Navarrette's second proposal: "By way of legalizing the undocumented -- make it contingent on meeting enforcement goals, or "triggers"; establish a cutoff so that only those who can prove that they've been in the country for five years or more are eligible to apply for legal status and deport more recent arrivals; require applicants to learn English, pay a $5,000 fine, undergo criminal background checks, return to their home country to be processed, and take their place in the back of the line behind all those who are trying to enter the country legally; and, for those who are eventually given legal status, institute a lifetime ban on receiving welfare, Medicaid or food stamps but allow them to collect what they've contributed to Social Security."
This is a reasonable proposal. However, requiring applicants to learn English may be unenforceable so, instead, he should endorse the idea of English as our national language and official language to be used for all government proceedings and publications at all levels of government, with an interpreter to be provided only for those who cannot afford one. A health exam would also be a useful tool to assure those considered for legalization do not have conditions inimical to the public health. The $5,000 fine should be deducted from the applicant's social security account before they are allowed to collect what they have contributed. Employers who wish to support the applications of illegal aliens should be required to present evidence that they have provided full family health care insurance and that they are paying the applicants at the same rate as they pay citizen workers in the same types of jobs with the same levels of experience.