Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another plan?

Indiana Congressman Mike Pence has been promoting his plan as an alternative to the House and Senate bills. He was on National Public Radio over the weekend hawking his proposal.

Basically Pence wants to secure the border first and have the Secretary of Homeland Security certify it's security in the first two years. Then, and only then, the government would implement a guest worker program that would require all undocumented individuals to leave the country and be processed within a week in offshore "Ellis Island Centers" in their home countries. On NPR, Pence was asked if it was reasonable to expect 12 million people to self-deport and return within a week. He thought it would be with the help of private companies (a-ha!). While his plan would allow guest workers to apply for citizenship after six years, he questioned whether or not US-born children of guest workers would get automatic citizenship.

Such a "plan" is so outrageous and ill-conceived it may not be worth the space here in this blog but we thought you should know about it. It obvious that Congressman Pence knows very little about backlogs and current functioning at U.S. Immigration services (one week processing?). He seems to think that privatization is the key here. He also seems to have little concept about the limited financial means of undocumented people who would be expected to jet home for a week. It's also unhelpful to question birthright citizenship unless you're planning to set up a sub-class of people living in the United States.

ACTION STEP: You're welcome to call Congressman Pence and tell him what you think of his plan. Be sure to ask him what he plans to do about the root causes of migration and US-brokered international agreements that help create these flows. His office number is 202.225.3021