How I’d fix immigration

I disagree with Mr. Mitchell’s letter (“Even if Republicans take back the government, don’t expect any change”, published April 27) on so many levels it’s difficult to find common ground but I think one of the reasons is how we each define and view “fixing” immigration. He cites the passing of restrictive legislation, immigration reform and Ronald Reagan’s amnesty bill all of which indicate to me that HIS idea of a fix immigration means making all illegal law breakers citizens.

Personally, my idea of fixing immigration would be:

1) Enforce the current border laws regarding illegal (criminal) entry. The last person to attempt this was Donald Trump, not Ronald Regan, with his Build the Wall and Remain in Mexico policies, both of which had significant success in reducing illegal criminal and drug entry. We see pictures of a few people climbing over the wall and laugh and say it shows walls don’t work, but forget that before the wall was built, dozens or hundreds walked across at the same location. Stop 100 percent of all illegal border crossings. We have laws covering the proper (legal) entry into the country — if you don’t follow the law you are a criminal, not an undocumented resident. If you don’t agree with a law the correct procedure is to change or repeal the law, NOT ignore it!

2) Identify, process, fine or expel all criminals, including those here illegally — from the country — they are criminals. Go after employers of illegals — fine them progressively higher fines or take away their business licenses. If hit with fines of $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000 per illegal person employed or loss of their business license, I think they might find alternatives to taking advantage of “cheap” labor. People or companies that knowingly employ illegals are also breaking the law.

3) Concurrently, or even primarily, increase legal immigration quotas, restore the work visa and reduce the processing time of applicants. The millions of dollars that we are now spending on the current “Whack a Mole” catch and release approach would cover a good part of the cost.

4) Ensure that all residents (permanent and temporary) are paying taxes (end under the table cash transactions) and that everyone is getting the level of benefits (medical, educational, legal, etc.) to which they are entitled.

So, R.L. M, while I agree with you that neither political party has done a very good job of solving the immigration crisis, I don’t agree that giving amnesty to criminals or leaving the door open are logical solutions likely to yield improved results. We also need to distinguish between immigrants that want to stay here becoming U.S. citizens, adopting the language, accepting the customs and swearing allegiance to the United States of America from guest workers who come for the jobs and remain citizens of their native country.

Harold Borland

Bonney Lake