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Los Angeles County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Smart Voter

Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

By Carlos A. Rodriguez

Candidate for United States Representative; District 28; Libertarian Party

This information is provided by the candidate
We must secure our borders, bring back a strong guest worker program, and bring 12 million people out of the shadows.
This is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to touch, and I believe will bring about the death of the Republican party, much like the pro slavery Whigs of the 1850's.

Immigration is probably one of, if not, the most emotional issue confronting our nation. As I have been intimately involved in this matter for over 16 years, I believe I can address the issue with some authority:

America should be foremost a nation of laws and when individuals break those laws, whether already here or trying to get in, chaos ensues, and that is what we have now. I see a lot of angry, and dare I say scared, Americans who are asking what happened to my country? Why are the public school systems and emergency rooms inundated with these undocumented people? How come nobody speaks English?

All legitimate questions... However, I see many of these people, primarily on the right, misplace their frustration on these undocumented individuals, when the real source of frustration and where the blame should be placed is on the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

It has been my observation that immigrants, legal or not, regardless of color, creed, religion or language come to this country to work twice as hard as the native population for half the pay. Thank goodness most of them are low skilled and don't speak English, or we'd all be out of jobs! But that isn't the case because immigrants come to fill a void in our economy. In essence, they come here to do immigrant work. As the nation of immigrants that we are, this is how it should be, and always has been. All honest work is honorable, but because of sacrifices that were made by my ancestors, I don't have to pick fruit or landscape in order to feed my family and if you're reading this, I'm confident you don't either. The children of these hard workers (and their children's children) will learn English, go to school, get better paying jobs and fully incorporate themselves into American society. Historically, that has always been the case... up until now. Unfortunately, this natural process has been interrupted by yet another example of government meddling & social engineering through it's failed bilingual education programs, but that is another discussion.

With respect to immigration:

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act which, among other things, provided that a person who is illegally in the United States for over a year and departs, cannot return for 10 years. In 2001, section 245(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act expired, rendering persons who entered the United States without "proper inspection" unable to legalize their status by paying a fine, for the first time in U.S. history.

What has been the result? The largest undocumented population ever: Millions of people who have come here to work, to supply a demand created by our then booming economy, are trapped here. They cannot, pursuant to our current laws, legalize their status, and if they go the U.S. consulate in their home country to apply for a visa, they cannot re-enter the US for ten years. Bear in mind, many of these people have been here 10, 20 years with children who have grown up here, and English is their first language & know no other country or way of life.

The problem with the amnesty of the Reagan years, and the mistake I see many on the left making today, is the absence of a strong guest worker program that will meet the demands of our economy. I agree that we cannot have an amnesty every 25 years. It cheapens our laws as well as the fabric of our society. However, we cannot remove or even encourage millions of people who already have roots here to just "go home". Many of them are home... and we have to come to terms with that reality.

My common sense solution is the following:

If national security is our foremost concern, than no force will be better suited to secure our borders than our national guard. Once we have regained control of our entries & exits, we can address the undocumented population within our borders in a compassionate yet realistic manner.

If an undocumented worker has stayed out of trouble, paid his/her taxes, has lived here a certain number of years, has children or family here, then at the very least, we need to review their case to see if this is a person worthy of the American Dream.

If, however, an undocumented individual has shown themselves to be a menace, or even a negative, to our society through their actions or lack thereof, they will not be allowed to stay.

Lastly, we need to address the realities of our economy. Much of our present day chaos is caused by the inability of low skilled immigrants to come to this country legally and perform low skilled work. We should make it easier for all immigrants who want to come to this country to work, to be able to do so. A hard working, self sufficient immigrant only contributes to our society & economy, doesn't detract, and as a consequence, we must insist on a realistic guest worker program that reflects this belief or we will be facing this issue every twenty years.

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