Legalize immigrants — but not to vote.

Cliff Slater (photo by Mel Ah Ching)
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Cliff Slater (photo by Mel Ah Ching)

By Cliff Slater – A major example of gridlock in Washington at the moment is the question of what to do about the 10-12 million immigrants who have entered the country illegally. Successive Congresses and Administrations have dodged this issue for the last 40 years.

For the most part these people are hard-working, law-abiding, and paying taxes and there is no practical way to send these folks home without damaging the U.S. economy. For example, one only has to contemplate what would happen to the U.S. restaurant industry were all illegal Latin American employees to leave.


The real impasse is that given the vote, the immigrants who are in the country illegally will almost certainly vote overwhelmingly for Democrats like their countrymen who are here legally. In fact, some on the right have referred to the illegals as “undocumented Democrats.”

The Republicans would commit political suicide if they agree to give them the vote and politicians are not known for doing so willingly. On the other hand, Democrats are enjoying building support among the Latino community during the gridlock by supporting illegals wish for full citizenship and would only benefit more were the illegals be given the vote.

For the most part, American citizens do not believe we should give illegal immigrants priority over those who are waiting in line in their home country to be legal immigrants; giving them citizenship would only encourage other people to enter the country illegally.

However, as a one-time event, we should consider giving illegal, but otherwise law-abiding, residents a new class of legal residency that would allow them to stay in the country with all the rights of “green card” holders, but one that would not lead to citizenship and voting.

At the same time, they could apply to the U.S. State Department in their home country for regular immigration status, just like those who come here legally. That process could lead to citizenship and voting rights.  It would give illegals a place in the queue along with all other peoples wishing to enter the U.S., but not give them priority over the other applicants. We also need to clarify that for U.S. born children to be citizens, they must have at least one parent who is either a U.S. citizen or a “green card” holder.

At the same time we should change our thinking about entry for the very desirable immigrants such as those with skills that are badly needed in the U.S.

You may reside in the U.S. legally with an E-2 visa if you have at least $50,000 of your own money and wish to start a business and the Immigration & Naturalization Service finds you qualified. You may get an EB-5 visa if you have $500,000. This visa has more rigid criteria than the E-2 but can lead to a “green card” and permanent residency, citizenship and voting.

On the other hand, most foreign STEM graduates (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) of U.S. universities fail to gain an immigrant visa after graduation. One would think that someone who has completed a doctorate in. say, computer science, would be an invaluable addition to the nation’s arsenal of scientists and worth at least the $500,000 that an EB-5 requires.

This is especially important since recently the Congressional Research Service concluded that, “A broad consensus of business, academic, and policy leaders warn that the United States is on the verge of STEM workforce shortages, which will diminish U.S. global economic competitiveness.”

Cliff Slater is a legal immigrant and was formerly a regular columnist for the Honolulu Advertiser.


Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees. Congressional Research Service. 2012.

E-2 visa helps many non-U.S. citizens start small firms. Los Angeles Times. May 16, 2011.





  1. Bad assumption, most immigrants work hard and several jobs wondering where the next meal will come from and come from very conservative leaning like GOP not Dems. They are more concern about where to find work and feed their families and do not have time or luxury to delve in Politics. If amnesty was able to drive them to vote for a US president if they ever get the chance to vote in US, they would overwhelming vote for GOP since the ultra conservative Republican President Ronald Reagan, who by doing so provided a source of cheap labor in the US and forstalled for many years having to move profit driven US companies and factories and all the US jobs for US citizens south of the border or to Asia.

  2. They would overwhelmingly vote GOP if legalized?? Are you crazy? Reagan, GHW Bush, GW Bush, and now Romney, have had an ever decreasing vote demographic from the Hispanic community. If 11 million illegals were to be granted Amnesty, it would be a permanent voting block for the Democrats, who will promise more free kine stuffs in exchange for a vote. This is how our debt is surpassing our GDP at an alarming rate. Inflation is bound to occur, and bread could become $250 dollars a loaf like it did in Weimer Republic Germany.

    • You, and my favorite blond, Coulter nailed it.
      Perhaps we should extend the same laws applying to legal immigrants as they have in Mexico.
      Expats have told me they are unable to vote, fly a flag, buy beach property, and have wealth so as not to burden Mexico's welfare system.

  3. need a guest worker program.and what will the GOP do to win over new immigrants?pander them with republican gov't. programs? more gov't. intervention to compete with democrats for immigrant votes? i think that sooner or later we should view these immigrants as unique free individuals,people having unique values and work ethics,etc. contributing thru voluntary excanges to make our country prosperous.keep things politically neutral for all immigrants and they will decide by themselves how they may participate.politically.

    • Shaft, we had a guest worker program.
      The Bracero program 1942 to 1965.
      And for those who say we cant deport, Eisenhower deported over a million in "operation wetback," I think it was in 1954.

  4. ABP has hosted journalists from Japan – see this and this. Germany, and see this. Switzerland and see this..Investigative Reporters have arrived from France, England, and the Times of London and many others. An Italian crew visited us on Oct. 30 and a Swiss crew will be here on Dec. 6 (not their first visit). In the past six years we have been visited by only one major TV U.S. news outlet — CNN. Its 5900 Miles vs. 1900 Miles. Japan and Europe are both about 6,000 miles from ABP; Fox is only 2,000 miles away – yet we have had at least ten visits from the former and none from the later.
    Fox News knows that American Border Patrol can shed light on the border issue as no other organization can – but it refuses to even mention us. The only conclusion I can draw is that Fox News doesn't want its viewers to know the truth about the border and how serious the problem truly is. Is Fox News "Fair and Balanced"? No it isn't. Contact Fox News and give 'em hell for letting Obama win the election. Is it a possibility that Fox News has annulled this matter because they have just started a new TV cable broadcast aimed at the huge minority population, in their own language”?

    Anybody who was around in 1986 saw the approval of the late President Reagan’s, who signed this immigration amnesty law (IRCA). It was for all intents and purposes one big rip off. It was never meant to succeed, as the shadow government, so to speak was rejected by the business community and they are the ones who pay big dollars in campaign contributions and other entities that use cheap labor. Whether it’s Fox News or any other media, unions, faith and religion, radical ethnic groups as at the bottom of the corruption barrel it all about money and corruption. It starts at the very top of the political ladder in Washington and eventually infests every Legislative commission down to the underlings. It’s shameless that very upright, honest lawmakers fall to the favors to the “K Street” lobbyists and we the “Stupid and educated about government and policy” fall foul to the wealthy jerks in Washington.

    Attrition through Enforcement requires not only implementing policies to force illegal’s to self-deport themselves, but also avoiding policies that would trigger more illegal immigration as is being drafted now by the GANG OF EIGHT.

    The viewpoint of continuing mass immigration and speeding toward a population of 445 to 462 million in 2050 that is accelerating at a rate amplified by an amnesty/guest worker plan and adding a further 38 to 55 million residents; is one that should be at the top of the agenda of every group, every man/women in the country that is disturbed about the impact of population on the environment, economy and our society.

    The average American has so many monetary and other physical problems within his home environment that politics is the last thing he needs to worry about? But then the politicians know this and engineer many laws, without us even knowing; all the time counting their special privileges, their huge retirement pensions and first class health care. Unless Americans take a few essential minutes to contact Washington, we will be weighed down with another couple of trillion dollars in taxes, to support a new comprehensive immigration reform policy. AND THAT”S NOT COUNTING THE NEXT GENERATION WAVE OF ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO ARE SURE TO TURN UP, LOOKING FOR THE NEXT WELFARE HANDOUTS AND A THIRD GIANT AMNESTY REWARD. Why we are sitting back relying on Congress to do the right thing for all of us, all the open border entities are not sitting on their hands. They are out there now backed by the Liberal Progressives and pro illegal immigrant groups raging around the country, demanding their civil rights. GET IT!

    Call Washington, Call Phoenix, call every federal and State Senator, call every local representative and fight back. Perhaps you are going to have a nasty taste in your mouth, because time is of the essence as President Obama is determined to pass some kind of Comprehensive Reform package this APRIL, which the taxpayer will be forced to pay for. Fight for America now, fight against overpopulation, fight to reduce taxes that are used to supplement foreign nationals, fight to make English the only language, fight to stop the travesty of illegal alien children crowding our schools, specifically in the border states, fight for the U.S. constitution that is being bypassed by the President Obama Liberal progressives and socialist agendas, Call your politicians in Washington and at state level and demand they listen to its citizens and legal residents. That number is (202) 224-3121, for the Central Washington switchboard. When there are 23 million American jobless, while millions of illegal aliens are hired then we must speak up. You can also petition your local, state and federal Representative at the NumbersUSA website.

  5. Los Angeles Times — March 10

    Is the border secure?

    Homeland Security officials express frustration at what they consider unrealistic expectations. Because accurate measurement of migrant traffic has always been elusive (how can migrants be counted if they're not caught?), security levels will always be open to interpretation. The standards demanded by some lawmakers are unattainable, no matter the investment. "Even the heaviest concentration of fencing, all-weather roads, 24-hour lighting, surveillance systems and Border Patrol agents cannot seal the border completely," U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher recently told Congress.

    The Times says migrants can't be counted unless they're caught. What nonsense! American Border Patrol has demonstrated a simple way to do just that using proven oil exploration technology (THE SONIC BARRIER). Heaven forbid that someone might come down to our ranch and see if this really works! (Heaven hasn't forbidden it — but media moguls have.) And good 'ole Chief Michael Fisher makes perfect enemy of the good. How about cutting the flow down to 20,000 illegals per year?

    Glenn Spencer — American Border Patrol, says, “America is in trouble because our media practice thought control — not journalism. (There is a surprise brewing for them, however.) We have a serious problem on our border with Mexico. There is explosive evidence reported by American Border Patrol that Barack Obama's new amnesty program exacerbated the problem. The border was being overrun. It should have been a major campaign issue, but it wasn't because the mainstream media ignored it, including — and especially — Fox News. Does American Border Patrol have credibility?

    American Border Patrol has been working the border problem for ten years. Of all the non-profits dealing with the immigration issue, ABP receives more donations from individuals than any other. We are the people's choice. News Organizations Worldwide Look to ABP!


    Doesn't it seem strange to the reader that little is known about the border innovation, called IDENTISEIS (AKA the Sonic Barrier) shown at El Paso meeting? The new technology, called IDENTISEIS, was displayed by its creator, Border Technology, Inc. of Hereford, Arizona. "This system provides a seamless method of detecting and identifying anyone or anything that tries to cross the border," said Mike King of Border Technology. This was the largest growing event for discussions on effective practices and technologies needed to ensure our borders are safe from recent security threats." King says those expressing an interest in the system included persons concerned with international border security, such as a representative of the United Nations, who said he saw real value in IDENTISEIS as a means of protecting emerging nations. "The response to IDENTISIES was overwhelmingly positive," King said. The U.S. Border Patrol uses ground sensors, but they are used as individual unconnected units with a range of about 30 feet and need batteries to operate. According to King, the Sonic Barrier is powered by solar panels and needs no outside source of power. With a detection range of more than 300 feet, and with continuous coverage, on the ground and in the air, the Sonic Barrier is much superior to conventional sensors used by the Border Patrol.

    Home land Security is deceiving the public, and intentionally never shows the fence outside of heavily populated areas. This is generally what the U.S. Border Patrol agents are ordered to show, which is the great ranging 15 to 20 foot impressive wall rising up of steel and concrete; not the “Nothingness” just outside the big communities. Were any of us aware that only around 5% of former President Bush 2006 Secure Fence Act was actually constructed? We spend hundreds of billions of dollars on illegal alien children's welfare, once they are smuggled into America and the Mother keeps conceiving multiple births, so regardless of her immigration status, she is unlikely to be deported. Then the rest of the family stealthily moves in to the house, approved by our government because her children have become instant citizens. This is a mockery of the 14th amendment, as it only meant for the descendants of slaves after the 19th century emancipation declaration. Even so those we elect are selling us down the road, when they could amend the BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP ACT.

    Is anybody willing to guess who pays for the millions of instant citizenship babies here; the hospital delivery, the education, the medical care and all the extra benefits, including the average cash payment of $600.00 for each child? Do the simple arithmetic for an average of 3 children? $1800.00 is not a bad amount of money, when you have never paid into citizen entitlements. When many nations of determined to change their Birthright Citizenship law, Americans political corruption has remained dormant instead of also rescinding this law. One other direction to stop the illegal immigration invasion is THE SAVE ACT, (H.R.830) So far it’s not getting much publicity, as the Liberal press insures it stays in the dark and doesn't get to seen on any scale by the American Public. The Save Act law has a provision of the E-Verify program amongst other strong enforcement, which identifies illegal alien workers through such new tools as the state Department of Motor vehicles.

  7. Extending the vote to brown people will obviously cause a problem like brown people getting elected. Look what happened when black people were allowed to vote. While we are at it lets take the vote away from women too. If women were not allowed to vote abortion would not be legal.

    The great American dream is for white males, just look at the founding fathers. If America is ever to be great again, we cannot extend citizenship to non-whites. Non-whites tend to be too liberal for the taste to real Americans.

    White might is right!

  8. I don't think they will be given the right to vote any time soon, although I must say I think they are entitled to it. The consequences for the republicans would be too big…so they will keep this from happening.

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