We’re now officially in an election year, and I feel ready to get in trouble. So here is my proposal to simplify immigration.

No quotas, no complex paperwork, no long waits to enter the country — we give you a green card and “Welcome to America” if you qualify on four points:

  1. Good physical and mental health — for instance, no contagious illnesses.
  2. A working knowledge of basic written and spoken English.
  3. A sponsor in the United States: a business or person in the U.S. legally who puts up a cash bond (say, $50,000); guarantees the immigrant a place to live for six months; or guarantees the immigrant employment for six months. Heavy legal penalties for any sponsor who fails to live up to the guarantees.
  4. No criminal record except for a few political “crimes” like exercising free speech under a tyranny. If the immigrant’s home country is too chaotic or corrupt to offer trustworthy criminal records, then the immigrant will live in a U.S. government refugee camp for six months, during which the government can see if he behaves law-abidingly enough to let into the country.

Let the arguments begin.