The first time I cared about politics was American History my junior year of high school. The year was 2000 and a historical election was about to take place. My teacher split our classroom into two groups. One to represent George W. Bush and another to represent Al Gore. We were each to study our candidate’s campaign and ultimately, participate in a debate in front of maybe 100 grade schoolers from the area.

The catch was, when we debated, the students would not know which team represented which candidate. We were to debate the issues without the label of the candidate’s name…then the students would vote at the end of the debate.

My group represented George W. Bush and I was somehow selected to be the group’s representative in the debate. My group helped prepare me to debate the issues, then it was up to me at the debate to properly represent them. Until that moment, I had never considered any political issue from a why standpoint. My beliefs at the ripe old age of 16 were a product of my upbringing through my parents’ beliefs and my Christian education.

We were given a list of topics that we could be questioned on–education, foreign policy, abortion, gay rights, taxation, defense, and more I’m sure. The exercise required me to systematically study why a conservative would think a certain way on each of these issues. It wasn’t enough for me to be pro-life. I had to be readily equipped to explain the why behind the decision to be pro-life.

Such a valuable exercise.

I wrote earlier about the 2016 conservative and explained how I feel we need to get back to the root of conservatism. It’s important that we worry less about striking back at the far left with the full force of the far right, and more about realigning the country with the original intentions of the Constitution. That can be achieved without flamboyance and anger, which I feel will surely result in a pendulum swing in the other direction…each time further to the left and back further to the right.

Take for instance the most pressing issue of this election cycle on the GOP side: illegal immigration. Without studying the issue, it’s easy (too easy) to robotically say that the conservative stance is to be anti-illegal immigration, anti-amnesty, anti-anchor baby, etc.

See that there?

Which words pop out immediately for you?

Amnesty. Anchor baby. Illegal.

These are politically charged words that immediately snap politically invested minds to the right or the left. No thought process required. As if marching orders have been issued. And none of those words offer solution to a real problem. They exist solely so that the receiver of the message can immediately align himself with a predetermined position.

But reverting back to junior American History…what is the conservative viewpoint…and most importantly, why?

The issue of illegal immigration is layer upon layer of complicated, and that is before you add in the political buzzwords that discourage an individual from cognitive thinking.

The conservative viewpoint has to be derived from a place of a conservation of power given to the people and withheld from the government. The reason so many conservatives are involuntarily charged with dissonance at the sound of the words amnesty, anchor baby, and illegal is a result of what they should truly be opposed to…not the actual problem.

Conservatives desire a society and economy where the government gets out of the way to allow for individual success, however minor or great that success may be. The progressives in leadership have seized the opportunity with illegal immigration to pour more of their truly socialist ideals into our society. They’ve created programs and systems that entrap the poor into a cycle of dependence with an impossible promise of something better on the other side. But a cycle doesn’t have sides, it just repeats.

They’ve made immigration about supporting a People. The same progressive principle that has been applied to our lower class societies, regardless of race, has been applied to these immigrants…who happen to have come here illegally. They call them “Dreamers” for heaven’s sake.

HOW CAN YOU BE AGAINST A DREAMER?

Just as they have conned the impoverished within our country to believe that the progressive agenda is one that fights for those suffering “income inequality,” they are attempting to woo the immigrant culture into a false sense of security under the wing of the progressive party. Yet any discerning individual can see that the entitlement system within our country is set up to secure those individuals in their poverty (as well as their votes). A guaranteed check as long as you limit your circumstances and fortunes to where you currently are.

That’s imprisonment.

I contend that this calculated, manipulated, near devious strategy from the progressive left has caused the conservative right to miss the point entirely. Conservatives cannot deny that we have a poverty problem in this country. They can also not deny that the gross negligence of the United States government has permitted…no…enticed these people across the southern border with promises of fulfilling a dream. Dreamers!

I have a husband, a six-year-old, a three-and-a-half-year old, and one coming in May. If I lived daily in fear for the lives of my family or myself, damn right I’d cross that border. I’d risk it all. There’s no one there to even stop me!

To my point.

The truly conservative stance on this first class government-caused debacle is to close the border and stop the provisions. It is not, as the progressive left relishes to hear from the right, to hate the immigrants who have come here. We are guilty, as a nation, as a government, as a People, for the negligence that has caused this problem.

How do you fix it? I’m glad you asked.

  • Close the freaking border. Shia?

  • Require all immigrants who are here illegally to self-report into a database. Give them 90 days to do so.
  • Been here less than 5 years? Deported.
  • Failing to self-report? Deported.
  • Anyone who self-reports and has a criminal record worse than a speeding ticket? Deported.
  • Require payment of a penalty or payment of back taxes to maintain a current status
  • Require reported income and payment of taxes
  • Ten years following full securing of the border, anyone complying with all of the above can then apply for citizenship within the parameters set up by our country already.
  • OR, they can leave now and start the process on their own the way that it is intended.

America has always loved a comeback story. She has always been quick to forgive a contrite heart. What conservative doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned, pick-myself-up-by-the-bootstraps, make-it-right-again story?

Robert Downey, Jr.? Johnny Cash? Heck, Britney Spears?

When the celebrity makes (a series of) poor decisions and rebounds, we welcome them with open arms. We cheer for them!

I don’t think that the act of coming to this country across an unattended border is an unforgivable sin. A sin? Yes. But not one that trumps all others.

IF an illegal immigrant’s only crime against this country is how they came here. IF they contribute to our society, provide for their family, and obey the laws of the land once they’re here…I think there is a forgiveness that can be extended. Not without consequence. Not without an understanding of what is the American Dream.

To strive for independence through success.

Do not come here for a hand out. Do not stay here for a hand out.

If an illegal immigrant can accept the consequences of the decision to come here outside of the parameters with which we welcome all peoples, as a conservative, I feel we can forgive that transgression and cheer them on to a comeback. One based on the ideals of self-governing and not on the poisons of entitlement.