Monday, December 05, 2005

Immigration. A tough issue

Republicans plan to use the vast problems caused by illegal immigration to try and divide Americans voting in next year's midterm election, Democratic National Committee chairman
Howard Dean said Saturday.

"Once again, the Republicans created problems so they think they can come in and solve them," Dean told DNC members meeting in Phoenix.

Thousands of illegal immigrants cross America's borders each year to work better-paying jobs. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 11 million illegal immigrants now live in the United States.

Immigration is gaining prominence in politics, especially in Arizona and other states in the West, the busiest illegal entry point along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

President Bush has urged Congress to let illegal immigrants get three-year work visas that could be extended for an additional three years. Then, they would have to return home for a year to apply for a new work permit.

Dean said the government should have an "earned legalization" program in which immigrants who contribute to society and pay taxes should be able to earn the right to become citizens.

Taken from here.

I really, really don't like Dean. Dean is the embodiment of what I hate about the Democratic Party. Unfortunately, Bush the Younger is the the embodiment of what I hate about the Republican Party. Both sides of the aisle in this case, as far as I am concerned, haven't an fscking clue about the immigration issue.

Let me come out and say, before I begin my rant, that I am pro immigration. My family is made of immigrants. My paternal grandmother was a German warbride. My maternal grandfather was an immigrant from Italy. One of my paternal great grandmother was an Irish immigrant. One of my great great grandmothers was a French immigrant. My wife is a Ukrainian immigrant. It's a pattern for my family that stretches back more than 300 years since Captain John Baird Sr. came to the then colony of New Jersey after being exiled from Scotland for being a PITA Coventer in 1688.

Ah ha! you say, "those are all Europeans." True, but for those of you that know me and my views, I am all for annexing chunks of the New World including Mexico, the Carribean, and Canada...mmmm...Canada. I lived in New Mexico, including on the border, for seventeen years. I would have no problem with the people of Mexico coming and mixing in with the rest of us in the North American continent freely, openly, and legally.

That's the rub.

It needs to be, y'know, legal.

Such a horrible thought, obeying the law. One of the prerequisites of being a good candidate for citizenship is being someone that obeys the law. People that come here illegally, shockingly enough, are breaking the law. GASP! SHOCK! HORROR! That makes them a little less than desirable to me. My wife, at the time, went through hell to get here. Legally. Immigration to the US is a royal PITA if its from a country that's poor. IDK abouta country that's well off, but I can speak from having seen from my wife's POV.

Now, would it be possible to make it legal for people to come here from Mexico, say, legally and a lot more easily? Yup. I even think its a good idea. How you go about dealing with it is very important. How many people remember the illegal immigration amnesty that took place in 1988? It was supposed to solve our problems by letting those already here to stay and we won't have to go policing anymore. Erk. Didn't work did it? In fact, those that accepted the amnesty often brought over relatives - illegally - to the US. Some places ahve put that number as high as eight people by everyone that had amnesty. That definitely wasn't a solution then, I would say, but rather encouragement.

Both sides in the debate, Bush and Dean in this case, claim to have a plan. Neither plan is really rooted in reality. That is we have people in a rule-of-law country that are simply flaunting that law. Both sides want to give a reward to those have already come: either a six year work visa (Bush) or a path to citizenship (Dean). Neither way is good because it will simply increase the number of illegals that come. Why both with the visa if it takes time (and it will)? Or worse yet, if you simply through open the doors like Dean means to? Either way, we still have the problem until Mexico's economy is good enough that there's little incentive to move here.

What would *I* like?

Annexing Mexico would solve the problem, but I doubt that's in the cards. It's not simple, but rewarding the illegals is not the answer. Punishing the companies that hire them might be part of it though. Get caught with an illegal and get a $100k fine per? Sounds doable. Sounds like a windfall to me. ;)


1 comment:

Suz said...

I would have to say that I definately agree with you here. Immigration is a good thing, as long as it's done legally, and rewarding those who have managed to come here and evade the authorities for some given timeframe should not be rewarded for being clever little fugitives...we don't do that with people who commit any other crimes, do we?

I would go a little further than what you suggest tho, and add in making it a little less of a PITA to get here legally. I think that by doing so it might encourage those who want to come here to try to do it legally instead of saying "Not only do I not have the money to attempt to apply for a visa, but I have no chance in hell at getting one either, so screw it. I'm gonna take my chances with the coyotes (both types), the desert, and the border patrol"

Suz

*disclaimer: If this doesn't make sense, it's because it's my bedtime, and I should be crawling into bed instead of posting here.