Immigration Thoughts

Some weeks ago, the Governor of Arizona signed a bill into law that effectively cracked down on illegal immigrants, requiring them to show proof of residence if stopped by a police officer. This law has been denounced as racist and fascist.

Since I am an immigrant, this is a subject that is dear to my heart. I am here legally; I stood  in line for five ears to get permanent residence (a process that was supposed to take 18 months, but this is the INS we are talking about here). One would think that I would be the first to speak out against this law, but I support it.

Whether we like it or not, America is being overrun by Mexican illegals who have no business being here, and the border states –  Arizona, New Mexico and Texas – have a tougher time than everyone else.

These folks are often described as “Hard-working honest people”. That’s only half right – they may be hard-working, but I cannot see how someone who has, by their very presence invaded foreign soil can be described as “honest”. The Mexican Government provides them with ID cards, though, curiously, those ID cards are not accepted in Mexico. This means that the Mexican Government is aiding and abetting illegal aliens at best. At worst, it is an act of war.

Article 67 of Mexico’s Population Law says, “Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal… are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues.” And yet they consider it unreasonable when their nearest neighbor does the same. So why are they complaining? The Mexican Government has no problem with arresting, mistreating and deporting Central American illegals found in Mexico, so for them to complain is a case of Pot, Kettle and Black. That’s a bit like demanding that your neighbor allows your dog to use their yard as a toilet, while threatening to shoot their cat if sets paw on your property. It’s simply not neighborly, and the Mexican Government should be called to account for this.

Opponents of the law say that Immigration is the constitutional responsibility of the Federal Government… and they are right. But for decades, Washington DC has ignored the issue and underfunded the INS to the point that they cannot do their job. Neither side of the Aisle is interested in fixing the problem: The Republicans see cheap labor (“people who work and don’t vote“), while the Democrats see future citizens (“people who vote and don’t work“). So… nothing gets done, and everyone “goes along to get along”. But Washington D.C is a long way from the Mexican border.

One thing that the bleeding-heart mob have failed to notice is that, like casinos, illegal aliens impose a social cost on the society in which they live.

  • They pay no taxes… So the rest of us have to pay more.
  • They often drive without auto insurance… So the rest of us have to pay more. I know of two people who have been in auto accidents involving uninsured Mexicans who subsequently disappeared, leaving them holding the bag.
  • Hospitals in southern border states are straining under the weight of Mexicans who abuse the system by using the Emergency Room for non-emergent treatment and then not paying the bill.
  • Immigrant families tend to have lots of children, but unless they are paying property taxes, those kids will be getting a free education at somebody else’s expense.

Here are some of the commonest objections, along with my thoughts on the matter.

  • “It’s racist/racial profiling”. Not true. This does not give the cops “stop-and-search” powers, it just allows them check out people that are being questioned in some connection with some other matter. When you are dealing with a massive influx of Mexican immigrants, it is reasonable to target people who looked like Mexicans. If we had a problem with illegal Swedish immigrants, the cops would be picking on people with blue eyes and blond hair.
  • “It’s a show-your-papers society”. Close, but no cigar. In a perfect world, nobody should be required to carry their immigration paperwork around with them everywhere they go. I do not carry mine, and will not carry the originals (too easy to lose or have it stolen, and it is a whole lot of hassle to replace). Fortunately that emotionally-charged question is a bit of a red herring, and the problem is easy enough to solve. When you move to another state, you are required to re-register your vehicle. As an immigrant, I am also required to present my paperwork to my new employers. So it is reasonable to require folks to present their citizenship or immigration paperwork to either the Drivers Licensing folks when getting a license issued or renewed. Alternatively they could present their credentials at a local police station. Either way, the information is on file and any police officer can know in seconds that a person is legal. I am an immigrant and would have no problem with this.

In spite of the yammering to the contrary, a wall along the border will not work. The Berlin wall did not prevent East Germans from fleeing to West Germany, even though it was only 17 miles long and was fearfully protected with watchtowers, soldiers and Guard Dogs. For Mexican illegals, an unattended wall is simply a place for them to lean a ladder. What will work is to enforce the laws we already have at the employer level – and to do that, the INS needs resources and tools to do their job. It has been a long time since the cry of “INS!” would cause illegals to run for the doors; that time needs to return.

There are those reading this who are sympathetic to the plight of “the poor wretched huddled masses”; who feel that it is our duty to reach out and help those less fortunate than ourselves. To you, I say “Bravo”. But the greatest man who ever lived said “You will always have the poor”, and we cannot afford to look after all of them. At some point you will run out of money and have to turn someone away; it’s only a matter of when. If your heart is still bleeding, do what I did: sponsor a child overseas with your own money and quit spending everyone else’s.

This nation has a long and proud history of accepting immigrants, but for nearly a century we have been able to be selective about whom we accept and whom we turn away. We can and should use that selection process to bolster our nation with the best and brightest that the world has to offer. As bad as things are here, this is still the one place on Earth where most people want to go, and fewest want to leave. We can use that to make this nation a place for excellence, attracting the nest and brightest. If we choose to remake this nation with Mexican fruit pickers, gardeners, maids, etc., we will regret it.

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