"By way of reforming the system for those who immigrate legally -- increase the allotment of green cards and work visas, including H1B visas for highly skilled workers; triple the number of legal immigrants currently admitted from 1 million to 3 million, or 1 percent of the total U.S. population; abandon the current system of using family reunification as the main criteria for admitting new immigrants but don't adopt the silly and offensive idea of a point system that rewards education and skills; instead, let the market drive the process by making labor demands the major criteria so (how's this for radical?) we always have jobs for those who come here instead of admitting engineers and doctors if what we really need are teachers and nurses."
Where Navarrette goes astray here is in the tripling of the number of legal immigrants admitted each year. Instead we should reduce the level to a total of 200,000 per year for all categories except tourists and students. There is nothing silly or offensive about rewarding education and skills, including English language skills, if these rewards are additionally tied to legitimate labor demands demonstrated by evidence of full employment of citizen in each labor category. I agree family reunification should not be a criterion for admission. Families should apply as a unit rather than piecemeal under a reunification provision.
The legitimate labor demand should not be based on what employers want but rather what our country needs. For example, a case cannot be made for admitting foreign athletes except on a quid pro quo basis.
Navarrette avoids the question of birthright citizenship. This is too important to be overlooked in any immigration reform proposal. Admittedly, there are problems in devising an enlightened policy in this area because children who are born here and who have spent their entire lives here would be foreigners in some sense in the homelands of their parents. Yet, their parents were foreigners when they came here illegally so that obviously is not as big a test as one might imagine. A moderate position on this issue would suggest that to be considered for birthright citizenship a child should have at least one parent who is here legally. Those who do not may appeal for the award of citizenship at age 18 provided they agree to enlist in the armed forces for not less than four years.
In general, pregnant women should be inadmissible as migrant workers and must return to their homelands if they become pregnant while working in the U.S..