Immigration Redux

Posted by Mike Merritt in Politics on

I said I’d get to it later…and it’s later!  Yea, that’s it!

I know some people are not going to like what I say about this…from both sides.  The fact is – although some would have you believe otherwise – immigration is good.  It brings new ideas and cultural customs to this country, and provides those people who come here with new opportunities, and a new life.  This nation was built on immigration, but it was largely legal immigration that built it, not illegal immigration.

I’m not saying that these people shouldn’t come here, but they need to fill out the proper forms, just like everyone else.  Once they’ve got their green card or whatever, they can come over, and start their path toward citizenship.  No, not automatic citizenship, but a long, tenuous journey toward the goal of becoming a true American.  Learning the language of the land, and its history, laws, and values, and then showing that they know these things.  How it’s always been done.

The problem with the illegal immigration is not that they shouldn’t come here, or that they’ll topple the WASP elite in power (cough, cough, O’Reilly).  The problem is that all these other immigrants are filling out the forms and doing everything on the proper channels to make sure they’re here and paying taxes, following the rules, etc.  Now it’s mainly about getting money to send back home, and to make a better financial situation.  Those are not bad goals, but they shouldn’t be the only things immigrants come here for.  They should aim to someday be a citizen.

So, what do we do?  Well, to enforce the border.  Right now, it’s too porous.  Aside from illegal immigration, we have a lot of drug smugglers coming through.  So, we need to enforce the border, and do what it takes, whether it be building walls, or putting National Guard troops there (ooops, they’re all in Iraq), or both.  We need to make sure people understand our laws, and that if you come here without filling out all the paperwork, you’re going to get sent back.  What I don’t agree with is the jailing of illegals (unless they’re committing other crimes).  Our jail system is already beyond capacity.  They need to be sent back to their countries, and barred from coming here.  Now, I don’t know how long we should bar them from entering this country.  The ultra conservatives would say forever, and they ultra liberals would say never, but somewhere in between.  Maybe 5 years (it’s kinda arbitrary).

So, border enforcement is done.  Next, we should encourage immigration, but legally.  Make it clear that if all the paperwork isn’t done, they can’t come.  Next, we should make sure they have no criminal backgrounds.  This could be more difficult, since working with other governments on this issue might not always work.  But, I certainly don’t want a murderer here.  We’ve got enough of our own, lets not get more.

I’m not sure if I like the idea of a guest worker program, since I think there are already methods of dealing with this.  I’m also in support of allowing people who’re here legally preference over those who are not.  Speaking of businesses, they need to know that allowing illegals to work there will not be allowed, and that they should be fined if they are found to be hiring them.  Also, any immigrant that works for a U.S. business should be required to register with the IRS, and should be charged if they don’t pay taxes (if applicable to their bracket).  After all, if you want to become a citizen, you need to be paying into the system, just like us.

In conclusion, I have some ideas that’d fit in well with the Bush/Democrat idea for immigration, and ideas that would fit in with conservatives, or so I think.  I don’t like Bush’s bill as it stands, but I also don’t want closed borders as some conservatives might like to see.  Unfortunately, Bush doesn’t seem to understand that his ideas are not going to work, and that like his other big initiatives,  it’s not going to work, if the Republicans have anything to say about it, anyway.

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[…] I consider myself a hawk on illegal immigration.  It’s been a while since I’ve written about it.  Back in 2007, I aligned myself more closely with those who […]