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 Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzle 
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Post Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzle
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OPINION January 24, 2013, 8:17 p.m. ET
Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzle
Some want illegals to return to their native countries and 'wait in line' like everyone else. There is no line.


By JEB BUSH AND CLINT BOLICK

The nation's capital is awash with ideas about how to fix America's immigration policy. The sudden ferment on this issue, which was largely dormant since efforts at comprehensive reform were torpedoed five years ago, is as welcome as it is overdue. The growing consensus on both sides of the political aisle that something needs to be done should not be squandered, for such opportunities are rare and fleeting.

Some policy makers are calling for piecemeal changes—such as issuing visas for high-skilled workers and investors, or conferring legal status on immigrants who were illegally brought into the country as children. Congress should avoid such quick fixes and commit itself instead to comprehensive immigration reform.

In some conservative circles, the word "comprehensive" in the context of immigration reform is an epithet—a code word for amnesty. People who oppose such reform declare that securing the United States border must come before moving toward broader reform.

Such an approach is shortsighted and self-defeating. Border security is inextricably intertwined with other aspects of immigration policy. The best way to prevent illegal immigration is to make sure that we have a fair and workable system of legal immigration. The current immigration system is neither.

The immigration system is like a jigsaw puzzle. If one or more pieces are out of whack, the puzzle makes no sense. To fix the system, Congress must make sure all of the pieces fit together, logically and snugly.

To do so, several realities must be faced squarely, including:

It is not law enforcement but the law itself that is broken. The nation has changed dramatically since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, and that legislation has not held up well. It has been patched over so many times that it is hopelessly complex and incoherent. We need to start from scratch.

The nature of the border-security problem has evolved. The only tried-and-true method of reducing illegal immigration is a bad economy. Thus, with a dismal American economy and an improving Mexican one, the net immigration from Mexico is now zero: As many Mexicans are leaving the U.S. as are entering it.

The far greater border-security threat is paramilitaristic drug cartels that often are also involved in human smuggling, increasingly from Central American countries. The U.S. needs to coordinate closely with Mexico and focus its resources on defeating the cartels. The nation also needs to continue harnessing technology to identify risky foreign visitors and swiftly deport those who commit crimes or overstay their visas.

The driver of immigration policy is "chain migration." Since the 1960s, the vast majority of legal immigrants have come pursuant to a very broad definition of "family reunification"—which includes not only spouses and minor children but parents and siblings. Family preferences account for two-thirds of all legal immigrants, crowding out work-based immigration and placing increased pressure on social services.

When extended family members obtain legal status, they too are entitled to family preferences. This chain migration does not promote the nation's economic interests.

There is no "line." Critics of comprehensive reform often argue that illegal immigrants should return to their native countries and wait in line like everyone else who wants to come to America. But unless they have relatives in the U.S. or can fit within the limited number of work-based visas, no line exists for such individuals.

For most aspiring immigrants, the only means of legal admission to this country is an annual "diversity lottery" that randomly awards visas to 55,000 foreigners. There are roughly 250 applicants for each visa every year. The absence of a meaningful avenue of access increases the pressure for illegal immigration.

The U.S. needs workers of all types. The birthrate in this country has fallen below the level necessary to sustain the population at the very time that millions of Americans are leaving the workforce and expecting retirement benefits. The nation needs energetic young workers to spur the economy and support an ever-increasing social-welfare burden.

The only alternatives to increased immigration are mounting debts or reduced social services. A practicable system of work-based immigration for both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants—a system that will include a path to citizenship—will help us meet workforce needs, prevent exportation of jobs to foreign countries and protect against the exploitation of workers.

America especially needs high-skill workers. The K-12 education system is not producing nearly enough graduates with the skills needed for a vibrant 21st-century economy. This country has attracted, and still does attract, the best and brightest from throughout the world to its universities and businesses. But once here, even the most talented students are not assured that they will receive visas enabling them to work following graduation, and high-skill workers and entrepreneurs have no sure path to citizenship.

Other nations—including Canada, New Zealand and even China—are luring away students, workers and entrepreneurs with more sensible and welcoming immigration policies. If we do not adapt, we will be increasingly unable to compete.

Amnesty promotes illegal immigration. The U.S. must find a fair way to deal with its 11 million illegal immigrants without sending the message that America's laws can be broken with impunity. Crossing the border illegally must have consequences. At the same time, we must recognize that children who were brought here illegally have committed no crime and in most instances know no other country.

Immigrants replenish the American spirit. Most immigrants come here to secure a better life for themselves and their families. They cherish the values of hard work, faith, family, enterprise and patriotism that have made this country great. Meanwhile, many who were lucky enough to have been born here have grown complacent or even disdainful of these values. America's immigration system should provide opportunities for people who share the country's core values to become citizens, thereby strengthening the nation as have countless immigrants have before them.

Despite a polarized polity, the country has a historic opportunity for bipartisan reform. It is time to seize the moment.

Mr. Bush, the Republican governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, is chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Mr. Bolick is vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute. Their book, "Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution," will be published in March by Threshold Editions/Simon & Schuster.

A version of this article appeared January 25, 2013, on page A13 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Solving the Immigration Puzzle.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... on_LEADTop
Is Jeb laying the groundwork for a 2016 platform? or does anyone think this would actually have a chance in today's climate? Some good ideas here, would like to hear / read more about his proposal for what to do about the existing illegal immigrants.

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January 25th, 2013, 10:31 am
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Post Re: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzl
His last name will keep him out and that's a guarantee!

Rubio is probably the best choice at this point, but is still an unknown. Problem is, we've already reached terminal velocity and will be done as a "super power" by the time this 4 years is over. I think we need to sit back and see how strong, and effective the UN will become, because that's where we're going. One big happy global village!

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January 25th, 2013, 5:04 pm
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Post Re: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzl
WarEr4Christ wrote:
His last name will keep him out and that's a guarantee!

Rubio is probably the best choice at this point, but is still an unknown. Problem is, we've already reached terminal velocity and will be done as a "super power" by the time this 4 years is over. I think we need to sit back and see how strong, and effective the UN will become, because that's where we're going. One big happy global village!


We still provide something like 70% of the funding to the UN. The UN isn't going to get much more powerful, and even four years of de-militarization wouldn't reduce our status as the most powerful nation in the world.


January 25th, 2013, 5:53 pm
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Post Re: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzl
More on the original topic:
Quote:
Jeb Bush: No Path to Citizenship in Immigration Reform
By JORDAN FABIAN (@Jordanfabian)
March 4, 2013

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday he does not support a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., a central provision of immigration reform plans being considered by Congress.

Bush has long chided the Republican Party to adopt immigration reform and improve its outreach to minority and immigrant voters. But he said that a path to citizenship would violate the rule of law, and instead is proposing giving a path to legal permanent residency to many of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country.

"Our proposal is a proposal that looks forward. And if we want to create an immigration policy that's going to work, we can't continue to make illegal immigration an easier path than legal immigration," Bush said during an interview on NBC's "Today" show. "I think it is important that there is a natural friction between our immigrant heritage and the rule of law. This is the right place, I think, to be in that sense. Not to take away people's rights."

Bush, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, is promoting his new book titled "Immigration Wars" that he co-authored with conservative attorney Clint Bolick. It hits the shelves this week, and it will include concrete details on how they believe immigration reform should be handled.

The ex-governor's stance is notable because of his reputation as an immigration moderate within the GOP, especially during the 2012 campaign season when he criticized GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his opposition to immigration reform that legalized undocumented immigrants. As early as June of last year, Bush said he would be supportive of either a path to citizenship or a path to legal residency.

Now, Bush's position on a path to citizenship is to the right of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" Senate proposal, which has been endorsed by his former political mentee Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and several other Republican lawmakers.

The Senate's plan would offer temporary legal status to undocumented immigrants who apply, pass a criminal background check, pay fees, and back taxes, and learn English. Those eligible immigrants would then be able to pursue a green card, and then full citizenship once certain border-security metrics are met along the U.S.-Mexico border. President Barack Obama's plan contains a more direct path to citizenship that is not specifically tied to a border security "trigger."

A path to citizenship has long been the number-one policy priority for immigrant-rights groups, who say that citizenship is necessary for immigrants to compete in society. The alternative, according to these groups, a population of second-class citizens.

But Bush aligned himself with other Republicans who say that a path to full citizenship is not necessary.

"Half the people in '86 that could have gotten amnesty didn't apply. Many people don't want to be citizens of our country," he said. "They want to come here, they want to work hard, they want to provide for their families. Some of them want to come home, not necessarily all of them want to stay as citizens."

He said that offering a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. could incentivize future waves of illegal immigration.

"I think there has to be some difference between people who come here legally and illegally," Bush said. "It is just a matter of common sense and a matter of the rule of law. If we're not going to apply the law fairly and consistently, we're going to have another wave of illegal immigrants coming into the country."

Despite the divisions over key issues like a path to citizenship, Bush sounded optimistic that Congress could pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

"This is the one place where cats and dogs seem to be getting along a little more," he said. "So I am optimistic there could be a consensus going forward on immigration."

http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Pol ... d=18648410

On the surface, I can get behind this proposal; I could change my mind depending on the detailstho. The big question is: Can more Repubs get behind the 'Legal Resident' status? IMO it gives an 'out' for those against a path to citizenship. Thoughts?

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March 4th, 2013, 3:25 pm
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Post Re: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzl
I'm probably the wrong person to be discussing this issue with brain-dead zombie libtards, but land mines and snipers works for me. If you attempt to cross the border at a non approved checkpoint, you die. Seems pretty simple to me. That would be a disincentive to cross. There really isn't much of one now. Fear of death would be one and would solve the problem. Prove me wrong.

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March 4th, 2013, 3:57 pm
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Post Re: Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick: Solving the Immigration Puzzl
slybri19 wrote:
I'm probably the wrong person to be discussing this issue with brain-dead zombie libtards, but land mines and snipers works for me. If you attempt to cross the border at a non approved checkpoint, you die. Seems pretty simple to me. That would be a disincentive to cross. There really isn't much of one now. Fear of death would be one and would solve the problem. Prove me wrong.


Sly, if you've been along the vast boarder of Canada and the US, you'd know that many of the "checkpoints" are even unmanned, and there is no set "line" or wall. People of those lands frequently pass between the two countries with no clue that it's happened.


March 4th, 2013, 4:56 pm
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