The Great Debate of Immigration

Initially, I was going to stay out of this.  I have my own views, which happen to be shared by a majority of people, I think, but this story broke in Texas, and I just had to say something about it:

For those of you who either haven’t heard or haven’t heard the whole story, a subdivision of Dallas, Texas called Farmer’s Branch has been given the OK to enforce laws that prohibit the renting of living properties to illegal and undocumented aliens.  This, as you can imagine, has touched off quite the debate, as the immigration issue is somewhat of a powder keg of an issue today.

Two Sides, Same Coin:
On the one side of this issue, you have those (like me) who support the law and would love to see something like this enacted on a national scale.  Yes, I know America is the land of opportunity, but to come here, you have to do it legally.  If we as Americans went to any other country on earth and demanded a change in laws to accommodate our lifestyle, language, and preferences, we’d all be rounded up, thrown in jail, and quite possibly never heard from again.  You don’t go into another country and tell them to change for you, you change for your new country.  It’s like telling Germany to change it’s national language to Swahili just because some African guy wants to live in Germany.  Sorry, Charlie, but it doesn’t work that way.  However, we now have educational programs aimed not at teaching English as a Second Languages (ESL) to Hispanic and other foreigners.  No, we must learn Spanish to accommodate our new neighbors to the south because we would never think of burdening them with learning English…

At the root of this problem from this perspective is not human rights like some claim it is.  It’s the rights and privileges I hold as a legal citizen of the USA against those who are not covered by our laws and constitution.  Now, I’m all for helping anyone who needs it, and trust me, I know most people south of the border are itching to make a move north.  However, doing it illegally only puts strain on the system that makes that American Dream a possibility.  There is more money going out than there is coming in due to illegal aliens drawing on health care, social services, and other social support when they do nothing to pay into those systems.  Now, Congress is seriously considering letting illegals apply for Social Security.  This, I say, is a travesty.  Social Security, along with what little health care benefits are available in this country are quickly diminishing with no end in sight.  Trust me, putting more straw on the  camel’s back is not the way to help it out.

On the Flip Side:
Now, on the other side of this coin, there is a real and dire need for these people to do something meaningful with their lives and the lives of those loved ones left behind.  Any cursory look at Mexico’s economic system (if it can be called a “system”), justice system, and general way of life is enough to make one cringe.  Just imagine living in it on a daily basis, and you can begin to understand why there is such a mad rush to get out.  However, along with the entrepreneurial, hard working citizens who are just out to make a decent living come the low-lifes, scourges of society who are looking to take advantage of a new market (and growing) for their illicit wares.  The only way to separate one from the other is to be able to control and check all who come in.  Is it a daunting task? Surely it is, but if we are really serious about securing this nation, we have to start with the gaping hole sitting just south of Texas.

The Real Culprits:
Obviously, there’s something…attractive about the United States that would cause someone to risk life, limb, and imprisonment to make a dangerous, desert-like crossing in the dead of night.  However, that something isn’t the chance to go to Disney World.  It’s the knowledge that out there, there exists someone, some company, who’s willing to pay an undocumented, illegal alien a few dollars less than minimum wage to do what amounts to slave labor.  The reasons for this are many, and are a topic for another entry, but suffice it to say that where the rubber meets the road, those coming across the border are looking mainly for those who are unscrupulous enough to pay them “under the table”.  And why not?  It’s tax free, almost always in cash form which requires no identification to spend, and everyone will accept a fist full of dollars in a heartbeat, often without regard to the legality of the situation.

The Real Victims:
This one is an obvious answer on one part, but not so on the other.  The obvious part is that the average, hard working American is the victim in all of this.  Minimum wage hasn’t been raised in the past ten years, and companies are wondering why no one wants to work 39 hours a week with no benefits for$6.50 an hour.  Couple that with the fact that the cost of living even at the poverty line averages out to making anywhere from $8.00 – $9.00 an hour in most places, and you start to see where the demand for cheep labor comes from.  However, there is another victim in all of this, and that’s the immigrants themselves.

Wait, what?

See, most of these immigrants who are in this sort of situation are here illegally, which forever brands them for one of two scenarios:

  1. They will forever be forced to work for next to nothing, often bouncing from one menial job to another, or
  2. They will eventually be rounded up by law enforcement, imprisoned, and deported back to their home country where they may or may not get a shot at legally entering the US.

Those who are lucky enough to escape law enforcement are then doomed to a never-ending cycle of low paying jobs, all for the hope that their children and grandchildren will have a better life, and it’s a noble cause, to be sure.  However, those growing numbers who are caught and deported, well, let’s just say the government doesn’t forgive and it rarely forgets.  If that name pops up again on a visa request, it’s almost sure to be denied due an illegal attempt to enter the country.  And if their children were with them at the time, then they are probably doomed, as well.

The Bottom Line:
Something has to give, for sure.  I’m all for measures like those implemented in Farmer’s Branch, TX.  Some are calling it racists.  I call it precautionary and necessary.  If we as a country take away the incentive to break immigration laws by making it nearly impossible to earn a living as an illegal immigrant, then people will be forced to take the legal rout, which will ensure they will become a legal part of the system, fully able to enjoy all it has to offer.  No one wins when immigrants enter the country illegally, not even the immigrants themselves.

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~ by Deuce on May 14, 2007.

2 Responses to “The Great Debate of Immigration”

  1. […] Hey, thanks for your comment (go read The Great Debate of Immigration).  I’m not exactly sure what to think about that bill.  To be honest, I’m not sure […]

  2. I’m wondering what you think of the new immigration bill that Congress wants Bush to approve, the one that forces illegals to pay a $5,000 fine, go back to their country, and then try to return here.

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