I was a supporter of George W. Bush until half-way through his second term. That was when I realized he was just another globalist, when the unenforced open borders issue stuck out it's ugly neck, and certain people in Congress wanted amnesty for illegal aliens from Mexico. Guys like John McCain and Lindsey Graham should ring a bell, right?
I have no doubt now that the amnesty legislation that Congress wanted to pass was not only the beginning of the end of the Republican majorities, but it was also the beginning of the Tea Party Movement, when people spoke up and we killed the bill. Just sayin'...
Setting the Stage - Part 1
Illegal Immigration: Can We Do the Right Thing?
By John Kubicek
Originally posted Sat May 13, 2006 4:39 am
Why would people want to risk their lives to come into this country illegally? Is it because the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, with the most freedoms, a better life, a land of opportunity? Or, is it because of the entitlements - from health care to free education - that they can obtain without even being documented?
Realistically, we have to believe that both of the above are true. Just like the rest of us - we all want one or the other or both - our freedoms and entitlements. (It isn't just illegal immigrants that want all the benefits and entitlements of living in the United States of America!)
But here's the deal. I'm all for people having a better life. You will notice, though, most of the nations on this planet don't have an illegal immigrant problem. The only undocumented aliens in most of the countries South of our border are probably tied to terrorism and/or drug-running. However, many of those countries are losing their most valuable asset, human resources. People that want to work, people looking for opportunity, and people that desire the freedom to pursue their dreams. People are running from those countries to come to the United States of America.
So, I've made it clear that I can understand the reasons why the immigrants (legal, or not) want to come to the U.S. They want opportunity, and the freedom to take advantage of the opportunities we are privileged to have here in this great country. Right? So, do I have a problem with immigration? Absolutely no problem - as long as it is LEGAL immigration!
Obviously, illegal immigration has become a big issue in the United States. It is an issue, because there are some major problems associated with illegal immigration. Here are some of the problems this great country faces right now:
What do we do with the 11 million.... (Oh, 12 million? Or is it 20 million?) ... "undocumented" (illegal) immigrants we have here now? As long as our borders remain unsecured, millions of illegal immigrants have been able to cross the border, undocumented. We don't really even know how many illegal immigrants are already in the United States. That is why we hear numbers ranging from 11 million to 20 million. There is no way to know for sure how many there are, as they are undocumented.The Solutions
It is not fair to U.S. taxpayers when many of the illegal aliens, who generally work for wages "under the table" and bypass tax withholding from their paychecks; yet their kids go to our public schools, they visit hospitals and medical clinics and get free medical care, and many drive cars without licenses and insurance.
- How do we find all the immigrants that are undocumented?
- Do we deport them all back to Mexico or their country of origin? How exactly would we know where to deport them to if they are undocumented to begin with?
- And, what do we with illegal immigrants if they have "anchor babies" here in the United States? (Anchor babies become citizens of the United States just by being born here.) Do we split up their families by deporting all the illegal aliens even if they have had children that are born in the United States while they are here illegally?
- Should we make it easier for illegal immigrants to become naturalized citizens?
- Should those immigrants that are already here illegally face harsh punishment, or should they be given "amnesty"?
Employers that hire illegal immigrants and pay them "under the table" without withholding taxes are breaking the law. Many of the employers breaking the employment laws are never caught, because the existing laws are rarely enforced.
And of course, there is the great debate about whether or not businesses could afford to replace the labor force they may have hired (illegally) if all the illegal immigrants were deported?
While many of these issues are currently being debated in Congress as well as in state legislatures, many Americans feel that we already have some good laws in place, but they just haven't been enforced. New laws that are enacted will not solve the problem if our government still lacks the resolve or the ability to enforce them! Besides, in reality, the only laws and policies that NEED to be written into law, or revised, should be those that strengthen our national security, and that determine how to deal with all illegal aliens that are already here.
First, let's start with the national security issues, because that needs to be the number one priority at this time. We are in a war right now. Our war is not with another country (except for those countries that sponsor terrorism). This war is against radical individuals that use terror as their weapon. In order to keep this country safe, there is no doubt that we MUST be able to prevent terrorists from getting into the United States. Therefore, we must
- Secure our borders; not just our southern border, but also the border with Canada, and our coastlines.
- Determine who is already in the country illegally. All foreign nationals need to be documented. The laws and regulations currently in the books need to be thoroughly enforced.
Guarding our borders obviously will not be an easy task, but it needs to be our top national priority. It will require a large budget. We will need to have sufficient technology and equipment in place, along with a very large increase in human resources for border patrol agents, the National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard personnel. Even if we have enough personnel and equipment in place, it will still require building a secure barrier on our borders. We have to make it as close to impossible as we can to keep terrorists from easily crossing the borders into the United States, or for that matter, to be able to escape from the United States following a terrorist attack.
And now to the other difficult question, what do we do with the MILLIONS of illegal immigrants ALREADY HERE? I just don't believe it is feasible to round them all up and kick them out of the country. However, what we could do, is to give them a time limit, from the moment the President signs the bill, to require them to become documented. (Let's just say 30 days.) They should be fingerprinted, photographed, and required to carry a national ID card with their photo and any other pertinent information microchipped (or on a magnetic strip) on the card, which could even include digitized fingerprints. Should they fail to "register" and get the national ID card, then they should have to face stiff penalties including some time in the slammer and having all assets purchased (or stolen), while in the United States illegally, confiscated; and then deport them back to their country of origin. There would be absolutely no "amnesty" for those that fail to initiate the registration process.
Of course, there will be the debate about employers and businesses not being able to afford the additional labor cost of following all the current employment statutes. However, what about all the businesses that are already following all the labor statutes (such as not hiring illegal immigrants and the minimum wage laws)? They are finding it difficult to compete with those businesses that aren't going by the book. Economically, the scenario would not be all that bad if all the businesses followed the rules! With that labor force now being paid under the table - undoubtedly with illegally low wages - the increase in their wages would be added to the national economy, and will just make it stronger. Getting all the employers playing on a level playing field is the only moral thing to do. (And as for the businesses that can no longer afford to stay in business because they have to pay higher wages LEGALLY? Tough toe-nails!!)
And there would be a great benefit to paying this 11-20 million strong labor force above board. It is called taxes. That is a huge, I mean massive, increase in the amount of revenue that the government would then be taking in - and that is what we'll be able to use to upgrade our border security... or maybe even keep Social Security and Medicare from going under (as soon). Keep in mind, much of the illegal immigrant population is on the young side, thus reducing the imbalance we now face because of the increasing number of people that will be retiring soon - the aging baby boomers. And the taxes that the immigrants would be paying will help pay for the services and entitlements that they would be able to eventually receive - legally!
Yes, the solutions I have so far given you may be just reaching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the issues, especially that of how soon they would be able to become citizens (if they should so desire). Well, to solve that issue real quick, this is what we will need to tell them: "Get in line!!" They don't deserve, and they haven't yet earned the PRIVILEGE to become a naturalized United States citizen. Again, back to the need to just keep the laws that we already have regarding citizenship, with enforcement included. There should not be any relaxed requirements for them to become citizens. Hey, immigrants, like it or vamoos. Learn English. Go to school if you have to. Adjust to our cultural heritage. Just do all the things that many of our ancestors did to become good citizens!
Just one more item. It is argued that they either take jobs away from Americans, or maybe they are doing jobs that Americans won't do. Look at it like any other thing in capitalism and a free society: Competition for the job, whether you are a LEGAL immigrant or already a U.S. citizen. And for businesses, compete for the best workers, which may require better wages and benefits to obtain the desired work force. But again, it all needs to be done on a level playing field, both for employers and for the employees!
If we increase our Border Patrol and Coast Guard, and hire a bunch more INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) agents, there will be many more jobs available, which will offset the increase in the legal work force available to employers. And just to help to offset the cost in increasing border security, and the hiring of more INS workers, we could tack on an additional 5% Federal income tax on all guest-workers. (I just picked the 5% number out of the air. That could be determined once we find out how many "new" guest workers we would have and what it will cost to administer immigration policies and increase - or actually have - border security.)
I have yet to explain what the illegal immigration issues have to do with the main topic of this current series, "Setting the Stage". Don't worry, I won't be leaving you hanging on that for very long. But I will give you some profound thoughts to ponder until the next time I write. (A clue.) Have you asked yourself, "how did we get into this mess with illegal immigration in the first place?" Why are there already laws in place, but they aren't being enforced? How could we be in war against terrorism, and have such open, unsecured boarders? The question I'm not going mention is, "who's fault is it?" That is a question that will be answered down the road as we progress through this topic.
Are you having fun yet? Have I made you think? Are you looking forward to my next post? (You should be!) Being that I was at my best today, and the last few days while writing this post, I have no doubt that you'll be telling your friends about this Forum.
And by the way, as I was preparing this post for publication, it was announced that President Bush will be addressing the nation live on prime time TV on Monday, May 15, 2006. The address will be about immigration, so I heard. I am just wondering how much of what he will say will be in lock-step with what I have written today. Not meaning to be arrogant, but I am hoping that it is at least close to my suggestions that I've written about so far!