Silently Stewing

We keep hearing about the protests in favor of illegal immigration, but, as Kim notes, there are many more of us out here who are quietly stewing over the issue.  We’ve had about enough of it, and the protests are only serving to solidify our opposition to rewarding illegal immigrants.

I will refer back to something I wrote nearly two months ago about these so-called undocumented immigrants.

If one considers an “undocumented immigrant,” one is likely to conclude that this person somehow forgot to stop off at the office on the way into the country to pick up some papers.  It’s all just a formality.  It glosses over the fact that this person deliberately and knowlingly broke United States federal law by entering this country without permission.  It doesn’t matter now nice they are or how productive they are, they’re CRIMINALS.

Now, having said that, I understand that large parts of our economy rely on people willing to work for very low pay, and that most of these jobs are filled by illegals.  I’m not completely unsympathetic to people who are just seeking a better life for themselves and their families.  Regardless of that, though, we need to get a handle on this and establish a system that lets them come here to work while allowing us to control who crosses our border.  No one who breaks the law should be rewarded.  An “amnesty” program simply rewards people who have broken the law.

So, given that, here’s what I’d like to see:

  • Real and meaningful fines/punishment for any employer who knowingly hires an illegal.
  • Enforcement of the aforementioned fines.
  • No amnesty.  Period.  End of frackin’ discussion.
  • A well-documented guest worker program:
    • Issue an ID with real identifying information upon entry
    • Require periodic review of the guest credential (i.e. must have a job, no criminal activity, etc)
    • Require this ID for all “social services.”
  • Immediate deportation of any illegal caught by law enforcement for any reason (none of this “sanctuary” crap).
  • Anyone caught in the country illegally is put on a “do not enter” list, forbidden from ever participating in the guest worker program, and forbidden from becoming a legal citizen (except, perhaps, through the asylum process).

So, what do we do with all the illegal immigrants who are already here?  We learned in the 80’s that giving amnesty just encourages more illegal immigration.  But at the same time, it’s impractical to round up and deport 9 million people.  I think if we have a good guest worker program, combined with serious and meaningful enforcement of the law (i.e. permanent loss of guest worker privileges for illegals), we can make the climate such that being here legally is more rewarding that being here illegally.  It’s going to squeeze the current illegals at first, but if they are willing to go home and come right back, they’d be able to come in legally.  But frankly, it’s just intolerable that there is a whole class of people who think that it’s OK to break federal law.

Someone just reading the above would likely think me cruel.  They’d be wrong, but it’s easy to get that impression.  In actuality, if this was done right, it could improve the experience for many of the people who come here.  First, they’d have to be paid at least minimum wage.  Second, they would be full members of society, such that they wouldn’t have to be afraid to call the police when something happens to them.  In the end, their rights would be more protected than they are now.  And by showing themselves to be productive, law-abiding, members of society during their stay under the guest worker program, they would be better positioned to gain permanent citizenship should they desire to do so.

To be honest, this does bother me a little.  I don’t like government messing around in employment, and I always worry about any kind of government program that tracks people (i.e. any sort of meaningful identification document will likely require some sort of biometrics, like fingerprints, and a database to check validity of IDs).  But on the other hand, government does have a responsibility to secure the border, and I can’t think of many other ways to accomplish it.

Will this completely secure the border?  Not likely, especially while we continue the foolish War on (some) Drugs.  There’s no way to be 100% secure, but that isn’t reason to at least take some action on the issue.  There are other reasons, beyond just securing the border, to make illegal immigration difficult.

I guess when you get down to it, there are millions of people like me, who try our best to follow the law, no matter how asinine, obtuse, or silly we think it to be.  It is enraging to watch millions of people flaunt the law with impunity, when we know that any sort of infraction on our part will be met with swift punishment (even if we didn’t know about a particular law).  Either we’re all under the law or we’re all above it.  “Some animals are more equal than others” won’t fly.

Previous entries on this topic:
Not Clear On The Concept
Los Ilegales
Un-PC Musings

1 Comment

  1. Pete says:

    Myself, like most like minded folks understand why the illegal immigrants are here, to make a better life for families.

    What we are frustrated about is the lawless and cost of it all.

    If I went into another country, regardless of the reason and tried to get a job,
    I’d be thrown in jail and only when the powers to be decided, I’d be sent home at my own expense.

    I use to travel to Japan a bunch, once a week in fact for ten years.
    (Yes, I work for the airlines.) Every December our planes would be jammed with South Americans who were working in Japan as labors on one year
    visa’s. A few weeks before the visa expired the Japanese Government would start looking for you and make sure that you were on the next plane out of the country when your visa was up.

    If it wasn’t for illegal immigration, ask yourself these questions.
    How much of your property tax dollars are paying for illegal immigrants in your local schools?
    How much lower would the uninsured driver premium of your auto insurance be if it wasn’t for illegal immigrants? When I lived in California, my insurance went up over $1,000 a year when I moved from Irvine to Anaheim. The $1,000 was the cost
    of the uninsured driver premium.
    How much lower would medical cost be?
    I could go on an on.

    Things like produce and construction cost would go up if there was a crack down on illegal immigration but how many things would go down?