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December 5, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Illegal immigrants ought to register

It appears that the majority of Americans do not favor granting amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants currently in our country. However, you can expect early action by the Obama administration in an effort to fast track the illegals toward U.S. citizenship. If it were to happen, the Democratic Party would gain a few million new members. Therefore, you can understand their strategy. For the past several years, neither party would face up to the problem of illegal immigration, for political reasons. As a result, it has created huge problems for our governmental agencies, our school system and our health organizations plus it has created serious security problems. But offering citizenship to people who entered our country illegally, for whatever the reason, is not a proper solution. It would be an award for doing something illegal.

So, why not give the illegal aliens up to six months to register with one of our government agencies or face arrest and deportation? Upon registering each person would be given a temporary work visa provided they have a confirmed place of employment and have no criminal record. The registration would include photographs, fingerprints and background information (education, place of birth, employment history, date of entry into the United States, etc).

The companies and individuals currently employing the illegals should be required to assist in getting such people in their employment registered or face legal action if they fail to do so. Let’s face it. If  people hadn’t hired the illegal immigrants in the first place, the problem wouldn’t exist. Just like our illegal drug problem. If people didn’t use illegal drugs, there would be no market for them and thus no problem.

Provisions could be made for those receiving temporary work visas to renew them for additional periods of time provided they are able to show proof of employment and had no record of any law violations. In order to gain U.S. citizenship, the documented workers would have to get in line with the other people seeking citizenship status. However, for the illegals that have been in the United States for a lengthy period of time and have integrated nicely into our society, maybe a fast track toward citizenship would be justified.

Joseph T. Hepp

Battle Creek, Mich.

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