RE: Immigration Reform
Dear Senators Murray and Cantwell,
Please work with one or more of your fellow Republican Senators McCain, Graham, Rubio, and/or Flake to reintroduce the 2013 Immigration Bill* with ONE MAJOR CHANGE: Replace a “Path to Citizenship” with a “Path to Honorary Citizenship.”
My great-grandfather James Alexander Simpson entered the US from Ontario, Canada around 1900 with neither documentation nor permission. He and an uncle crossed the border with a cow and walked to Minnesota where they settled. He never became a citizen, nor did he vote in the US. However, he married, raised a family, started several small businesses, and contributed significantly to the communities he lived in.
Great grandpa’s direct descendants represent a cross-section of Americans including teachers, farmers, preachers, doctors, professors, business persons, tradesmen, sales persons, soldiers, and Marines.
To my knowledge my great-grandpa was never in any trouble with the law and was a contributing member of our society throughout his life. Likewise I know of none of his direct descendants who have ever been in serious trouble with the law. America is a better country because he came, and was allowed to stay and raise a family.
Great Grandpa Simpson did not need to have citizenship to leave a positive legacy in this country.
Likewise, the first generation of today’s undocumented immigrants can leave similar legacies without actually becoming citizens themselves.
I recommend issuing those granted permanent residency with an opportunity to apply for an honorary citizenship upon reaching age 65.
This would require that they meet reasonable criteria like those described in the 2013 Immigration Bill. Otherwise law abiding undocumented immigrants don’t need to vote, they do need an assurance that they can keep their families together.
My understanding is that it was primarily the “path to citizenship” component that killed what otherwise was a workable and fair bi-partisan legislative solution to our broken immigration system.
Please reach across the aisle and work with one or more of your Republican colleagues who you think might be receptive to this idea.
It is even possible that President Trump and Speaker of the House Ryan might be receptive to this kind of solution/compromise. They may well listen if a bi-partisan group of Senators present them with a solution that provides for border security, grows the economy, preserves the order of law, and treats law-abiding immigrants with respect, dignity, and kindness.
Thank you for your consideration of this idea.
PS – Keep up the good work.
* (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 , S. 744)