People here are welcome to point out cons with these two ideas. With all the concerns about illegal immigration and inmate rehabilitation, I thought these would be interesting ideas to consider... 1. Illegal immigrants caught for the first time in the United States (after this idea would go into effect, anyway) by the INS would be given two choices: be deported back to their country of origin and be subject to punishment should they be caught in the U.S. again, or serve four years in any branch of the military and be granted a U.S. citizenship. Their first year in the branch of the military they would be assigned to (including boot camp or basic training) would require them to attend classes to learn English part of the time, and assigned tests they would have to pass. Their drill instructor must also be able to communicate in both English and their native language. Pros: A. Boosts the military with volunteers ready to work and fight for their new country. B. Equips immigrants with the means to compete for and find higher paying jobs than the ones they would have to depend on should they remain in the country illegally. C. Military training and the ability to communicate with the majority of the people in this country would fully enable first generation immigrants that choose this path to be fully integrated into their new country. D. Would give multi-lingual teachers government paying jobs and military benefits. E. Would help the INS and American citizens be able to sort out those immigrants who truly want to be here to earn a better life for themselves and their family and those who only want to come here to exploit the system and our tolerance. F. Immigrants who choose to enter the military would be granted citizenship for them and their family, would gain military benefits, and would gain all of the other attributes that come with being in the military (such as increased work ethic and on-the-job experience). -------------------- 2. First time offenders 18 and over committed of crimes to be given the opportunity to either go through jail time or enter the military. Rape, murder, and the like would of course be excluded. I'm talking about things like possession of narcotics, simple assault (fist fight type stuff), D.U.I., and everything else that overpopulates our jails and prisons. I can explain in further detail if anybody would like. Anyway, those who choose to enter into 4 years in the military would have the offense that got them in there in the first place expunged from their record so that they can be better able to obtain jobs and be re-integrated into society when they are done with their military duties. Those charged crimes either while in would be subject to a dishonorable discharge and jail/prison time. Pros: A. Like the first instance, this helps to boost the military with volunteers. B. Serves as a better source of rehabilitation than going to jail or prison (commonly referred to as a school for criminals). C. Expunged records for first time offenders will ensure that they are not excluded from jobs when they are done with their required times (something which plagues ex-cons and makes it easy for them to become repeat offenders). D. Will give those who choose military time on-the-job training as well as military experience (afformentioned above), and military benefits should they choose to retire with the military and get a pension. E. Would dramatically lower jail and prison populations and save taxpayer dollars so that they could (hopefully) be used for something better (such as education). -------------------- Now, as sure as my handle is "KontradictioN", there will probably be somebody who comes into this thread and frowns on this. Undoubtedly, I will be asked why I don't put my money where my mouth is and join the military instead of sitting on my ass and expecting immigrants to do so in order to gain a citizenship. To these people, I will tell you now that I do, in fact, plan on joining the military (Navy Reserve, to be specific) this fall in order to help pay for the remainder of my college education. Also, to those who question why I believe that military experience would be better for rehabilitation than jail or prison time, I can point to my father as an example. My father was tried and convicted of simple assault in court when he was a kid. The judge gave him a choice of two years in prison or to enter the U.S. Marine Corps (this was during Vietnam). My father chose the U.S.M.C. and credits it for changing his life. He says that before he went there, he was an angry kid who did not care for authority or anybody else for that matter. He said serving equipped him with the tools necessary to live a better life. So... thoughts?