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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Today in Crazy Ideas for Things to Do With Immigrants

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Oregon State Representative Dennis Richardson (R—Central Point) suggests: Send them to China!

From his newsletter reposted by CAUSA:

You might laugh, but in the spirit of “thinking outside the box” some are considering unique ways to deal with illegal alien inmates differently than legal residents. For instance, how about considering the affect on both cost and recidivism for Illegals who are sent to do their time in a private prison in China. With contractual agreements regarding care, treatment, nourishment, basic living conditions, etc., Illegals could be incarcerated for less than $10,000 per year—a fraction of current costs in Oregon. Plus, it would free up bed space and thereby avoid having to build or expand Oregon prisons. California contracts with Tennessee prisons, so how about Oregon contracting with its number one export partner, China. (Certainly there might be federal issues with moving prisoners across international borders, but creative thinking is about “what if” and not “no, because.”)

Yes, what if we could ship human beings to our friendly export partner, China? What if no one cared about the state of Chinese prisons (except for their cost!) or the rights of inmates to access lawyers, courts, and all that rubbish? What if this turned into a hilarious Spanish-language version of Con Air? That would be a win-win-win situation, really.

Contrast that with the idea Obama backed in his State of the Union last night: Create a path to citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, so they can contribute to the country they were raised in. What if we stopped focusing the debate on how to best deport people, and focused instead on how to best incorporate the estimated 65,000 undocumented kids who graduate from American high schools every year?

For more eccentric and interesting proposals from this year's legislature, check out the news section.

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