immigration documents

Can there be meaningful immigration reform without citizenship?

For many on yesterday’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) panel, the answer seemed to be no. But Heritage’s Derrick Morgan spoke eloquently about supporting immigration for our country while upholding the rule of law and America’s tough but fair naturalization process.

Here are other bold ideas from the immigration panel:

1) Enforce Current Immigration Laws

Often missed in the immigration debate is that we simply need to enforce our current immigration laws. It is misguided to instinctively think that a legislative fix is necessary. As Heritage’s David Inserra reminds us in a recent post, “Under President Obama, federal immigration agencies are hamstrung, permitted to enforce only certain laws on certain people in certain conditions.” If the American people have a tough time trusting Washington on anything, this is further evidence that those worries are well founded.

2) Red Card Solution

A true guest worker program is market-driven and “must be truly temporary and protect taxpayers.” Panelist Helen Krieble of the Krieble Foundation effectively articulated a plan titled the “Red Card Solution” that wouldItgives anybody who is working in the U.S. illegally and has never committed a crime an opportunity to leave the borders, go through the process, and come back legally in one week.”

A guest worker program, however, does not need to include cronyism and corporate favoritism like last year’s Senate immigration bill (S. 744), which included a provision for ski and snowboard instructors.

3) Avoid the Rushed, Obamacare-Style “Comprehensive” Bill

Liberal New York Senator Chuck Schumer recently stated that he would work with whatever the House of Representatives can pass. The thinking, Heritage’s Morgan pointed out, is that Schumer will then take the House bill and combine it with the Senate immigration bill to get an end product of a 1,000-page-plus comprehensive immigration bill. As we are finding out through the Obamacare train wreck, our country is not served well when special interests get to write lengthy bills behind closed doors.

4) Rule of Law Matters

Morgan reminded the audience that America’s naturalization test includes a question asking: “What is the rule of law?” According to our own government’s response to this question, the rule of law means that “Everyone must follow the law; leaders must obey the law; government must obey the law, and no one is above the law.”

As such, Morgan asked, “How can we grant amnesty, pass laws we know the President will ignore, then ask immigrants to answer that question?”

It’s a great question that most certainly deserves a response from President Obama and liberals in Congress.