Immigration Reform

>> Saturday, March 21, 2009

I just saw a report of a 12 city tour by Congressman Luis Guttierrez (D) whereby he is on a petition drive to put an end to immigration raids that apparently cause the breakup of families. I don't know where all the cities are he's visiting. They may all be in Illinois for all I know. One of his latest must have been in or near the city of Chicago for it featured Cardinal George as an ally against this practice.

Well, I'm all for immigration reform. There obviously needs to be some upgrade in the manner of doing this business, but I don't know if what I have in mind matches what Luis is looking for. The main problem seems to be that there aren't enough being let in legally, apparently, so sneaking in against the laws of this nation is the alternative. OK. Let's raise the numbers of those we let in by a thousand or two per year, just for starters. But we, that is the USofA, gets to decide who is fit to be allowed entrance.

But the numbers isn't really the problem, is it? The real problem is that we have a border at all and don't allow unabated entry. We could likely raise the numbers we let in legally to 50,000 per year and still have another 50,000 or more sneaking in any way they can.

So I want to re-iterate what I think most conservatives have in mind for immigration. The first thing we do is complete the fence. When we're done, build another along side the first. Send the military to patrol the border in greater numbers than is already there. This could be federal troops or state national guard units. They would support and co-ordinate with the Border Patrol service now in charge.

Secondly, withhold federal funding from cities that insist on being sanctuary cities. If they persist, arrest the mayor.

Thirdly, of course, is to fine heavily those companies that hire illegals. For a second offense, quadruple the fine. Third offense, arrest the owners, chairman of the board, or the entire board of directors. But first quadruple the fine again.

Fourth, enforce existing laws already on the books and send the illegals, not necessarily back home, though that would be humane, just out. Luis and his chums like to boo-hoo about the thousands of kids whose parents have been sent back home, leaving them behind to fend for themselves. Here's the trick: send the kids back with their parents. When the kids are of age to take care of themselves, they can return if they were born here. (I'm rethinking my position on anchor babies.) The whine is that we can't possibly deport over 12 million people. I say why not and who cares? It really doesn't matter. What matters is that we begin doing it. How many CAN we deport and when can we get started? The more people that are deported, after maybe confiscating their property like they do with drug dealers, the more illegals will make arrangements to go home before all their stuff is taken, too.

Fifth, make English the official language. All official documents must be in English. All federal, state and local signs must be in English. Anything governmentally generated. On this point I want to be plain that I don't have a problem with people in this country learning mulitple languages. That would be great. But it's not up to the country to teach English to immigrants. It's up to immigrants to the learn the language of the country in which they wish to live.

This, of course, is a rough draft, but it contains all the elements of a good, solid immigration policy. Only after all the above is done should we even begin to think about altering our yearly quotas for letting people in the country. What seems to be taking place with people like Luis Guttierriez is that these people already here, who have had relatives deported, who "live in the shadows", are somehow oppressed because they are expected to abide our laws. I feel badly for the kids who are caught in the middle and are now used as pawns to play on the sympathies of a compassionate nation. But what they suffer has been inflicted upon them by their own parents.

What's worse is the situations from which many illegals have fled. But that, too, is something for which we cannot take responsibility. At least not to the extent that we just throw open the doors and begin granting scholarships and Social Security. Frankly, I don't think we can afford that right now.


Mark March 22, 2009 at 5:46 PM  

Prince William County, here in Virginia, started fining companies who employ illegal aliens a couple of years ago. The results so far?

Illegals are leaving the county in droves. Take their means of income away from them, and they'll leave on their own accord. No other measures need be taken.

But every county, every city, and every state in the US must certainly start penalizing those who employ illegals. Believe me, that will solve the illegal immigration problem and increase the amount of money in the treasury at the same time.

BenT - the unbeliever,  March 23, 2009 at 4:52 PM  

If workers are leaving your area, then wages will have to go up for those positions to attract new workers in a competitive market. Rising wages will force rising costs of goods and services.

That's the dirty secret on illegal immigration. Business like illegals because they are dependable workers and let the business keep prices low.

One report I saw says fresh vegetable prices would rise by 30% if California seriously cracked down on illegal immigrants. Are you willing to pay a 30% tax increase on produce to combat illegals?

Of course there's also the fact that as a population illegal immigrants as less prone to commit crimes, more religious, and more family oriented than other wage earners.

The hardship of coming to the US illegally means that only those with a real commitment to work and a desire for the American dream come to us. We are stealing the cream of the crop of central and south america.

From my perspective the problem of illegal immigrants will not be solved until the economies of central and south america are closer to being on par with the US. If we build fences, they will dig tunnels, If we station troops, they will rent trucks to sneak through checkpoints. If we start shooting illegals, they'll start shooting back.

One of the best segments ever on Penn & Teller's BullShit show was when they hired a group of day laborers to build a section of border fence. It took the workers 10+ hours to dig holes, set posts and install corrugated metal sides like the Minuteman fence.

Then Penn & Teller told the guys to go through the fence. They went over under and thru the fence. The slowest guys took less than 3 minutes to tear a hole big enough to wiggle through.

A fence is not the solution. Maximal force is not the solution. Troops are not the solution. The only permanent solution is to help our neighbors grow their economies such that their citizens want to stay home and work.

Eric March 23, 2009 at 5:30 PM  

A little factual error in Ben's comment...

"Are you willing to pay a 30% tax increase on produce to combat illegals?"

Assuming his numbers are correct, it would not be a TAX increase. It would merely be an increase in price. Not much difference either way, but taxes would be in addition to the assumed 30% increase.

Also, part of Ben's solution would have to include helping Mexico stem the violence at our mutual border, but Obama has repeatedly said "No" to sending troops or significantly increasing agents at the border.

Furthermore, reneging on the NAFTA treaty, allowing Mexican trucks to drive into the US-- Our president caved to the Teamsters Union --doesn't help Mexico at all, and to reiterate, it's a violation of our treaty with Mexico. What this violation does do is give Mexico excuse to violate their part of the treaty as well- higher tariffs on our goods, for example.

Bringing Mexico's economy up to a comparable level as ours, sans the current distress of course, is a good way to go, but it's economically impractical for the US to "nation build" south of the border. What Mexico needs is help in stemming the violence at the border; this has to be the first step. And we can't continue to sit on the sidelines on this one. That's what we're doing now, and the kidnappings, murders and beheadings continue.

Think on THAT for a moment... people are being beheaded just across our border... not thousands of miles away across oceans and continents, but right here in our hemisphere, just south of OUR border. Phoenix Arizona is second on the list of most kidnappings for ransom... in the world!

Marshall Art March 24, 2009 at 1:42 AM  


Some of your points are almost good ones.

In the matter of the fence, my response is that the fence is only one aspect of the overall plan and alone isn't much good for the reasons you stated. (Plus it was a rough draft anyway.) But put it together with the other points mentioned, and I'm sure there are things that I haven't even thought of, and the fence is still a viable part of the plan, especially if doubled as I suggested. Just ask yourself this: Which is easier, walking one hundred yards unfettered, or walking fifty yards, going through, around, over or under a fence, and then going the next fifty? Now add all the other elements of my off-the-top-of-my-head plan, and that one hundred yards is now a bit of a chore to cross. Maybe too much of a chore to be worth it.

You mention the caliber of people willing to sneak in just to provide for their families. What of those willing to wait in line for as long as it takes because they believe in the rule of law? What kind of citizen do you think THEY'D make?

You mention the price of products should the companies employing illegals be forced to increase wages in order to hire Americans. What of it? There is a push for what is called "social justice" that often refers to the wages of itinerants and such getting a better wage. If those behind these movements are willing to get more money for illegals, and I'm assuming they make up some percentage of itinerant workers, then wages for Americans should certainly be raised as well.

But here's another factor you need to consider: Wages are artificially set with the addition of illegal workers who won't bitch about working conditions much the same way wages and prices are artificially affected by gov't and union interference. Wages will eventually settle to a point that satisfies the free market and until then, it's the price this country ought to pay for having let this situation get so far out of hand.

Another point is what happens to the jobs themselves when illegals are removed from the equation. In the past, advances in crop harvesting technology took place in order to account for the lack of workers. Such things will likely happen again in response to changes in business practices without illegals.

I will say, however, that the situation in the foreign countries is indeed the source of the problem. But to say that fences and law enforcement and even military help defending the borders is not the answer is incorrect. It isn't the whole answer, but without a doubt part of it. Mexico and other nations have had decades to adopt our way of doing business. It is up to them to continue doing so to provide for their own people, just as we have done since our country's inception.

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