06 February 2008


One of the major issues facing America today is immigration. Specifically, illegal immigration. I don't fully understand why our politicians are so afraid of touching this problem, other than they're afraid of losing the vote of those who share the race of most of those who come here illegally.

Here is my stance on this issue:

1. We need to control our borders. Notice I did not say we need to seal our borders. My ancestors are immigrants. Your ancestors are probably immigrants. This country was built on the backs of those who came to America to find a better life. Our greatness can be directly attributed to immigrants.

I do not support closing off immigration entirely, I only believe we should know who is coming to live here. We need to be able to refuse entry to those who are dangerous (terrorists, convicted felons, those with infectious diseases). A nation that cannot control its borders will soon cease to be a nation.

2. This is not about race. If there were millions of Swedes pouring into America illegally every year, I'd have a problem with it, and they're whiter than I am. I'm tired of watching every person who is critical of illegal immigration be painted as a racist.

3. We have laws against illegal immigration. Federal laws. Federal laws which supersede state laws. If Arizona doesn't want to do anything about illegal immigration, they are rebelling against the federal government. Luckily for them, the feds have no interest in stopping illegal immigration either.

If you have a problem with these laws, work to overturn them. If you think they are irrational and outdated, call your congressman and get things moving in the right direction.

If we choose to disregard immigration law, what other laws can we ignore? I'd really like to be able to knock over a 7-11, but there are laws against robbery and stiff penalties enforced for those who break these laws. I realize crossing the Rio Grande to find a job in America is not the moral equivalent to stealing a grandmother's purse, but disregarding existing law is a dangerous thing to do.

4. I understand there are millions of good people in America who have come here illegally. I realize that forcefully removing these people from our country is impossible and possibly immoral. But at the same time, I look at the example of my friend Omar.

Omar's family came to America from Guatemala in 2002. His dad had a good job which he had legally obtained. However, Omar's dad was the only member of the family that was legally able to work. Even though it was hard for Omar's family to all live off of their father's income alone, none of the children illegally obtained jobs to help support the family.

Unfortunately, through some circumstances Omar's family was not happy about, Omar's dad lost his green card and the family consequently lost their right to live in the United States. Instead of staying illegally, they went to Canada and claimed a status that allowed them to stay and petition for re-entry into America.

They were unable to do so, and are now working towards Canadian citizenship. Do they wish they could return to America? Sure, a little. Do they miss the friends they left here? Of course. But they respect the United States enough that they refuse to flaunt its laws for their own benefit.

5. Yes, the economy is dependent on the labor performed by illegal immigrants, but the same labor can be obtained through legal guest-worker programs where we can regulate who participates.

I also refuse to believe that American citizens refuse to do the work illegal immigrants do. Yes, most of this work would be done by younger citizens, and yes, there are plenty of spoiled kids who wouldn't clean a toilet if their life depended on it, but I believe there are plenty of kids who come from solidly-founded homes that would take the jobs in the fields and in fast-food restaurants.

Sadly, I believe the only way the government will do anything about securing our borders is if terrorists make a major attack on a U.S. city and it is discovered that they walked across the border to Mexico or Canada.

It took 9/11 to wake us up to the threat of terrorism; it will take a similar tragedy to wake us up to the threat of open borders.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Excellent post Bran.