Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Again the Atlanta Journal-Constitution plays fair with Libertarian Senatorial Candidate Allen Buckley

I was skeptical that Allen Buckley would be treated fairly when the AJC announced it would put weekly questions to all Georgia Senatorial candidates. But the paper has kept its word (and continues to be even-handed and objective in its reportage of the whole race). This week's question deals with immigration. It is worth contrasting the fear-mongering, sound-bite-only answer given by GOPer incumbent (and Bob Barr-supported) Saxby Chambliss with the detailed, thoughtful answer provided by Allen Buckley. You don't even have to agree with Buckley to realize that he's trying to bring something new to the campaign: straight answers filled with actual policy details.

The Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss: Congress must make every effort to secure our borders and enforce our existing laws. Illegal immigrants will then have no alternative but to leave. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats continue to block measures to stem the tide of illegal immigration.

I absolutely oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. I co-sponsored a measure to fund border security, immigration enforcement and criminal alien removal programs. I introduced "The Effective Immigration Enforcement Partnerships Act of 2008" and I formed the Border Security and Enforcement First Caucus in the U.S. Senate.

We are making progress. We have increased the number of border security agents; construction of a border fence has begun; and we are training local law enforcement to fight illegal immigration at the local level.

Despite this progress, our healthcare, educational and judicial systems continue to be overburdened with illegal immigrants. I will continue to address this problem one legislative effort at a time....

The Libertarian Allen Buckley: Provide employers advance notice of potential audits and reliable means to verify legal status of workers that can be used only for employment purposes. Simultaneously eliminate food stamps for people able to work. After 90 days, audit employers in industries known to employ illegal aliens. Employers breaking the law could avoid substantial penalties only by offering jobs at 1.33 times the price paid to illegal aliens. For jobs not filled by Americans, illegal aliens could qualify for VISAs if they owe no taxes and pay a $5,000 fine and a $1,500 fee for immediate VISA eligibility. Illegal aliens unable to prove that all taxes have been paid for the preceding 4 year period would be required to pay the lesser of proven taxes due, interest and penalties or $10,000. The taxes due could be paid over a few years, with interest. Free transportation to Mexico would be offered.


The importance of this exchange is not so much the content, but the process: imagine what Libertarian candidates nationwide could do if other news outlets followed the AJC example and treated them like ... American citizens running for office.

It's happening. Slowly, but it's picking up speed. We're breaking through.

And once we do, everything will change forever.

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