Thompson immigration proposal
Fred Thompson has published at his website his program for dealing with illegal and legal immigration. In the illegal area, it calls for no amnesty, attrition to reduce steadily the number of illegals in the U.S., and much more stringent enforcement, including the bold step of withholding federal dollars from sanctuary cities. In the legal area, it does something unheard of, calling for the elimination of two major immigration categories: the diversity lottery, and the outside-the-quota visas for family members other than minor children. Now, if those two categories were cut, and other categories were not increased, the result would be a substantial decrease in legal immigration, something that the U.S. Congress has not effected since 1924. Strangely, however, Thompson refrains from saying that he aims at a decrease in legal immigration. At the same time, he speaks of refugee policy in terms that could be taken to imply a vast increase in the number of refugees. He says that “the United States [should remain] a beacon and a haven for persons fleeing political oppression.” Now maybe this was just a careless use of language, but under current U.S. law, generic conditions of lack of freedom or political oppression do not make a person a refugee. The U.S. grants asylum to persons who are outside their country of nationality and who cannot return due to a reasonable fear of persecution based on their ethnic, religious, or political affiliation or other factors. If all people living under political oppression were qualified to receive asylum in the U.S., then we must admit the entire population of China, most of the population of the Islamic world, and, for that matter, the entire population of the European Union, where expressing a true opinion about Islam or homosexuality gets you prosecuted for hate speech.
Also, the Thompson statement makes no mention of deportation of criminal aliens at the end of their prison term, something absolutely essential for the restoration of law and order in our society, and also is silent on ending birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens, under which countless masses of new “citizens” are being added to the U.S. population each year.
However, notwithstanding its shortcomings, Thompson’s proposal represents a promising departure from mainstream orthodoxy. It seems vastly better than what is being offered by any other candidate except for Tom Tancredo.