Letter: One immigration idea can please all sides - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: One immigration idea can please all sides

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Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 3:10 pm

There has been much discussion over the years on immigration enforcement along our border with Mexico. The costs of enforcement are astronomical. According to estimates from the Department of Homeland Security, the costs per mile of fencing ranges from $3.8 million to $10 million per mile due to terrain. Putting more Border Patrol agents and utilizing National Guard resources is costly as well. The area that has been neglected the most, and costs the least, is immigration policy reform.

I have spoken with numerous people over the past year. I purposely reached out to people in our area across a wide spectrum of political beliefs from Libertarians and Tea Party folks to progressives and Green Party individuals. I understand on the Conservative side they want accountability, which I agree with. I also understand Liberals want a path to citizenship, which I also agree with. I say we can have both, and generate revenue for the states at the same time!

Here is my idea. For all those in this country who have not committed a felony, grant them citizenship. However, in exchange for citizenship, they will incur a 1 percent increase in their federal income taxes for a period of five years. This 1 percent will then go directly to the state’s general fund for which the immigrants claim residency. It is not amnesty. Amnesty is something for nothing. This is something for a price. Those that sign up for this program would not receive any federal benefits until after the five-year period.

Robert Leach

Sierra Vista, AZ

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