Listening to Sen. Durbin (D-IL) during the Supreme Court hearings, he just can’t help himself. He focuses on Second Amendment issues partly because of the high homicide rate in Chicago, a city in the state that he represents.
Sen. Durbin kept saying people are buying AK-47s at gun shows. His ignorance on gun purchasing laws never subsides. He focuses on the emotional side that Democrats and the media love to do by using the prop of a well known gun, the AK-47. That gun has full automatic-fire capability. Guns that have that capability can be purchased only by people who pay a fee of $200 (per gun), get finger printed and undergo an extensive background check. It can take nine to 12 months to get Federal BATF approval and issue the license and paperwork. In some states, fully automatic weapons are illegal, regardless of whether you are licensed by the federal government. You must check with your state authorities before bothering with the federal process.
“Gang bangers and thugs (as Sen. Durbin said in the hearings Tuesday) are buying AK-47s in Indiana and taking them to Chicago to kill people.” That is an intentional distortion to continue to drum up support for his cherished gun control desires.
It is intentional that Sen. Durbin and other Democrats continue to say AK-47 instead of the semi-automatic version of the rifle known as the SKS, which is easily legal to own. They work to focus on the emotional instead of applying intellect. AK-47s are not sold at gun shows where people can pay for the gun and walk away with it. Anyone caught selling AK-47 guns in those circumstances at a gun show will be put in jail.
It is sad that some senators pontificate at these hearing to advance their own partisan, activist agendas, knowing people are watching and hoping the senator’s message recruits believers.
Tom Acheson, Maplewood
An immigration idea
As someone who saw the Statue of Liberty from the deck of an ocean liner full of Displaced Persons (RMS Franconia, March 1955) I think I may have some insight into this present situation.
Many of the passengers on that ship had been waiting since the end of WWII, others were the second-string relations of those who had come before. Everybody had a sponsor: a family, a church, or a civic group. These sponsors were vetted and understood their obligations. If the person you sponsored somehow failed, their sponsor was responsible for them, and obliged to repay the government for any costs created by their problems.
Why not establish 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week reception centers in every major city in every state. These could be in underutilized existing government properties, and staffed by retired military or civil servants who have been vetted and because they are government-retired they would have their existing health care and retirement coverage. They would interview and process the applicants and collect and record the fees (It seems that according to reports that most of the present undocumented, spend $5,000 to $10,000 to make the journey to the US.) A $1,500 registration and processing fee would be required and would not be much more than many undocumented already spend just trying to avoid deportation.
With an estimated 5 million to15 million undocumented persons, this creates a “wall” that collects the monies required to maintain it. After a couple of years, to clear the backlogs, the system could be reduced and consolidated where practical.
Anyone could come in and register (documented or undocumented) but they would have to have established a relationship with their potential sponsor or sponsors. Corporations could sponsor workers, as could unions and small businesses. Sponsors would have to post a surety bond and would lose the money if they or their guest worker violated the rules of the agreement.
Becoming a registered guest worker would not lead to citizenship, and would require renewal every couple of years when you would return to the place you were inducted and your documentation would be cross checked. (Your previous year’s tax return and bio-metrics, retina, and DNA samples). You could change sponsors at this time or relocate to a reception center closer to where you live and work. If you wished to become a U.S. citizen or a legal alien, after five years, then you would have to return to your homeland, begin the paperwork and go through the existing process. During this time you could return and work in the U.S. but if your application is rejected you would have to wait to reapply .Conviction of a felony, and or a recorded history of failure to comply with the requirements of your stay could mean ineligibility to remain in the U.S.
This process would have to be tied in with a very thorough workplace scrutiny of all employees and very stiff fines for any employers found in violation ($10,000 per undocumented worker?). Children born here would be citizens and could in their maturity become the sponsors of their parents as could any U.S. citizen who marries a guest worker. If the parent has to return to their home country they could and might take their U.S. citizen children with them and upon the child’s maturity the now-grown child could return to the U.S. and if this child or children wished, become sponsors of their parents.
The technology to authenticate applicants exists and is continually being upgraded, and while it would be costly, as would the initiation of this infrastructure, with potentially 1.5 million users all paying for the privilege of applying, it would turn out more cost effective than a physical barrier and provide the United States with the needed manpower and some control over the future for all who choose to live here
Tom Dunne, St. Paul
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