The need to bring illegal immigrants out of hiding and end the defacto amnesty that is the status quo is more important than ever in this post-9/11 era of terrorist threat. But this effort must never entail giving away citizenship to those who have broken our laws. Rather it should require those who voluntarily come forward to undertake the hard work of reparation and assimilation that we expect.
Legitimate status must be earned by paying stiff fines and back taxes, undergoing criminal and security checks, passing English and civics tests, remaining employed for six years before going to the back of the line to achieve legal permanent residence status, and adhering to other strict requirements.
Such a program is necessary if we are to protect our country from terrorism and crime by enabling the Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement to focus their resources more effectively where they are most needed, and that is on those who choose to remain hidden because they mean to do us harm.
For the full Union Leader.com piece on John McCain's statement on immigration click HERE.