Today, Mike Huckabee released his plan for dealing with the illegal immigration problem. It is a great plan and hopefully will turn the attention back to dealing with the issue rather than pointing fingers.
A 9-Point Strategy for Immigration Enforcement and Border Security
Overview: Implement a broad-based strategy that commits the resources of the federal government to the enforcement of our immigration laws and results in the attrition of the illegal immigrant population.
1. Build the Fence
Ensure that an interlocking surveillance camera system is installed along the border by July 1, 2010.
Ensure that the border fence construction is completed by July 1, 2010.
2. Increase Border Patrol
Increase the number of border patrol agents.
Fully support all law enforcement personnel tasked with enforcing immigration law.
3. Prevent Amnesty
Policies that promote or tolerate amnesty will be rejected.
Propose to provide all illegal immigrants a 120-day window to register with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and leave the country. Those who register and return to their home country will face no penalty if they later apply to immigrate or visit; those who do not return home will be, when caught, barred from future reentry for a period of 10 years.
4. Enforce the Law on Employers
Employment is the chief draw for most illegal immigrants and denying them jobs is the centerpiece of an attrition strategy.
Impose steep fines and penalties on employers that violate the law.
Institute a universal, mandatory citizenship verification system as part of the normal hiring process.
Prevent the IRS and the Social Security Administration from accepting fraudulent Social Security numbers or numbers that don't match the employees' names.*
5. Establish an Economic Border
Move toward passage of the FairTax.
The FairTax provides an extra layer of security by creating an economic disincentive to immigrate to the U.S. illegally.
6. Empower Local Authorities
Promote better cooperation on enforcement by supporting legislative measures such as the CLEAR Act, which aims to systematize the relationship between local law and federal immigration officials.
Encourage immigration-law training for police. Local authorities must be provided the tools, training, and funding they need so local police can turn illegal immigrants over to the federal authorities.
7. Ensure Document Security
End exemptions for Mexicans and Canadians to the US-VISIT program, which tracks the arrival and departure of foreign visitors. Since these countries account for the vast majority of foreigners coming here (85 percent), such a policy clearly violates Congress' intent in mandating this check-in/check-out system.
Reject Mexico's "matricula consular" card, which functions as an illegal-immigrant identification card.
8. Discourage Dual Citizenship
Inform foreign governments when their former citizens become naturalized U.S. citizens.
Impose civil and/or criminal penalties on American citizens who illegitimately use their dual status (e.g., using a foreign passport, voting in elections in both a foreign country and the U.S.).
9. Modernize the Process of Legal Immigration
Eliminate the visa lottery system and the admission category for adult brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.
Increase visas for highly-skilled and highly-educated applicants.
Expedite processing for those who serve honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Improve our immigration process so that those patiently and responsibly seeking to come here legally will not have to wait decades to share in the American dream. Governor Huckabee has always been grateful to live in a country that people are trying to break into, rather than break out of.
*This policy will be drafted to comply with the final federal court decisions on this issue.
Note: This plan is partially modeled on a proposal by Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. ("Re: Immigration: Ten Points for a Successful Presidential Candidate," National Review, May 23, 2005.)