2017-05-11 / Front Page

Sheriff proposes relatively simple immigration plan

Getting migrant labor to northern Michigan could become a little easier with a proposal being proposed by Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich.

“I’d like to bring people together and come to some resolution on this issue ... To create a longterm plan for legal immigration without jeopardizing the integrity of our nation’s borders,” he said.

Borkovich is proposing that the federal government adopt a work permit system similar to passport documents, which would allow foreign migrants to work in the United States under a variety of conditions.

“The permit would be good for five years and allow migrants to enter the country and spend up to 10 months a year working,” he said.

The permit would be stamped by border patrol and customs officials upon entry and exit. A path to citizenship could be included as an incentive.

“Provided they comply with the terms of the permit, which includes no criminal activity and no violations of the law they could apply for citizenship, they could apply for citizenship after the five year period, ” Borkovich said.

The Sheriff said he recognizes the need for migrant labor in the county and sees his proposal as a less complicated and inexpensive alternative to other work VISA programs, which require volumes of paperwork.

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America should take the same

America should take the same stand Mexico adopts for immigration and non-citizens who come to their country to work. First, it takes about 13 years to become a Mexican citizen. The first 5 years you are only allowed a few jobs to occupy. Then the job options open up a for the new immigrant over the next 8 years. Mexico does NOT allow a non-citizen to take jobs opportunities a citizen would occupy. AND all of this has to be done, with NO crimes or illegal activity while working in Mexico. This time-table is different IF you have a grandparent or parent who is/was a Mexican citizen. My grandparents were born in Mexico, so I could become a Mexican citizen in about 2 or 3 years, with full privileges of a citizen while maintaining my USA citizenship.This means I could buy and OWN a chunk of land on the ocean which is NOT open to non citizens. They have socialized medicine where about half of your earned income goes to pay for it. You have total access IF you have a paycheck that proves you have contributed to taxes, etc. IF you do not have that paperwork, you pay out of pocket every time you go to the doctor or hospital....and if you have an emergency, and no record of paying into the system, you are rejected at the hospital door until you or your relative prove you will pay your bill...up front. It is a harsh system for the poor. And that is one reason the poor crosses the American border...to get free medical care because in our system, if you show up at the ER, you get treated no matter what because ALL hospitals and medical people live in total fear of a lawsuit from ANYONE citizen or non citizen. Obamacare changed that routine a bit...you get treated without insurance, but booted out as fast as the hospital can legally get away with it. Our national news does NOT inform us in the USA about Mexican policies. We need to wake up. And the Sheriff or Mayor or better yet, the Governor needs to adjust national policy to fit the needed labor the Michigan farmers need to harvest the cherries and apples. Americans tend to not do seasonal farm work. It is intense short term work, and we are LUCKY that somebody is willing to drive all the way from Mexico to work for low pay, in hot conditions, long work hours (dawn to dusk), and bring their whole family with them. At least they get some benefits today that they did not have 50 years ago. They get better housing, medical and dental and the children attend Migrant Education school, in English, while the older family members work. In the past if you were 12 yr old you could work in the fields you skip school. I am not sure what the rules are today concerning work age for migrant workers. But know this, they are hard working families. We need them in the USA. I am the grandchild of this kind of family, who traveled from Mexico in the 1918 to Michigan, and settled in Detroit to work in the factories during the WWII to build the tanks and whatnot...and then my 5 uncles (all born in the fields of America) all enlisted and fought for America. AND in the past, enlisting in the armed forces was another path to citizenship in the USA. Our 'educational system' does a terrible job informing children/students about the USA relationship with our two closes countries and trade partners, Canada and Mexico. I know, today, Mexico teaches their children in their schools, the USA southwest was TAKEN at gun point, and Mexico will get it back, someday. The Mexican official quietly push for unchecked immigration to the Southwest. They consider our Southwest to be THEIR land....and they want it back. The majority of us are totally stupid about Mexican leadership motives.The liberals in California, must be ignorant of Mexican under the table policy or they are helping the Mexican government on purpose. We need clear immigration laws. Work permits with citizenship path, or just plain temporary seasonal work permits or daily work permits, like Switzerland dishes out to Italians. I doubt if our government will stop the seasonal farm workers from coming into the country. We need them if we want to drink wine, eat an orange, eat cucumbers, tomatoes, berries....anything that needs to be hand picked....apples we so dearly love to eat in the Fall. Basically anything that can be bruised easily, is hand picked (shook) by a seasonal migrant worker and their family most times....to get it to our table before it rots on the tree. And lastly, I think EVERYONE in America should have to work on a farm for a week or month or season and bring in a crop so they would understand where their food comes from....not the magic grocery store.