Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Immigration debate heating up again...

Arizona's new strict immigration law is heating up the immigration debate which was waning in recent years due to the economic meltdown. When the economy recovers we will see more immigrants both legal and illegal coming to the U.S. and no doubt the debate over what to do with the illegal ones here and coming here will become an issue.

A few years ago when the immigration debate heated up I began following it closely. I was originally very against illegal immigration and any amnesty for illegals, but I've shifted my position a little bit slightly. I'm still against blanket amnesty for all illegal immigrants but I think that some deserve the ability to begin a path to citizenship. Those who are on the far right and far left of this issue I disagree with, and here is why:

Those on the far left of this issue, mainly illegal immigrants and their supporters, (who come in all different colors and sizes), think that there are no borders, that no one is illegal, and that everyone who can physically get here has the right to stay here indefinitely. I disagree with these ideas completely. First, we have to have borders. Borders keep the peace between us. If there wasn't a border dividing the land no one would agree who can claim ownership of a natural resource. But if you have a border, and the resource lay on my side then it's mine, or it will be yours if it lay on your side. Of course we can fight over the border, as most wars are often about, but with out the border there is no jurisdiction over the resource and fighting will be near constant. So we have to have borders in the modern world. This stupid naive mentality of the desire for living in a world without borders is absurd and will lead to immeasurable bloodshed.

Second, the absurd idea that no one is illegal. Really? Most countries where "illegal" immigrants are coming from don't even allow legal immigrants, or have very strict quotas on them. Mexico deports thousands of illegal immigrants from Central America from its southern border every year. And as for the idea that anyone who can get here has the right to stay here, just from being able to get here, that's is bullshit. Living in the U.S. is a privilege not a right. No one has the right to be here. That would be like me saying I have the right to come into your home whenever I want. I'll clean your house and take out your garbage, do all the things you don't want to do, but you must feed me and pay for my doctors visits and my kids education. You shouldn't have to be forced into that situation.

But of course logic and rationality go out the window when you are starving and need to make money. I understand that. Which is why I support legal immigration, but we have to have limits. Immigration must be controlled. Without rules and regulations we will have chaos. We will have basically what we've had for the past 25 years since the last amnesty was passed in 1986. Yes we need a strong border that makes it near impossible to cross. This can be done. The U.S. can secure borders all over the world and can surely secure its own backyard. Finally, there is an agenda at large here and it comes from corporate America, who likes cheap exploitable labor and thus doesn't mind the open border. Yet another reason to hate large corporations.

Here is what I think should be done to the illegal immigrants already here after we fully secure the entire border:

1. If they have been convicted of any kind of felony they must be deported immediately and never allowed back in, period. They have one chance to show they can become model American citizens, blow it, and they forfeit their only chance;
2. If they are in or ever have been associated with any gangs or criminal organizations and are documented as such by law enforcement they get deported and banned forever also;
3. They have to have made an attempt to learn English. If they cannot speak even basic English and they've been here for 5 years or more then they cannot be put on a path to citizenship and they must apply the regular way (i.e. go back home and get in line);
4. If they are willing to pledge allegiance to the U.S. and give up their country of origin, (as they have to do when they swear oath) then;
they should be allowed to go to the back of the line and become citizens;
5. So for those immigrants who have made it passed the above criterion, they will have to apply for a temporary visa that would allow them to stay in the U.S., that has to be renewed every year until citizenship is gained, and pay a $4,000 fine per every household. Failure to renew the visa, or the conviction of any felony during the visa, or the conviction of any crime while associated with a criminal gang, will result in an immediate revocation of the visa, followed by imprisonment for the convicted crimes and/or deportation.

Is that not fair?

There should be an incentive program where the more Americanized the illegal immigrant, the sooner they can become citizens. Basically, they can cut ahead in line of the other illegal immigrants who haven't Americanized as much during their stay here. And from then on, with a secure border, we'd have only legal immigration (in a perfect case scenario). I'm sorry, but not everyone has the right to be here, even if they are poor. There are several billion poor people in the world who would love to come to the U.S., even if just temporarily, to attain a better life. We can't let in every single one, we have to have realistic limits.

The U.S. is the most liberal country in the world when it comes to immigration. It allows more immigrants through its borders legally then all the other countries in the world do combined. That says something. When I hear people say that the U.S.'s immigration policies are anti-immigrant, this is complete and utter bullshit. Compare the U.S.'s legal immigration policy up against any other country's in the world and you will see what I mean. On top of that we have allowed 12 million illegal immigrants come into our borders and did almost nothing about it, and your saying we are anti-immigrant? Bullshit! No other country in the world would tolerate 12 million illegal immigrants. Mexicans don't even like it when Guatemalans cross their border. Please. All I hear is hypocrisy coming from the left, who are being aided and funded by big business.

From the right, I understand their point of view but they simply have to realize that we are a country of immigrants and that immigration is going to continue whether they like it or not. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Races of the world can get together and unify here. This was never a white country to begin with. There were always Native Americans and Africans were being imported as slaves long before most Europeans got here. White people are afraid of losing their majority status, but look at it this way: in the future there won't be a majority. We'll all be minorities. America is going to change, it always has and always will. Nothing stays the same. As long as immigrants of all colors and national origins embrace a common identity, an American identity, we will be one people.

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