First Things First

In yesterday’s discussion of the illegal alien problem, James H put forth a version of the “Hope Act” that made a bit of sense:

1) The applicant has to have been brought to this country at least 10 years prior to applying.

2) The applicant must be 18.

3) The applicant must apply for the residency within six months of his 18th birthday, and must do so of his own accord. That is, he has to apply for it when he becomes eligible, NOT when he is caught violating immigration laws as an adult.

4) The applicant must have an educational institution or an employer willing to sponsor him on the initial steps to legal residency. He must also present at least three character references.

5) The applicant must register for Selective Service.

6) The applicant must submit all of his identifying information, including name, place of birth, residency, etc., etc.

7) There will be a limited number of slots avaialble on this path each year. An applicant who is not chosen for this path must be deported.

I think it’s a good, sensible, reasonable solution to those folks who were brought illegally to this country as minors. Their illegal status isn’t their fault, but it recognizes that their situation is their responsibility.

But I have one caveat I’d put up before we enacted James’ idea, though: first, we secure the borders. Because if we don’t, we’re going to be deluged with a surge of illegal aliens looking to get in on this amnesty program. Oh, they wouldn’t qualify, but that wouldn’t stop a lot of them — they’d be working to line up phony documents and getting their supporters to water down the “James H program” so they would sneak in under it.

Just like we saw in 1986, before Reagan signed that infamous illegal alien amnesty bill, and in 2007, when the Kennedy-McCain Amnesty bill was being considered.

Likewise, I have a bit of fondness for the Flat Tax and the national Sales Tax proposals, but I won’t support them. Not unless they are hard-coupled to the repeal of the Income Tax, to the point of repealing the 16th Amendment. Otherwise, I think it inevitable that these taxes will not supplant the income tax, but supplement it.

There’s nothing we can ever do to completely prevent good intentions from going to hell. But we can foresee certain probabilities, especially based on past experiences, and take steps to minimize or eliminate them.

And if we don’t, then it’s our own damned fault when they blow up in our faces. Good intentions just don’t cut it. Never have, never will.

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