Letter: A Plan For Citizenship

Seventy percent of citizens want immigration reform. They want our borders secure before anything else is finalized. So how can we secure our borders? The best answer is to use returning soldiers from Afghanistan.

In 2006, Congress spent $1 billion to get only 53 miles of fencing when we needed 2,000 miles. If Congress cannot figure how to build a wall that keeps illegal immigrants, drug lords and terrorists out of our country, let our armed forces close the borders with their presence and drones.

Now what are we to do with 11 million illegal residents? Here are some ideas that might work:

Illegals now in the United States would need to register to work here legally. Phase one would start with a “probationary” legal status. We would need to know who you are, where you live and who you work for. Achieving these items would get one a photo ID “workers permit” that will grant them the right to live and work openly. If they do not wish to work toward citizenship, they would still have to meet periodically with a government representative to ensure previous obligations are still being met so they could continue to live here without fear of deportation.

In phase two, after a period of, say, five years, if one wants a green card to move on a path to citizenship, they would need to have a sponsor, like your boss, or a legal resident. One would need to speak and write English, have a job and pass a citizenship test.

Young children could follow a different path. Graduating high school and attending at least two years of college, or two years of military service, would give them the opportunity to become an American citizen by following the predetermined citizen pathway.

It is impractical to think that we can send 11 million illegals back to their country. What will happen with the above concept is that we will know who is here and where they are. Their ID, whether it is a workers permit, a green card or a voters registration card, would be up to the individual. Their future is up to them, as long as they are law-abiding residents. We all would be better for this plan, as long as our borders are enforced.

Morley Alperstein