May 15, 2006
Tonight in a prime-time televised speech, President Bush laid out his 5 point plan for immigration reform:
1. Secure the borders: deploying 6,000 National Guard to support Border Patrol efforts; employing new technology to monitor the borders: training local and state law enforcement officers in border states to enforce immigration laws; and increasing detention capacity.
2. Temporary worker program: creating a guest worker program that matches willing workers with willing employers; workers must leave at conclusion of their program.
3. Employer responsibility: require greater employer responsibility in hiring legal workers; establishing better verification procedures and more reliable worker documentation.
4. Permitting long-term residents a path to citizenship: after paying a meaningful penalty, paying any taxes owed, learning English, and securing employment, long-time residents would be permitted a path to citizenship, behind those who had entered legally.
5. Promoting assimilation: emphasizing the importance of learning English.
President Bush spoke of finding the rational middle-ground and he’s on the right track. Regulating the flow of people into the U.S. is a rational and legitimate need, but it cannot be done with enforcement measures alone. Keeping people out should not be the goal; rather encouraging them to use meaningful and effective legal measures should be the goal.