Rep. Matt Salmon on immigration reform – ‘no citizenship for you!’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

At least one editor of The Arizona Republic appears to be OK with the Republican National Committee (RNC) position of "no citizenship for you!" in immigration reform. The Republic editorials have previously been supportive of the "Gang of Eight" comprehensive immigration reform bill sponsored by Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

Joanna Allhands, writes Does Salmon have the right immigration answer?

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the immigration reforms most
likely to pass the U.S. House won’t involve a path to citizenship for
adults. Too many in the GOP simply won’t go for it.

But can reform still be meaningful without that piece?

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, one of the Republicans who remains against the
path to citizenship, is pressing to grant undocumented adults a type of
provisional status that they can renew every few years
. It would allow
them to get driver’s licenses and work here legally as long as they are
employed and don’t break the law. But it would just be that: presence,
not belonging
.

When asked Wednesday during a meeting with The Republic‘s
editorial board if such a status would create a second class of
citizens, Salmon answered with a question: “Well, what are they now? …
They’re not really anything.”

Offering legal presence, he said, at least moves the ball up the field.

Salmon would make other changes. He’d vastly raise the caps on visas
for foreign workers and supports a faster, merit-based immigration
system. [H1-B visas for specialty occupations.] It shouldn’t matter where you’re from, he says, but what skills
you bring to the table. And it shouldn’t take anyone years to get here.

He’s also open to a path to citizenship for “dreamers,” because he
says they aren’t culpable for breaking the law, but he wants better
defined goals and metrics for border security first. [A moving target that will never be met, making citizenship an illusory promise.] Let’s not just
throw money at the problem, he says.

Give Salmon props: He has met with people on all sides of the issue
and has clearly given this some thought. I agree with a lot of what he
proposes — or, at least, I could live with it.

How mighty white of you. I'll bet your colleague Linda Valdez has some choice words for you (probably not fit to print in a family newspaper). Allhands attempts to redeeem herself, however:

Still, I can’t help but come back to that initial question: If adults
don’t get a path to citizenship, even a long and arduous one, will we
be back in another 10 years trying to fix the inequities we created by
allowing people to exist but not belong?

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., explains his approach to immigration
reform, including better border-security metrics and a much larger
guest-worker program. (Video) Salmon: Don't just throw cash at border.

Comments are closed.