Photo of the gang of eight, make them sponsors
There’s a terrific way to solve the developing kerfuffle over a new Immigration Reform Bill. Allow all those in favor of “bringing illegal immigrants out of the shadows” before the border has been certified as secure, to sponsor some of those folks. Pass a law granting men and women advocating sponsorship a specific waiver. Let’s encourage lawmakers, especially the “Gang of Eight” to lead the way.
What undocumented newcomer wouldn’t leap from the darkness to embrace high profiled patrons such as Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Joe Biden, or even Barack and Michelle Obama. Supportive congressmen, along with members of their staffs, extended families, and political allies could blaze an unprecedented trail of good will here. It would be an opportunity to lead by example and show genuine confidence in those for whom they so boldly advocate. Write carve outs in a law that allow non employers and non family members (see optimistic do-gooders above) to file a I-864, Affidavit of Support, in the name of some very lucky illegal aliens.
If enough of our D.C. leaders, and their millions of followers, adopt this generous approach, the fears of many skeptics might well be put to rest. Worries that people embarking on a “pathway to citizenship” may be unable to pull their fiscal weight could be virtually eliminated if they were sponsored through an Affidavit of Support. That way the sponsor accepts legal responsibility for financially supporting his/her immigrant. The commitment continues until the newbie either becomes a U.S. citizen, works for roughly 10 years, leaves the country, or dies. The idea is to encourage foreigners to become productive, self sufficient, contributors to our society….while staying off the public dole. The law, however, puts the burden of their failure heavily on those who willingly signed on as guarantors.
A sponsor could pay a very high price for an underperforming alien. The benefactor’s income and assets could be considered available to that person for the purposes of disqualifying them for Federal or State means-tested public benefits. In other words, the patron’s money and property will be tapped if needed to keep his/her charge from collecting perks from the local or national treasuries. If the promoter fails to provide sufficient support he/she/they can be sued by the alien. If the immigrant receives “means-tested public benefits” the sponsor is responsible for repaying the cost to the agency that provided them. If repayment isn’t made, the bureau can sue, and collect the dough along with any costs of collection, including attorney fees.
Imagine how attitudes would change if we had political leaders inside the Beltway bold enough to genuinely demonstrate their faith in all these people “in the shadows” by personally inviting them into the sunlight through a I-864, Affidavit of Support. The pols should vote tomorrow to give themselves, and anyone who thinks securing the border should come “next”, a waiver. If they’re so damned sure of the good intentions of 11million undocumented aliens they should start filling out a pile of those 9 page affidavits to prove it.