Friday, June 01, 2007

Immigration Solution

I'm a problem solver by nature, so I don't want to simply make fun of the white people who are proposing extreme measures to hunt down, punish and deport brown people. It would be beneath me to question their humanity or their own right to be in this country. Simply stated, I'm not going to point out that most of them are descendants of people who went through roughly the same level of approval before entering this country as any fence-jumper they can find on TV. I'm also not going to sink to the level of pointing out that the families of many of those brown people were here long before the borders were drawn by the uninvited white people.

Now, I see that some right-wingers want to take away the rights of "anchor babies" - children are born in this country, but have parents who have not jumped through all the hoops to obtain citizenship. Now, my work causes me to see a bunch of kids who probably fall into this category, and they are bright, beautiful children. Certainly as bright and beautiful as the children of any of the people I've seen complaining about immigrants.

So I got to thinking. Clearly, this is not a matter of race, because the anti-immigrationists are careful to tell me all the time that they are not racists. So, I suppose they're not, because they're Americans, and wouldn't lie. Also, this is clearly not about economic protectionism, because real Americans like competition, and trust in it to make the economic engine of our country run at maximum RPM. Finally, this is clearly not about inheriting a right to be here because of choices your parents made, because America is, above all, about democracy and a rejection of English notions of nobility and inherited titles.

Since we've reached a point where deporting children born here in America is sounding like a good idea to pundits and Republicans, I think we need to accept that idea and expand upon it. We're already quite comfortable with our government splitting up families over immigration issues - it happens all the time, and I defy you to find a trace of pity on a right-wingers face when the INS deports a father or mother. When I see all those bright, young "anchor babies", and compare them to some of their suburban and rural cohorts, I cannot help but think that a rational immigration policy would probably make some unexpected choices in which ones should be deemed "American".

I propose that we have a national citizenship exam for children at age 5, testing them on IQ, language skills, cultural competency and athletic ability. (The Bush administration has blazed the trail on this one with the over-the-top testing requirements in "No Child Left Behind".) We then decide who gets to stay and who gets deported. It's incredibly simple, really.

Of course, not everybody is at their best at age 5, so I propose that every 15 years, thereafter, we have a retest. This retest could include more categories than the test for 5 year-olds, and reflect more American values, such as appreciation of our Consitution and maybe a section on "Judeo-Christian values" (they're not actually described in the Constitution, but everyone knows they are the foundation of our country, right?). Willingness to join the military could be a bonus question. We deport the bottom 10%, and replace them with the top 10% of the applicant pool. That way, our country will be constantly improving, and those deported will ultimately be happier, anyhow, as they find countries where they fit in better.

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but let me state clearly that this is the absolute best solution to our immigration issues. This plan is focused on what is best for America. The only downside I can see is that it would split up families and communities, and cause people's lives to be disrupted, but we're already over that concern. We already do that, and most anti-immigrationists are enthusiastic about doing more of it! So, let's roll!

If you fail to see the brilliance of my proposal, I suspect you're going to have a tough time with your test . . .



Blogger les said...

We can call it the "Premier League" solution, maintaining a connection to futbol.

6/01/2007 12:02 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I suggest you make sure and include judeo-christian values questions at age five. God knows what kind moral corruption could result in keeping the ecuminically anemic around until they are 20.

6/01/2007 1:49 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

This is absolutely BRILLIANT! I would love, LOVE to see this type of testing and consequences in place.

Let's get Clay Chastain in here to get some petitions signed for us. Just tell him the tests will be held in Union Station and we'll ship the rejects to the border in a gondola. He'll be all over it like white on rice.

6/01/2007 6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness you're here to help! Heaven forbid that we should treat illegal immigrants as poorly as we treat our citizens. After all, we can't afford to feed and educate and provide quality medical care for everyone, so we may as well give it to the illegal immigrants since there aren't as many of them.

See below:

(Actual letter from an Iowa resident and sent to his senator)

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 3254
Washington DC , 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.
Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington , IA
Get your Forms (NOW)!! Call your Internal Revenue Service 1-800-289-1040.

Please pass this onto your friends so they can save on this great offer

6/01/2007 11:16 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

The author of this piece had better pray to whatever God will forgive him for his hatred and lying that his wish is not granted. He obviously knows nothing about the world of immigrants, nor about the law.

I started to make a list of references to debunk the lies contained in the letter you copied and pasted, but then realized that I was doing work you should be doing. You're the one who posted the BS - you clean it up.

My challenge to you is to find support in the bill for the "facts" in the letter. I'd especially like for you to find support for your adopted propositions that:

1. "as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years." I'm willing to bet you'll have to admit that's a lie.

2. "as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year." Do a little research and find out how make this jerk is going to like the service he gets for emergency treatment compared to whatever cushy service he gets for $10,000 a year. I'm suspecting he'll be shocked at the lack of service, and the total unavailability of service for non-life-threatening needs. Let me know how health screenings, ob/gyn services, and mammograms go for that daughter of his.

3. Speaking of that daughter, would you please let me know which states will allow her to practice law if she were to go to law school?

4. Find out for me the legal issues of driving as an undocumented alien. I think you'll find that the legality and consequences of driving without a license or insurance are exactly the same - though there is a deportation risk for his proposed new status.

5. Also, please address any concerns you have about a so-called American who would renounce his citizenship so willingly for a few dollars. Do you think he should be allowed to retain his citizenship after such sedition? Note that Ruppert is a german name - my study of history reveals that there was significant hatred of german immigrants not all that long ago. Don't you think it's a little disgusting to see a person like him, now that he's on top (apparently earning enough to view himself as one of the IRS' better customers) to turn around and kick those at the bottom of the ladder? What would his great-grandfather think?

Get on this right away, would you? And if you want to come around here and contribute cuttings and pastings, why don't you think a little more about them?

6/02/2007 10:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll get on that right after you show some common sense in your immigration rants. Your smug, self-satisfied, fact-starved rant got precisely the response it deserved.

6/02/2007 11:38 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I identified 5 areas of weakness in your adopted argument, and all you can do in response is call names. I think I get to call complete victory. You've been owned.

6/02/2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

What's missing from the above letter posted by anonymous is the date. That's important because the author was referring to the bill that passed the Senate last year. I don't have time to get into a point by point discussion of that particular bill, but as far as the taxes, I can tell you the writer was correct. This year's Senate bill was introduced with a higher fine and NO back taxes; however, that is in the process of being amended.

I can also state that the emergency room is not the only place that illegals are legally treated. They enjoy full benefits of maternity/baby care pre, during and post hospitalization. Also, if the illegals need to be admitted for any kind of care, they are, and their bills are written off and the rest of us absorb the care. Sure, they don't get mammograms for free, but neither do I and I have insurance. So, the medical part costs the rest of us plenty. Interestingly, I read an article the other day that if an illegal requires really extensive medical care, the hospital will pay to have them transported by air back to their home countries, with fees easily reaching $25,000 for transporting an ill patient.

We all know how much illegals cost our education system and we know who's paying for that too.

The point most people don't like about illegal immigration is the enormous cost to citizens who in many cases cannot receive the same benefits. Try to dodge a hospital bill if you're a citizen. You know they'll take whatever you have...driving lots of people straight into bankruptcy.

I think FAIR somehow got lost in the process of SOME of the provisions of last year's and this year's bill.

6/02/2007 5:12 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Travelingal -

Thanks for the clarification that Anonymous is talking about an old proposal that didn't succeed. I guess it's pretty clear that Anonymous will be in the 10% to be deported after the next testing date.

I believe you're mistaken about the healthcare availability for undocumented immigrants. I've heard that TMC has totally stopped treating them, and I've not seen anyone offering them anything like the health care offered to someone with a $10,000/year policy. Have you?

I also think you're confusing immigration status with poverty. Plenty of citizens get plenty of free care - hospitals write off millions of dollars for those who cannot afford to pay. It has nothing to do with immigration status - if a middle-class undocumented immigrant dodges a hospital bill, s/he will get pursued just like me or you.

As for the cost of education, it pales in comparison to the cost of ignorance.

There are many issues surrounding poverty and immigration. That's why my proposal is such a great one - it accepts the fact that we are willing to break up families and deport people born here in the United States, and also that none of us really has any control over the accident of where we were born. Instead, it treats us all fairly.

Please write your senators and encourage them to embrace the Gonemild Immigration Plan (GIP). Win one for the GIPper!

6/02/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous travelingal said...

I've given this a lot of thought (sorry, not your proposal, Dan) but the whole thing.

If I accept the premise that we can't deport all of them, which I believe, then...

Spend the next 1-2 years controlling the borders. Do whatever it takes.

During those 1-2 years, all illegals must register. Those who don't or won't or who are criminals, deport.

Also, during those 1-2 years, all illegals begin the process of legal CITIZENSHIP immediately. If you're ALREADY here, then plan to stay or LEAVE now. Set up English language centers in every town. Establish a legal residency. Get a legal SS number and pay taxes. Follow the current law. If you don't care enough to become a legal citizen, then you are deported.

During those 1-2 years, IRS is required to become data base for tracking everyone who works and SHARING that information with employers. Any employer who does not participate in data base tracking system, loses business license. Any illegal caught with false identity is immediately deported.

Then, fix the rest later.

6/02/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What's really cool about your idea is that we get to deport all of the Alzheimer's patients, all of the stroke victims and all of the mentally challenged. This sounds almost N___ like. I didn't refer to Hitler directly because then this discussion would be officially over.

Ooops, I just did.

6/03/2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Anonymous -

I think the people you refer to may face some risk, but, really, I can think of a bunch of right-wing bloggers who would do worse on the test than they would.

Also, Godwin's Law doesn't apply in a blogpost that includes a sneaky "Solution" reference in the title.

6/04/2007 6:00 AM  
Anonymous JW said...

I'm on board with the Gipper! But I think we do need to address the problem of the border. There is no doubt that the coming decades will see massive population displacement due to resource depletion and extreme weather. It's likely that we will continue to attract immigrants from all over the globe looking to escape detiorating conditions. We need to re-consider our policy regarding immigration and humanitarian rescue.
I often think of it this way; What if we all needed to get into Canada? Would they let us cross the border?

6/04/2007 9:25 AM  
Blogger les said...

Often overlooked in the "illegals is stealin' my taxes" rants is the high number not working in the cash economy--but in the packing industry, beef/poultry processing, etc. They are having taxes, including social security, withheld--with no way to get refunds owed and no entry to social security benefits. They also pay rent (property tax), sales tax, fuel tax, etc. etc. I can't sort the myriad arguments I've seen from economist types on both sides; but it's pretty clear that the "cost" of illegal immigrants is at best hard to figure out, and possibly neutral or a benefit.

6/04/2007 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming out about your "sneaky 'solutions' reference." This is your playground and your rules, but isn't it a bit hypocritical to pose a satirical solution to the immigration problem that is really just a hatchet job on conservatives and then turn around and criticize a poster who copied and pasted a humorous critique of a liberal immigration bill?

If you are going to use satire to lampoon a point of view, don't get your panties in a wad when someone turns the tables on you and returns the favor.

Simple minds - simple solutions. Both the liberal flavor and the conservative flavor are fun, but not very satisfying.

6/04/2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

Well, Dan, let me offer my suggestion -- termination of parental rights.

It is really quite simple -- any non-citizen who is not a permanent resident alien is legally deemed to be an unfit parent, provided that individual does not, within 24 hours, irrevocably renounce their child's birthright citizenship and accept automatic deportation for the entire family within 24 hours. Children of such unfit parents will immediately become wards of the state legally available for adoption.

Now this has some advantages.

1) It does away with the anchor-baby incentive, because the parents are left with the stark choice of giving up the child or the child's citizenship.

2) It cuts back on the incentive for American couples to adopt internationally, as these children would be legally free to adopt and their parents would be unable to challenge the adoption (preventing some of the legal atrocities we have seen in recent years where adoptive families are split when a mother changes her mind about the adoption).

You may ask if the adoptive families are there -- I'd argue that the number of international adoptions each year and the waiting lists at agencies specializing in these adoptions proves that we would be able to place these children easily. I know that in my own case, my wife and I were in the preliminary stages of adopting a 3-child Hispanic sibling group when her health issues made that no longer a possibility.

Now you object to splitting up families and communities, but that is a specious argument -- we do it all the time with other lawbreakers, why should border-jumping immigration criminals be treated differently?

6/05/2007 8:21 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Tip to my commenters who may not have experience with "Rhymes with Right" - he's not a satirist. He's being serious. He really believes that we should do this to people living in America. And, yes, he is a "family values" supporter . . .

RWR - I think you're on to something, but you're kind of downplaying the peculiar position of the child. The child is as American as any other American, but you're wanting to return him or her to his heritage. I propose, instead, that we slice these children in half (many Mexican immigrants work in our meatpacking industry - they probably know how to do the job quickly and efficiently), and allow half to return to their homeland, and half to remain in our nation built on immigration.

6/05/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

Actually, Dan, you have it exactly backwards -- I want these children to be able to stay, but without rewarding the parents for their violation of our nation's immigration laws. However, in the interest of allowing illegal immigrant parents to choose to keep their children (after all, Dan, you as a pro-choicer should be all for that -- or is the only choice you support abortion?), I'm willing to allow that renunciation of citizenship to allow parents to keep their families together. My ideal solution would allow for no such option, but I have to concede the political realities here.

And Dan, at times I am a satirist -- but not in this case.

6/05/2007 9:21 AM  
Blogger les said...

What's your next plan, RWR? Sopie's Choice? When did conservatives decide the world was too scary for us to be Americans any more?

6/05/2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the same time that liberals decided to surrender America to either terrorists or illegal immigrants, whichever can destroy the country faster.

6/05/2007 7:27 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

The last two anonymous commenters are the finest of their breed. One argues that satire totally unhinged from reality shouldn't be mocked, and the other exhibits the fear-based thinking that is causing the right wing to try to eviscerate all that is good about our country. Wow - quite a demonstration of anonymous blogger idiocy!

6/06/2007 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Rhymes With Right said...

Dan, might I offer a differing point of view?

The first anonymous commenter simply points out that your satire is clearly no more connected to reality that than the one in the comments above.

The second one offers a sarcastic rebuttal to what is presumably a sarcastic question (I don't think Les is really so weak-minded as to believe what he wrote).

Seems to me that you have a serious problem in understanding anyone's satire or sarcasm but your own. Could it be that you have some sort of mental or emotional block that prevents you from seeing or respecting the point of view of anyone who disagrees with you?

Oh, and if you have such a problem with anonymity, you can always go into the blogger control setting and prevent anonymous comments.

6/06/2007 10:53 PM  
Blogger Dan said...


The first anonymous failed to point out where my satire is based on false premises, as was the one I objected to.

The second is obviously sarcastic, but, again, the sarcasm is based on the fear that the right wing stews in. Big scary terrorists and big scary illegal immigrants are the monsters under the right wing bed.

And, no, I cannot imagine blocking anonymous commenters. I love anonymous commenters! They are some of the most amusing commenters around, though sometimes unintentionally.

6/07/2007 6:01 AM  
Blogger Greg said...


The first one is obviously putting forward an absurd counter-example to your absurd initial argument.

The second is making light of the fear that the left-wing stews in, as exemplified by Les' question.

6/07/2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger les said...

"The second is making light of the fear that the left-wing stews in, as exemplified by Les' question."

Is this more snark? I believe it's the Bush administration and the right wing noise machine clamoring to abandon rule of law and the constitution (to say nothing of sanity and comity) in the face of the nasty terraists. They want to hurt us!

Dan, you're fine solution has been hijacked--some economist from George Washington University, on NPR's All Things Considered, stole your schtick, without attribution. He did have one improvement--politicians automatically earn the go-somewhere-else score.

6/08/2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Hah! No kidding, I have been getting hits over the last several months from the server!

6/08/2007 2:53 PM  

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