Today, groups will be rallying near the Atlanta offices of Sen. Johnny Isakson. This came out of a misunderstanding on Monday about a meeting and a bit of a toe to toe between Isakson’s Chief of Staff, Chris Carr and anti-immigration activist, D. A. King.
On principle, I can’t support a bill in Congress or the Senate that is 1900 pages and counting. I ascribe to what I call, “The Bill O’Reilly rule,” if you can’t boil a bill down to a 10 page executive summary that anyone can understand, you need to go back to the drawing board.
There’s no doubt we need a purging of the laws on the books regarding immigration (and many other issues, for that matter) and a replacement with an immigration program we will enforce, will reflect our values, puts National Security first and is workable in today’s work environment.
Gov. Nathan Deal said regarding immigration reform when he was a congressman, “Enforce the laws, or change them.” That is still true today.
Here’s the Martha Zoller plan for immigration reform:
First, secure the border. It can be done and it needs to be verifiable. It is offensive it hasn’t been done. Border security has been a part of the last three major immigration overhauls and the laws relating to border security have largely gotten a “wink and an nod.”
Second, fix the visa process. We are no better off, from a enforcement and security standpoint, today than we were on September 10, 2001. When the Tsarnaev brothers, the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon Bombings, are both on the Terrorist Watch List and in this country as refugees and receiving government benefits, there’s a problem with the system. Only in America, on the Terrorist Watch List and Food Stamps at the same time.
Also, if we grant someone a student visa, they are educated here and then get a job here after college, they ought to easily get a permanent visa.
Finally, develop a work permit. One of the things I learned running for Congress was the problem law abiding farmers and ag folks had hiring people. It’s a real problem and it drives people into the wrong places and it’s too cumbersome for employers.
From 1942 to 1951 and then under revised law until 1964, we had a program called the Bracero Program where we moved hundreds of thousands of workers back and forth from Mexico to the U.S. to do agriculture work. The program worked and we kept track of those workers at a time with nothing but “by-hand” records.
After we do these three things, we can address the people who are here and whose children have grown up in America. We cannot address this final piece until the first three have been taken care of.
People want security, transparency and legal immigration. We can accomplish this.