-powered rifles recently.

(ON CAMERA): Officials expect violence will continue to escalate in the near future as federal and local law enforcement struggles to recapture the border from drug and alien smugglers.

Calls for retribution have already begun. One Phoenix talk show host got the attention of governmental authorities when he suggested illegals be shot when crossing the border.

In April of 2006, talk show host Brian James on radio station KFYI said: "What we'll do is randomly pick one night every week where we will kill whoever crosses the border.” He went on: "Step over there and you die. You get to decide whether it's your lucky night or not. I think that would be more fun."

James said he would be "happy to sit there with my high-powered rifle and my night scope" and shoot border crossers, adding the National Guard should be permitted to shoot illegal immigrants and receive "$100 a head."

The FCC received a complaint from both Arizona's attorney general and a US federal attorney concerning the program and the talk show host's suggestion.
They wrote. "We are deeply concerned that, given the intensifying conflict over immigration in Arizona, this speech may lead to violence. Tempers are short on both sides and the situation is highly volatile."

James told the Arizona Republic later his comments had been taken out of context and he was trying to illustrate his point that the immigration debate had become "outrageous."

"I did not receive a single listener complaint," the station manager, Mary Cantillo added. "We want to know why this has become an issue a month after the fact." She suggested that the issue was raised by an activist group on behalf of illegal immigrants to support their upcoming public rally.

While the use of snipers or other armed violence, and some observers feel it is rapidly heading that direction, Congress could nip this problem quickly. It’s been done before, successfully, and at least one Congressman, Charlie Norwood, of Georgia's 9th District, has tried to do something about the immigration crisis. And he was partially successful.

He not only introduced H.R. 3137, but got it passed by the House. It then moved over to the Senate where it was rechristened Senate Bill 1362 and promptly referred to the Judiciary Committee where it sits while the rest of the silver haired politicos plan on their political futures and securing their sinecures . . . not having time for such mundane matters as securing our nation’s borders.

Of interest in Congressman Norwood's opening statement when introducing this Resolution:

“Our entire immigration crisis is due to one fact - that the federal government has failed - even refused - to enforce existing law. Had the federal government done whatever was necessary to uphold the law of the land, none of this would be necessary.”

A. Summary of the CLEAR Act (H.R. 3137)
1. Clarifies that states have the authority to enforce immigration law. The bill clarifies the inherent authority of states to arrest and detain, and also to transport to federal custody, aliens who are suspected of having violated federal immigration law - and declares that this authority has never been preempted by a federal law.
(This position appears to already be in place by virtue of a memorandum from the Justice Department to the Attorney General of the United States, dated the April 3, 2002 that affirms this right of the state's authority.)
2. Requires that the federal government take custody of illegal aliens arrested by state or local law enforcement officials - and provide reimbursement for the costs of detaining and transporting the aliens. If a state or local law enforcement agency arrests an alien suspected of being illegal and asks the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take custody, the federal agency must either (A) take the alien into federal custody and incarceration within 48 hours [Senate bill: 72 hours], or (B) request that the state temporarily incarcerate the alien or transport the alien to federal custody. DHS must reimburse the state or local government for its reasonable expenses in detaining or transporting the alien. The bill authorizes $500 million a year for that purpose.
3. Requires that all aliens who violate immigration law be entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, greatly increasing the ability of state and local police to apprehend them.
4. Creates a new criminal offense and new civil penalties for unlawful presence in this country. Also increases the criminal and civil penalties for unlawful entry.
5. Increases the number of federal detention facilities.
[Note: Except as stated, the details of S. 1362 are the same as in H.R. 3137, the CLEAR Act.]

Once, We Had Leadership

Only one time did an American President take full control of the illegal immigration situation and do something about it. His name was Dwight Eisenhower.
An angry Eisenhower called in retired Army General Joseph Swing and gave him his marching orders. "Control the flow of illegal immigrants into this country and deport those illegals still in this country."

It was done.

In 1954 the INS made a concerted effort to control the flows, both ways. The result was called "Operation Wetback" and universally deemed a success. The 1955 INS annual report concluded that "the so-called 'wetback' problem no longer exists.... The border has been secured."

A large scale task force operation in the Southwest, working in proximity of the border, accounted for a great majority of apprehensions. This "Special Mobile Force Operation" began in California in the last days of fiscal 1954 and after the backbone of the wetback invasion was broken in California, shifted to South Texas. Mobile task forces were assembled and set into action. Light planes were used in locating illegal aliens and directing ground jeeps to effect apprehensions. Transport planes were used to airlift aliens to staging areas for prompt return to Mexico.

These activities were followed by mopping up operations in the interior and special mobile force units continued to discover illegal aliens who had eluded initial sweeps through such cities as Spokane, Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis. These sweeps removed 20,174 illegal Mexican aliens from industrial jobs.

Advocates of increased enforcement should recall the militaristic tactics used in Operation Wetback and the price paid by the Mexican-American community. The incentives for immigration are so strong that it can't be stopped with anything short of military force.

Is something like that possible today? It appears so.

David L. Stone, United States Department of State, as part of a Master of Strategic Studies Degree at The US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, researched and wrote a paper dealing with "Sealing the Border with Mexico: A Military Option."

It was a “feasibility study of deploying the U. S. Army, Marines, or National Guard on the U.S. border with Mexico. The question was whether such a deployment could effectively deter the smuggling of illegal narcotics and immigrants. Is this a threat that can be deterred by military means as opposed to more traditional law-enforcement methods carried out by civilian agencies? The current state of border affairs does not speak well for the capacity of the civilian law enforcement agencies to deal effectively with the problem. Despite their best efforts, and despite significant increases in personnel and resources, it is not likely that the civilian agencies, including the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Customs, and others which recently joined together to form the Department of Homeland Security, can realistically do more than already achieved to stem the flow of narcotics and illegal aliens into the country from Mexico. According to Jeffrey Passel, there is substantial evidence that INS enforcement activities do virtually nothing to deter illegal entry across the Mexican border. There is also some question about the seriousness of the law enforcement agencies to deal with the illegal immigration problem and by implication with the potential terrorist threats posed thereby. For example, in May 2002, Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner James Ziglar stated "No one likes the idea that people came into the country illegally, but it's not practical or reasonable to think that you're going to be able to round them all up and send them home." (Editor’s Note: If Eisenhower had accepted this fuzzy thinking he would never have implemented the successful ‘Operation Wetback” program). Ziglar's comments were made at a joint press conference with Mexican officials at the Tucson, Arizona, Border Patrol Station. In regards to illegal narcotics smuggling, the General Accounting Office reported to Congress that "U.S. and Mexican (drug) interdiction efforts have had little, if any, impact on the overall flow of drugs through Mexico into the United States." Despite increased expenditures to the War on Drugs effort, interdiction of imported drugs, particularly marijuana and cocaine, appears to be relatively ineffective, as the flow of cocaine imports increases at ever lower prices. The image of the U.S. -Mexico border region is that of a vulnerable zone in urgent need of numerous, serious security measures to repel an "invasion" of "illegal aliens", to win the War on Drugs, and to counter the threat of terrorism.

Many different voices from different sectors of the political, business and private community have called publicly for the deployment of the U.S. Army or other military units on the border with Mexico to stem the tide of illicit drugs and illegal aliens into the U.S. One of the most prominent of such calls came from former Tennessee Governor and Presidential candidate Lamarr Alexander. Alexander suggested during his campaign for the Presidency in 1996 that the Army organize units to defend the Mexican border against illegal drugs and immigration. Numerous ranchers, businessmen and other residents along the border have also called on the government to allow the military to protect their property, and prominent political commentators, such as Bill O'Reilly of FOX News constantly call for the military to "seal" the border with Mexico. It is usually understood when these rhetorical calls are made that by military, they mean the deployment of ground troops as border guards, similar to military checkpoints at or near other international borders in almost every other region of the world. No one is intending to question the integrity of the motives of those who call for a greater, more visible military presence on the border. Ranchers in border areas have legitimate concerns about their property being trespassed and damaged by illegals and drug traffickers as they scatter into the U.S. Some landowners have taken the law into their own hands to deal with the problem.

For many years, the Department of Defense has provided intelligence and conducted surveillance of sea and air vessels heading towards the U.S. to better detect narcotics smuggling. These operations have been successful in that the military worked smoothly with civilian counterparts in limited, well-defined roles. The Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations (1981-1992) waged a highly publicized antidrug effort to limit the flow of illegal drugs into the U.S. Timothy J. Dunn interpreted this effort as amounting to border militarization. During this period, "immigration and drug enforcement efforts often overlapped". The Defense Authorization Act of 1982 included alterations in the Posse Comitatus statute, loosening restrictions on the military's role in law enforcement activities, and explicitly allowed military personnel to assist (not just support) civilian federal law enforcement agencies by operating and maintaining military equipment on loan to those federal agencies. Until the present day, the military has monitored flights of suspicious airplanes in the border area and provided other surveillance assistance to relay information to federal law enforcement officers to interdict drug smuggling activities. At no point, however, were soldiers employed on the border as ground troops with the explicit authority to actively participate in the enforcement of the narcotics and immigration laws.

Calls to militarize the border likely envision a significant number of ground troops organized into patrol units along the border area, especially in areas used by alien and narcotics smugglers. According to Timothy J. Dunn, an Army major prepared a thesis discussing just such a military deployment. This major concluded that a brigade-size joint task force consisting of active and reserve forces from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines could conduct sustained counter-drug operations to support law enforcement agencies to interdict illicit drugs along the Southwest border. The discussions on television and radio news and talk shows implies the use of the military to establish a cordon sanitaire along the Mexican border, or significant parts of it, to preclude anything or anyone from passing through without being screened. The units would patrol several key points along the border and perhaps into the interior of the U.S. as well. Any other suggested deployment of the military on the border would otherwise appear to be simply more of the same type of limited, specialized, assistance-oriented policy in present use. Author Michelle Malkin, in her 2002 book Invasion, states categorically that at the southern border, "we must be prepared to use our own soldiers to defend against acts of aggression…If we are willing to send American troops to the mountains of Afghanistan and the jungles of the Philippines to defend against foreign threats, we should be prepared to dispatch them…to help police the vulnerable, unguarded stretches of desert, forest, valley and sea here on the home front".

And so we come back to the decisive action that President Eisenhower took in Operation Wetback. Eisenhower instituted and deported more than 3 million allegedly undocumented immigrants, and he did it quickly. He hired a trusted General and gave the General the authority to do it. The General did not require the outlandish budgets or manpower roles we have today. We are top-heavy with bodies and dollars . . . that do not seem to be doing much.

This in spite of the fact that on September 30, 2006, there came into being Public Law 109-90. This public law provided funding to accomplish certain goals, to wit:

That, not more than 180 days from the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations of the Senate and the House of Representatives an integrated immigration enforcement strategy to reduce the number of undocumented aliens by ten percent per year based on the most recent United States Census Bureau data.

We are now at February 22 . . April 1st will be six months (180 days) Where are we on the policy described above?

There is a certain financial incentive to comply with this time frame as $3,108,499,000 (That’s B as in ‘Billion’) is allocated to purchase up to 2,740 vehicles (2,000 for replacement only) . . . and $7,500,000 of which is available, until expended, for conducting special operations. $1,000,000 is set aside for compensation for informants . . . some $11,216,000 available for funding/reimbursement of other Federal agencies for care, maintenance and repatriation.

That's a lot of money just waiting to be allocated and spent . . but first the Department of Homeland Security has to come up with a plan and Congress has to agree to it. Getting Congress to agree to much of anything is, in itself, hoping for a miracle. A President, such as Eisenhower, could simply bring in a ‘can-do’ General, give him his marching orders and get the problem under control.

Sadly, Eisenhower is no longer with us.

The stakes are high. Here's why:

Population Size.

Estimates based on Census data, National surveys, administrative data and other sources indicate that the current [2/2007] illegal population is between 7 million and 20 million. According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, Mexicans make up about 57 percent of the illegal immigrants with another 24 percent coming from Central American and South American countries, approximately 9 percent from Asia, 6 percent from Europe and Canada, with the remaining 4 percent from the rest of the world.

This problem has been caused by the government of the United States not only spending decades not enforcing the law but broadcasting that we have no intention of enforcing the law. When Mexico started producing pamphlets on how to sneak across the border, our government did nothing. While it is tempting to blame the illegal immigrants, we can hardly blame them for wanting a better life, being told by their government they can come to the US for a good life, and the US saying it won't enforce the laws.

A government has the right to and ought to regulate the flow of immigration to that level which is most beneficial to the economy. It has a right to not take another country's poor to only become permanent beneficiaries of the welfare system. Lastly, the transparent lack of enforcement on the border has only emboldened criminal elements to operate there with impunity.

One Proposed Solution

All immigrants would be required to register with the government and undergo some simple tests including a background check. If they have caused no problems here, they will be required to briefly return home, check-in, and then be allowed to return.

The number of legal immigrants we give visas to should be greatly increased and the process to get here simplified to those steps that are necessary to maintain security. The easier it is for legitimate people to get here (while keeping the bad guys out) will prevent the "black market" immigrant transport problem we have now.

When they return they'll be required to use legitimate information for any job they have and provide that information to the government. The situation of forty million people using the social security number of 000-00-0000 needs to end.

They'll have very limited access to welfare programs. In short, they'll be expected to support themselves like every other immigrant who comes here legally has to do. We should not allow the government of Mexico to treat the US as if it were responsible for its own poverty problem and welfare programs. If Mexico insists on the US providing social services for it, then it is time we consider whether Mexico should become the 51st state.

Because the government has shown that it cannot be trusted to properly enforce the laws, a "qui tam" provision must be included that allows private citizens to sue on behalf of the government those employers who employ illegal immigrants. These laws have worked well in cases of government fraud and Medicare fraud, and this would allow interested private parties to do the enforcing with the help of a court. Take away the jobs and a large incentive to sneak across the border goes away.

Two tracks of legal immigration should be adopted, an irrevocable path to citizenship and a guest worker program. Guest workers will be allowed to work for 10 years and have no eligibility for welfare. The path to citizenship will require a renunciation of Mexican (or other relevant nation's) citizenship and classes in English will be provided. Guest workers cannot be hired if there are willing and capable legal residents or citizens applying to do the work.

Congressional seats will be apportioned by the number of legal residents in the state and not merely the number of people in the state. Having a high proportion of illegal immigrants should not afford a state with extra House seats.

Any illegal immigrants captured or otherwise discovered in the United State will be permanently banned from legal immigration.

A border wall will be constructed to eliminate the flow of people into the United States in an undocumented fashion.


This should suffice in getting all the legitimate workers documented, isolate the criminal element as they would not likely walk into a government office to get fingerprinted, and create a regime that allows for enforcement (even when government officials want to weasel out). It will stem the incentives that cause people to sneak across the border and the incentives to hire such people. It will also allow for the compassion and fairness of liberal immigration that has been beneficial to our society. Lastly, it will emphasize assimilation by requiring a permanent irrevocable choice to become a US citizen. It is a difficult issue to arrive at a compromise on because of the failure of the government, which made this the huge issue it has become.

The author of the above Proposed Solution, John Bambenek, is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. He is a syndicated columnist and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education.






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