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A bipartisan panel of senators is working on a solution to the immigration crisis, and they have come up with something they call the "Z visa." Democrats might get it passed in the House. The president might sign legislation that contains the Z visa.

The Z visa will be issued to 12 million or so people in this country. Have you guessed yet what it is?

It will grant probationary legal status to illegals in this country if the individuals meet certain conditions — assume the government will not grant Z visas to members of MS-13, other Mexican and Latin American gangs and drug smugglers — and it will only happen if certain triggers are met.

First, the probationary status granted to illegals. One hopes it would set certain kinds of hurdles for illegals to meet to be granted full legal status, and those hurdles should include details like learning English and staying employed, and perhaps financial issues like paying a fine for entering the country illegally and paying back taxes.

As for the triggers, under this bill the Z visa would not kick into action until and unless the Congress and the president achieve certain goals on the border itself, like better policing and fencing to keep illegals from having what amounts to wide-open access to this country and this economy.

People are going to scream bloody murder about granting illegals legal status of any kind, but I think something like this has to be done. Make illegals come forward and meet certain conditions to stay here legally, and make our government enforce our own borders. And then let's move on, please.

The problem with all this is that it offers hope to illegals whose desire to be here is honest and forthright. That is, they want to make a better living than the mess they endured back home. And the payoff of that hope is out of their hands.

It's up to Congress to fund better policing and fencing of the border and to follow through on promises made to American citizens. So far Congress has failed on those promises, and if they fail again they will be letting down the very people they say they want to help: the illegals themselves.

How would you like it if your legal status were in the hands of this Congress? That might be scary.

That's My Word.

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