The Yuma Sun editorial on Nov. 30 claiming Republicans and conservatives may be changing their views on immigration reform is not quite accurate.
Within conservative groups there have been many discussions on the issue of illegal immigration. Why should those immigrants sneaking into this country have justification to replace those who are playing by the rules and waiting years to immigrate?
None of the Democrats or liberals has or is willing to honestly discuss solutions to this issue of immigration. The last time the problem was addressed, for approximately 6 million illegal immigrates involved there was no real penalty on their part for their illegal act, and instead it was rewarded.
The conservatives have on numerous occasions offered a solution that would be fair to all, especially those children born here or who accompanied their parents. It is simple: they are granted legal status without benefit of our welfare system or being eligible to vote until they meet specific criteria to become citizens.
The criteria would require them placing their names at the end of lists containing individuals desiring to immigrate. They must complete education courses on civics and the government of the United States and pass both a written and verbal test on English proficiency.
When their name comes up on the list and other requirements have been met, they are immediately granted citizenship. If they desire other family members to legally immigrate, they can as citizens sponsor them under normal immigration rules. These include providing all financial support until they become self-sufficient, and they are not allowed welfare or social programs until they, too, become citizens.
Democrats argue these provisions are too harsh for those already here. In case Democrats and liberals are uninformed, the vast majority of these immigrants make extensive use of all our welfare and social programs. This is coupled with the expectation of a low-skilled, low paid job which appears to be nonexistent in the southern countries.
We have a serious problem with our federal budget and deficit. While it can make everyone feel good, granting these illegals the entire social and welfare benefits of our country ignores one question. That question in my view is, are they a liability to our economy or a benefit?
We must reduce social and welfare spending as part of getting control on our deficit. Most of these individuals lack education, English proficiency, and high-paying job skills.
Most families when they are confronted with a sharp cut in income make the necessary and harsh decisions on budget matters. For far too long, our politicians have kicked the can down the street rather than pick it up and resolve this problem.
Require those here illegally to pay the penalty for breaking our laws, and offer extensive education on our form of government and civics with restricted social and welfare benefits until they are granted full citizenship.