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OpinionLetters

Letter: Create a ‘dream card’ path to citizenship

Immigration activists march along Front Street in Hempstead

Immigration activists march along Front Street in Hempstead on May 1, 2015, calling for an end to deportations and for laws granting millions legal status. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Immigration policy can only be fair if it protects the rights of the population, whether you are here legally or illegally [“Right and wrong on immigration,” Editorial, Sept. 2]. Possibly the easiest way to get a fair agreement would be to give people here illegally a path to citizenship while protecting the rights of citizens.

One idea to give immigrants here illegally a way to come out of shadows is a “dream card.” The card would be to require people to register with Social Security in exchange for a guarantee that they will not be deported.

Social Security officials could record names, addresses, birth and contact information. Officials could verify wages and conduct background checks.

Social Security could ask for proof that such immigrants have paid taxes during their time in the United States. If they have not paid taxes, a minor fine would be attached to the dream card. The fine could be paid over a period of years, if necessary.

Once a person is naturalized, his or her dream card information would removed, and new citizens would be entitled to apply for federal and state benefits.

For those who bypassed this process and didn’t register, deportation would await.

Peter Bonna, Holbrook

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