- - Friday, May 2, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There might not be much to like about the state of U.S. immigration policy, but it is something that needs to be addressed sensibly. If it isn’t, the radical among us (including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush) will attempt to do it for us.

The Republican Party needs to run ads on TV, radio and via email inviting illegals and all other noncitizens to join us in citizenship. First, we should require potential citizens to take a test that will help determine whether they really wish to become Americans. Positive test results would entitle them to a certificate identifying them as qualified. They would also be issued a card similar to the Social Security card.

Second, all prospective citizens must learn English, study the Constitution and be prepared to take the test to become legal citizens. While they wait for legal status, they must adhere to all our laws and act the part of good citizens. They must have legal jobs with sponsors and pay all applicable taxes, both state and federal. They will not be able to vote until they have been declared legally American.

If we institute and enforce these rules, illegals will no longer have to live in the shadows and be fearful of deportation — as long as they follow the rules. The fact that illegal immigrants could live openly among us as they await legal status would go a long way to solve this problem once and for all. However, those who choose not to become citizens should be handled differently; namely, with deportation.

If the Republicans are smart, they will heed the necessity of doing this rather than ignore the problem or let the Democrats find a “solution.” If not, the Democrats could make the Republicans a party of the past.

MARY L. ROSE

Great Mills, Md.

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