J Pat Carter, Associated Press
In this Aug. 16, 2013 photo, Jorge Galicia carries a poster in favor of immigration reform and carries a U.S. flag in his pocket in Miami.

I think we have hoodwinked ourselves, as Americans, into believing complicated and expensive laws are needed to solve our immigration nightmare.

Really, it's easy. Just treat all immigrants as guests until they obtain citizenship and acknowledge that guests are not residents regardless of their living circumstances.

Everybody knows how to treat a guest: be friendly, courteous and kind. If a guest wants to work, no one objects. But you would never be expected to furnish free health care, free education, free cell phones or extend food and housing allowances to guests. That would be ridiculous.

Since everyone is innocent until proven guilty, there is no need for fences and controlled borders. The U.S. doesn't treat state borders that way, and it works, even though we have criminals among us.

To make it work, everyone would be required to show a birth or citizenship certificate to vote or receive any government benefit.

Byron Gibbs

Salt Lake City