If someone were to walk into your home and help themselves to the food in your refrigerator, watch tv and lie around on your couch would you:
A) let them continue doing what they were doing
B) call the police and have them arrested
I'm going on the presumption that all of you would choose B over A. However, for some reason there are those of you out there who believe that when it comes to illegal immigration A is the correct choice.
The issue of illegal immigration isn't a difficult concept to understand. If you are in this country and have not filled out the proper paperwork to either become a U.S. citizen or work here legally, you shouldn't be here. It's that simple.
I can hear the whining now. "You're a cold, heartless bastard!" "These are honest people trying to support their families!" "You can't just send them back. Some of them have been here for years."
Let's take these in order. First, I'm not a cold, heartless bastard (not all the time anyway). More to the point, what does this comment have to do with illegal immigration? It doesn't. This is simply an ad hominem attack against me, not my point of view.
However, allowing that what the whiner actually meant was that my stance on illegal immigration is one in which I show no sympathy for the plight of these individuals, it should be noted that I do understand their position. They want to earn more money than they could in their home country to help support their families. We all want to earn more money to have a better life. That isn't in debate.
What is in debate is the method that is used to accomplish this goal. During the last week or so I've listened to or watched several news articles on individuals who are in this country illegally. Almost without exception the story is the same: they've spent days or weeks on the road travelling from their home to the U.S., paying bribes to local officials to look the other way or having smugglers show them the way across the border. In one case the woman said she had left Guatemala a month and a half ago.
This is where I have a problem. Apparently these individuals can find the time, resources and money to leave their homes for extended periods of time yet they claim they can't find work in their home town. There must be some work because otherwise how could they have amassed the money necessary to pay bribes or smugglers? We're not talking a few dollars. In most cases smugglers charge thousands of dollars per person and you can be sure the corrupt law enforcement officials who want bribes don't come cheap either.
As to the second point, yes, we can just send them back. They shouldn't be here in the first place. Had they taken a little time and effort they could have applied to get a valid work permit to work in this country. It's not an overly complicated task. Yes, it does mean that they may have to wait a while to be allowed to enter legally but considering the alternatives, it seems like a small price to pay to get a better paying job.
The final point, about those who have been living here for years, all that means is that our enforcement isn't up to snuff. Better enforcement of the borders and more oversight of businesses would have picked up these illegal immigrants long ago. If someone was sentenced to jail for ten years but escapes after eight and is found thirty years later leading an exemplary life, does that mean they shouldn't serve the remainder of their term? Of course not. The same thing applies to this case. It doesn't matter that they're living an honest life, they shouldn't be here in the first place without authorization.
Let's make one thing clear: every country has the right to dictate who can and cannot enter its borders. Every country also has the right to control its own borders in the manner in which it sees fit. Just because your neighbor feels it isn't right for you to post guards every fifty feet ensconced in guard towers with a twenty-foot wall topped with razor wire along your common border does not mean you have to listen to them. So long as you are building the fence within your country's border,1 you can do what you want.
If you took careful note at no time have I said a word about immigrants in general. I have specifically used the word 'illegal' to denote those who have no legal right to be here. Nor have I singled out one specific group of illegal immigrants. Most people focus on illegal immigrants coming from Mexico but one could just as easily say illegal immigrants from Latin America and you would encompass every country below the U.S. However, one must also not forget that illegal immigrants come from Asia (mainly China) and Europe (the Balkan region) as well as Africa.
The issue about illegal immigration isn't simply about people who shouldn't be in this country, it is also about the economic, social and political climate of their home country. Mexico's President Vicente Fox has claimed of unfair treatment to his citizens caught in the U.S. and sent back to Mexico but nowhere does he address the egregious behavior of his own police and military forces in regards to their actions against those immigrants caught trying to get into the U.S. Case after case has been documented in which Mexican police and army forces have forced bribes from the immigrants, taken the immigrants possessions, demanded sexual favors from women and girls and have commited acts of rape and murder.
Further, President Fox has said that the money these illegal immigrants send back to Mexico to their families helps the Mexican economy and to cut off this source of funds would do irreperable harm to his country.
Here's an idea. Why don't you, President Fox, weed out the corruption and cronyism that is rampant in all areas of your government and the money you save be used to promote job growth and reduce your country's debt. Why don't you start imprisoning, wholesale if necessary, police and military personnel who regularly participate in bribery schemes, rapes and murders. How about stopping the production of pamphlets explaining how people can cross the U.S./Mexico border in a way to avoid detection.
Cruel and cold-hearted? Not in the least. It's called constructive criticism. I, and others, have outlined ways for the Mexican president, as well as other nations leaders, to improve their country's economic and political systems so that people won't want to leave their country and make the dangerous trip to the U.S. to find a better paying job. By improving their country's economy the people will be earning more money which can be used internally to buy goods and services to help sustain the country instead of having the people sending money from the U.S. back to their home country and hurting our economy.
Certainly there are jobs in this country which Americans won't do for various reasons. Don't believe me, think about all the crops which are picked and packed every year due to the efforts of immigrants. How many of those jobs would Americans actually do if given the chance? Not many. The kids in my area won't work in the fields of a local family farm picking crops. That is left to the immigrants to do.
Which is fine. If Americans don't want to do those jobs then yes, let others do them. However, that should not be an invitation to throw open the doors and let millions of undocumented people flood the country. Nor should it be the presursor to an amnesty program for the millions of illegals aliens already in this country. Allowing people who have broken the law to circumvent the legal system is a slap in the face to the tens of millions of people who diligently filled out the proper forms and waited their turn to enter this country and go on to become citizens.
The key point to remember is that the debate is not about immigration. After all, every one of us is an immigrant or the descendent of an immigrant (well, almost all of us). The issue is about illegal immigration. Anytime anyone says I'm anti-immigrant I'm quick to correct them. There is a big difference between someone who comes here after filling out the proper paperwork and someone who sneaks across the border.
To those who I hear from time to time saying that these illegals bring diseases with them, take a look at your own fat ass. Considering the vile state some of your homes are kept in I'd think twice before opening my mouth about diseases. If the weeds growing out of your keyboards are any indication of how clean you think you are I should probably get a tetanus shot every six months.
One other thing. Most of my family are immigrants. Most came from another country after applying to come here, filling out the paperwork and waiting their turn. They didn't know the language but once they came here they learned quickly while still retaining their original language. All of them have become upstanding individuals in society and have lived comfortable lives. If they can do that there is no reason the illegal immigrants today can't do the same.1I am excluding Israel from this comment since their border fence is being built on land they forced the rightful owners from and are now trying to claim as their own. Further, the 'security' wall around Jerusalem is nothing more than a land grab, as has been documented time and again as well as admitted to by the Jerusalem mayor. In one case, a Palestinian who had been living in the outskirts of Jerusalem since before Israel existed, was no longer allowed to tend his crops because the wall was built and he was denied access to his fields by Israeli authorities.