Immigration policy: Framing the debate
Immigration policy can be handled in two ways: (1) You throw open your borders and you let anyone who wants to come to America do so or (2) you establish control over your borders and set some terms and standards for admission.
While the first option has a warm, touch-feely, warm-fuzzy appeal to some, it has some serious downsides. Despite what the hate-America-crowd would like us to believe, virtually every person in virtually every third-world country would pack their meager belongs and head for our shores. Eventually, the former third-world immigrants would become the overwhelming majority in this country and we would become – drum roll – a third-world country.
The second option would entail the costs associated with regaining control of our border. But that is something sovereign nations, with the exception of the United States, do anyway. So, one would think the richest nation on earth would have the financial means and resources to regain control over its borders.
But the second option would be, and is, opposed by those who feel that the establishment of standards of admission, either temporarily or permanently, is inherently racist and elitist. After all, if you buy the Judeo-Christian belief that all men and women are created equal, then it is playing God to decide who “merits” admission to the United States and who does not.
And so, we have now framed the outside perimeters of the current immigration debate. On the far Left, are those who favor open borders and open admissions. On the far Right, are those who would make us a hermit nation. Obviously, there must be a rational solution somewhere in the middle.
But first, let’s dispel some myths: The 11 or 12 million aliens who are already here illegally want to become U.S. citizens. Wrong. While the illegal aliens from Mexico want to live and work here, most do not want U.S. citizenship. They consider Mexico “home.”
That contrasts with our previous waves of legal immigrants who had to cross huge oceans to get here. Those legal immigrants knew that going back to Europe was, for most, not an option. Thus, to them, the learning of English and assimilation into American society were high priorities. Meanwhile, the Mexican illegal aliens know they can run back and forth across our southern border almost at will. Ergo: the Mexican illegal aliens see little need to assimilate or to learn English. So, who can blame them?
More myths: Mexican illegal aliens will do work American won’t do. Wrong. Americans would do the work if the pay were high enough. Net result: illegal aliens depress the wages and benefits of legal U.S. residents. Illegal aliens boost our economy. Wrong. While illegal aliens provide inexpensive stoop labor, the illegal aliens impose a crushing burden upon our tax-paid public services such has hospitals, schools, welfare programs and law enforcement agencies.
So, what’s the solution? Scrap U.S. Senate Bill 2611 which leaves illegal aliens here and, in essence, in front of those thriving for legal immigration from abroad. Even worse, S-2611 actually pays illegal aliens for violating our immigration laws.
Support Administration efforts to control our southern border with more border patrols, more fencing, more satellite and electronic surveillance, and more unmanned aerial vehicles supported by the National Guard in its State Militia role.
Support the efforts of the U.S. House of Representatives to get control of our southern border first, and then, talk about a guest-worker program modeled after that of Germany.
In fact, Wonder Wife was a guest worker. While yours truly commanded troops, Wonder Wife worked for a German dentist as his dental hygienist. She possessed a skill her German patients needed. She quickly learned German by a combination of night-time Berlitz courses and by day-time, on-the-job “total immersion.” Her stay was fixed because we would return to the U.S. in three years. So, our personal experience proves it can work
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2006. William Hamilton.