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A Sensible Approach on Immigration

Posted: March 19, 2013 at 7:45 am   /   by

Why is it that all the issues that are NOT at the forefront of American’s concerns always seem to be the hot-button issues that are constantly talked-about?  Supposedly we are a government of the People, by the People, yet the matters that are of most concern to the People generally get ignored, while minor things that really have no impact on the vast majority of us are constantly in the headlines, and just as constantly what politicians wind up talking about.  Immigration is just such an issue.  There can be little doubt that jobs and the economy are at the top of nearly everyone’s list of concerns, and when one organization or another decides to do a survey, issues like immigration are barely on the radar.  For example, in a recent Rasmussen survey, the top three issues on the minds of voters ALL revolved around the economy.  Immigration barely cracked the top ten, coming in at number nine:

Number of respondents ranking the issue as VERY Important:

Economy 72%
Health Care 64%
Gov’t Ethics and Corruption 60%
Social Security 60%
Taxes 58%
Education 55%
Energy Policy 44%
National Security and War on Terror 43%
Immigration 43%
War in Afghanistan 29%


Yet despite this, we get hammered about immigration by politicians and the liberal media on a regular basis.  The reason why is obvious: the left view it as a successful wedge-issue, and for good reason.  It has many Republican politicians running scared.  Immigration was a major battleground-issue during last year’s Republican primary season, and is touted by some on the right as something that MUST be accommodated in order to win future elections.

Personally, I think this is beyond silly.  Immigration can easily be put to bed as an issue through a combination common-sense and principled leadership.  If the Republicans as a whole can adopt a policy, articulate it, and follow the example of Newt Gingrich last summer & fall, and decline to use it as an intra-party wedge (so long as everyone stays on the same general page…) it will cease to be a major issue.  What’s more, any necessary legislation may actually just get passed!

Greg’s simple immigration reform plan:

  1. Close and Patrol the Border! – We presently do not have control of our own border.  Do you know how absurd that sentence sounds to me?  It makes us sound like a Banana Republic.  I would say a Mickey Mouse Outfit, except that it’s harder to sneak into Disneyland than it is the United States.  This MUST be the very first order of bsiness.
  2. No Amnesty – This is absolutely a no-brainer.  If you came here illegally, the way for you to gain citizenship is by going through the process, no ifs, ands or buts.  You broke the law.  You will not be rewarded for breaking the law.  This has to be the one, solid non-negotiable part of the plan.
  3. 10+ years, No Deportation – Newt Gingrich got this right.  Even though you are illegal, if you have otherwise been a responsible, tax-paying member of society, so long as you register and apply for the citizenship process, you can stay.  You will NOT have voting-rights, or other privileges associated with citizenship until you are granted citizenship, and yes, you will go to the back of the line, but you get to stay.  If you do NOT register, or follow-through with the citizenship application process, you will be subject to deportation.
  4. Overhaul the INS – Much of the problem with the current immigration process is the bureaucratic morass known as the INS.  Back in the ‘80s, after her green card was stolen (along with the rest of her purse!) my wife had to go through the process of applying for a new one.  There was actually a photo of the two of us on the cover of the L.A. Times, along with about 180 others, camped-out on the sidewalk outside the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles at 4:30AM, waiting for an appointment with the INS, because if you wanted a chance to actually be seen before they closed at 5:00PM, this is what you did.  And this does not include the rude, abusive treatment you received at the hands of the INS agents once you got inside!  Most Americans never have to deal with the INS, but I can assure you, if you did, they would likely rank above the IRS and the postal service as the most despised federal bureaucracy.
  5. Make English the Official Language – Do you think you could become a citizen of France without learning French?  How about China without learning one of the dialects of Chinese?  Germany?  Vietnam?  We have forgotten one of the most important, fundamental aspects of immigration to this country: assimilation.  This includes learning the language.  Living in America is not a right.  Becoming a citizen is not a right.  We are a sovereign nation, with our own culture.  If you want to be a citizen, we have a right to insist you adopt it.  If you don’t want to adopt our culture, why on earth would you want to come here?
  6. Enforce the Laws already on the Books – Namely, penalizing and prosecuting those who employ illegal aliens.  If it’s against the law, they should be prosecuted!  The same goes for this “sanctuary city” nonsense.  It’s one thing to be compassionate to the weak and vulnerable, but another thing entirely to deliberately provide “sanctuary” to law breakers.

There is one other thing Republicans will need to do to put this to rest.  The Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) will not miss an opportunity to cast everyone on the right as racists.  It’s the same, tired old song they have been singing for decades, and that is one of the reasons they view immigration as such a great wedge issue.  They like saying that Republicans want to crack-down on illegal immigrants because they are racists.  This of course is nonsense, and there are a thousand ways to vigorously fight-back against such accusations, if only Republicans would have the nerve and the principles to stand-up to it.

Greg Conterio

Gregory Conterio grew-up in the middle of the cornfields of central Illinois, spent 12 years living in the People’s Republic of Los Angeles, and another 15 in Miami, Florida, giving him a first-hand perspective on the rich variability of American culture.  Although formally educated in zoology, he saw opportunity in the then emerging Information technology field 25 years ago, and has remained there ever since, although he denies being an early pioneer in the now fashionable trend of pursuing useless college degrees.  Having an entrepreneurial background, Gregory has long been a staunch advocate of free markets and minimal government intrusion into our lives.  He currently runs a small IT consulting firm based in South Florida, where he resides with his wife of 25 years, his daughter, three Whippets, and an unknown but growing number of chickens, having discovered belatedly the rural lifestyle is not so bad after all.


  1. rofomoreno says:

    Greg: You speak the language of many of us Latinos here in AZ. Immigration is not a priority on my list of issues. However, the reliable nuisance that it is, it concerns me a great deal when two things occur.
    1. Implied racism from the Left (at nearly every waking moment).
    2. The reaction of Anglo Repubs’ and their bumbling response to it (like an Anglo lost in East L.A. asking a tattooed homie how to get to Disneyland – one way or another, it’s gonna cost).
    To your simplified immigration plan:
    1. Agreed wholeheartedly.
    2. Agreed wholeheartedly.
    3. Agreeable, dependent on criteria for determining ”responsible, tax-paying member of society”.
    4. Agreed wholeheartedly (definitely in need of streamlining the process)
    5. Agreed también
    6.Agreed: Fix the broken will.
    The Repubs better realize their untapped assets – conservative American Latinos/Hispanics. Allow us to confront the implied racism at every turn. If not, the perception of Anglo Repubs desperately wanting to be liked will always be obvious. Pandering does that. It has a way of obscuring sincerity. Why vote for someone who exudes confusion?

    1. GregoryConterio says:

       Thank you, “rofomoreno” for your thoughtful response!  It’s always nice to not just hear someone say “I agree” or even “I disagree,” but to give reasoned response why.

      1. @GregoryConterio  @rofomoreno Agreed, Rofo, but a thought occurs . . .
        What percentage of the electorate are Hispanic/Latino Republicans or Conservatives? Maybe the GOP aren’t confused; maybe they are thinking they need to pander to the much larger cohort of Hispanics/Latinos who are not conservative or Republican. Maybe it’s just become an electoral numbers game.

  2. rofomoreno says:

    Numbers games is right. Perception, perception, perception. Then comes plausible believability, drawing in greater numbers of inadequately informed.
    Voting age Latinos/Hispanics in AZ are approx’ 25% of the electorate. Elections motivate far less in getting them to the ballot. That doesn’t say much for Lib Dems who are leading the supposed inspiration. 
    Using Liberal logic, numbers touted are a matter of perception for the purpose of intimidation. Regarding our ethnicity and political clout, the Census nationwide head count makes no distinction between residents who are American citizens (with voting rights) and those who remain here (legally or illegally) with no right to vote. The accuracy in numbers of potential L/H voters then become questionable at the onset. Yet in turn (with the reliable aid of media) it still becomes the perceived behemoth voting bloc – the racial intimidation factor – the impending skin color bludgeon.
    The pathetic Repub response (predominantly Anglo led) is to submit to new and creative ways of pandering with the goal, the holy grail of ……. being liked (now I’m nauseous). This while exuding anxiety in anticipation of getting hit (again and again) with another racial ambush of intolerance merely implied. It’s the timidity factor – the same anxiety of the lost Anglo at the mercy of the local ethnos trying to pander his way out of East L.A.
    In my humble opinion, pandering is incredibly insulting and indignant. It implies that the [pandered to] are not intellectually capable of charting their own path in life.
    Regardless of the degree of ugly, unconditional respect (likeability) will come with truth. Perhaps GOP leadership is in need of hearing some from an untapped perspective. In essence, they are blind to what we see.

A Sensible Approach on Immigration