Immigration Boards

Hugh Hewitt, among others, has noted the great backlog of illegal aliens to be processed under the proposed McCain-Kennedy legislation. In his latest post, Mr. Hewitt lays out recommended amendments to the bill, ending with a solution for the workload:

If we put the right people in charge of the regularization process and empower them to make decisions on the spot, during the top level analysis of the vast majority of Z visa applications, a sizable portion of the initial workload would vanish.

Mr. Hewitt recommends drafting “the thousands of retired field officers [FSOs?] in this country” to process visa applications. I’ll go one further: how about citizen Immigration Boards, similar to draft boards?

  • Boards of 4-6 members, responsible for a county or part of a county.
  • Appointed by county sheriffs, say, and confirmed by states’ attorneys general.
  • Members must be U.S. citizens in good standing and must take an oath to judge each case impartially and equitably.
  • At least one member of each board must be fluent in a common language of immigrants – say, Spanish.

These Immigration Boards would give applicants one of three grades: Pass, Further Review, and Could Not Examine (the latter including immigrants who speak unusual languages).   Each board would have authority to determine an applicant’s fitness for a visa according to broad guidelines provided by DHS or another agency.  Further Review and Could Not Examine candidates would pass to State, DHS, or another agency.

Normalizing the status of the illegal aliens now in the country will require speedy action, tact, and common sense.  The men and women who lead each community’s businesses, churches, and schools are well equipped for the task.

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