Saturday, July 31, 2010

Immigration Reform My Eye

Topic #1

We are a nation of immigrants so illegal immigration is good.

The problem with this argument is that it allows no room for consideration of either the rule of law or of changes over the last several hundred years. Everything has changed. This is no longer an empty continent looking for settlers nor are we on the cusp of the industrial revolution looking for a labor force. When all of the past immigration waves entered the country there was no welfare state, no social safety net being funded by an ever smaller segment of the population. Opportunity was what you made it. Assimilation was expected and desired by the immigrant. Today, we have more than 300 million people in the country, there are no vast empty spaces looking for settlers and no industrial growth requiring cheap labor. There are still agricultural jobs and if the argument is that we should keep the illegals and pay them next to nothing…then I guess you can make that argument. If any side of this argument can be said to be racist it would be the one that argues for keeping the illegals picking tomatoes for slave wages.

Topic #2

Illegal immigrants do the jobs American’s won’t do.

I hear it said that the illegal aliens provide a needed source of cheap labor for the United States and that without this labor America would suffer. That brings me to my question…how can we ensure that the illegal aliens wages are kept low so that they don’t out earn their usefulness? If they are indeed doing jobs that Americans won’t do and we agree that we need to secure our borders so that the new “comprehensive” immigration laws can work their magic, how do we keep them working for low pay and in the fields? What do we do to prevent them from exceeding our need and moving into the mainstream leaving a shortage of cheap labor? If we secure our border and leave 12 million people in place and open the lines for a guest worker program are we counting on the guest worker program to take all the low paying jobs currently being held by illegals while they pursue citizenship, union membership and higher wages? How many guest workers will that take? What if there is a shortage of guest workers willing to pick tomatoes and those who receive the latest amnesty from deportation won’t pick tomatoes anymore? Will the market attract new illegals? Will we deport them? The proponents of not enforcing our laws need to define their point of view on what they want to happen with this necessary immigrant work force they insist we must have. Are they suggesting that we will have to endlessly import low wage unskilled labor and pay for their educations and healthcare and eventually import their replacements?

Topic #3

A secure border.

Mostly those in favor of allowing the illegals to stay or to come and go in a guest worker program have no desire to do what it takes to secure the border. They don’t want a wall, a fence or the military on the border. They don’t want local and state authorities checking the legal immigrant status of anyone. They do not favor limiting social welfare to non-citizens and they don’t want the laws governing the hiring of illegals by businesses enforced. Without these measures a secure border is impossible and they know it. Without a secure border any move to liberalize our handling of the current crop of illegal aliens will result in the immediate influx of the next wave looking for their amnesty deal. Anyone telling you different is either stupid or a liar, perhaps both.

So let’s recap:

I believe there’s just a little bit of disingenuousness in the way various political groups are behaving towards illegal immigration. First you have the Republicans. There are two groups of Republicans. One group wants to pretend that the issue of illegal immigration will lose its luster with the American people and businesses can go right on hiring cheap labor. The second group is listening to the voters and wants to deport the lot of them as soon as possible and then let some of them back in the country so businesses can hire them as cheap labor.

Then you have the Democrats. There are two groups of Democrats. One group wants to pretend that we have no borders and no laws so the illegal immigrants can come here unfettered and be given the vote. The other group wants to pay lip service to the immigration laws without really enforcing them so that the illegal aliens already here can stay and when others come they can stay too so that they can be given the vote in the hopes that they will vote for Democrats.

The last groups are the Hispanics. There are two groups of Hispanics. One group wants no borders or laws and wants as many other Hispanics to come here so they can eventually vote to replace the Democrats and Republicans with Hispanics. The current politicians actually think the Hispanics will vote for them. The other group is illegal aliens and they want to stay here, earn a decent living, bring their families here, and eventually become citizens. Both groups deep down want to take over a portion of the United States and make everyone be bilingual and get as many government perks as possible. The outcome of this thinking is that they will eventually overwhelm and bankrupt the very system they have come here to enjoy. It is an irrational goal.

Currently there is no one looking out for the best interest of the country or listening to the demands of United States’ citizens, at least those citizens who see citizenship as a perk.

Here is what is true.

The idea that we can’t deport the illegal aliens because there are 12 million of them is a non-sequitur. We should enforce the law by beginning the deportation process as we encounter illegal aliens. We don’t have to round up and deport all 12 million or nothing. Those aren’t the choices. We can deport 5% or 10% or 50% or 2 guys caught in Laredo. It is a journey, not an event.

The assertion by the Democrats that we need the Hispanics to do the jobs Americans won’t do is a myth. By the second generation, the Hispanics will all be American enough to not want to pick fruit and roof houses and we will need to continue to import new sources of cheap labor to do those jobs. The only real solution to maintain cheap labor without creating a permanent underclass of newly arrived immigrants is to deport the illegal aliens, control the border and issue work visas on a temporary basis.

The assertion by the Republicans and Democrats that the illegal laborers are net contributors to the economy simply cannot be true. They are counting on our dismal public school system to keep everyone too stupid to do simple math…so far so good. Since 50% of Americans pay 97% of the taxes and we are running deficits each year, that means some number of American workers are net consumers of government largess and not contributing as much as they are taking. Odds are that the lowest paid are the least likely to be a net contributor to positive revenue flow. So if you are making $5.25 and hour, paying no income tax, using the local emergency room as your medical insurance and sending your kids to public schools, you are not a net contributor to the economy no matter how many heads of lettuce you pick. In other words, you consume more tax money than you contribute with your sales taxes and productivity. If the lowest paid laborer was adding to the revenue instead of consuming it, this country wouldn’t even have a debt, let alone a yearly deficit.

What we really need in this debate is more honesty and less political hot air. When I see people waving Mexican flags and calling for the re-conquest of the southwestern United States, I take them at their word. Now that the protestors have a PR firm and know to carry American Flags and tone down the invasion rhetoric, I view them in the same light as I do the politicians on this side of the border…with distrust. The latest defeat of the people by the government in favor of ignoring the rule of law brought out the Mexican flags again. This will backfire horribly for the pro-open borders/illegals crowd.

Opposition to illegal immigration is not about voting patterns, racism, hospital districts, individual schools or even that over used, under defined term; “fairness.” It’s about the sovereignty of the United States and the worth of our individual citizenship. If we are to be a country of laws and not whims, we must either enforce our current body of law, amend it or abandon it. What purpose are laws without enforcement? What purpose is citizenship without perks? When I see lawyers, office holders or any other representative of the people defending the mass violation of our laws I have zero tolerance. These people need to be shunned by the public at large and the voters in elections.

I believe the United States has the same right to control its borders as any other country in the world. My objection to the defenders of illegal immigration is that they seem to be saying that my country has laws that can simply be ignored based on politics. I also object to the notion that I have to defend my opposition of open borders against charges of racism. I don’t want white European lawbreakers ignoring our immigration laws either. I am colorblind when it comes to criminal behavior. But if I am in Laredo, Texas looking for illegal aliens and 99.9% of all illegal aliens in Laredo are from Mexico, it makes little sense to pull over and card African Americans and old white people in wheelchairs. That is almost as stupid as the airport searches for terrorist suspects making a point to ignore young Arab males.

I object to the ridiculous notion that illegal aliens are net contributors to the economic situation in this country. I would suggest with some certainty that the vast majority of illegal aliens are net consumers of government programs and the same shrinking percentage of American wage earners and producers are paying their way. Not just at hospitals and schools…but in all aspects of government provided programs and infrastructure. If anyone wants to defend the wholesale breaking of our immigration laws, then I will oppose you as I would oppose anyone helping another country invade the United States.

To those who would say that we are historically a nation of immigrants, I say, yes we were. But if you pour water into a glass and glass gets full, do you not stop pouring? Are you suggesting that the United States has an infinite capacity to import people without impacting the standard of living of current citizens? Are not the current citizens entitled to determine where that capacity lies? We are a world of independent sovereign nations, each with the right and obligation to determine our own laws with regards to entry into the country. There is no right extended to the rest of the world for tax dollars or egress into the United States.

To those who say that we are so overrun that we cannot do anything, I would suggest that capitulation in the face of difficulty never succeeds. How many burglaries have to occur before we declare stealing legal? How many instances of shoplifting? How about fake ID’s? If 10 million people manage to break the law and get a fake ID, should it be the policy of the United States that a fake ID is acceptable because enforcement will be hard? Those who say we cannot deport the current population of illegal aliens present us with a false dichotomy. We don’t have to round up all 8-12 million at once and send them across the border. We merely have to round up as many that we have capacity for at any given moment and send them across the border. Maybe that is 10 at a time. 100. 1000. 10000. But it remains the duty of law enforcement to enforce the law.

This is not so much a partisan issue, but I know that the main opposition to illegal immigration is Republican. While George Bush was on the wrong side of this issue as well as a lot of Republican lawmakers, the current infestation in the White House along with the other Democrats are universally against stemming the tide.

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