Sunday, March 19, 2017

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.


Jim Simpson
Seattle, WA

PS – Keep up the good work.

* (Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 , S. 744)

4 thoughts on “Immigration”

  1. Like this, Jim, as I do everything you write. What you share is not only interesting, but rife with truth.

    I don’t know the contents of the Bill you reference, from 2013, and I am curious how it addressees an elderly “honorary citizen’s” access to health care, and other “safety net” social services. I would hope that eligibility for services would be part of this honorary citizenship, and social security too, based upon contributions to the system(s), and taxes paid, just as with full citizens.

    Of course, these programs are currently at risk for all of us, and that, Sir, is another tragic story altogether.

  2. Great idea, Jim. Thanks for your example and thoughtful words.
    On a snarky note, your decedents in MN may be in danger now that you exposed their illegal status!
    You have inspired me to write me letters to my representatives.

  3. Yes, I appreciate, always Jim, the way you think things through in constructive and meaningful ways. This is a great example of positing a new and potentially very beneficial middle ground in dealing with a complex dilemma. Thank you!
    Terry Teigen

  4. Jim, I can only hope that sanity prevails and your well reasoned suggestion gets some consideration (to include Jim Richards concerns as well). Sadly my limited experience with elected officials does not inspire confidence but I’m still working with a team to change the name of our glorious bridge that spans the Savannah River. Removing Eugene Talmadge, the notorious white supremacist, from that landmark feature is an uphill battle unfortunately, but worth another effort. The current political climate has motivated a whole host of both men and women on Skidaway Island to organize in an effort to have liberal, progressive points of view heard on bills now being debated in GA’s state legislature. So, with so much to weigh in on, it is a relief to read their letters, know they are calling our representatives – they’ve got my back, “I don’t have to do it all”!! It’s nice to know you are out there weighing in too!!! Thanks. xo

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