31 March 2006

Immigration: I

This week, the word is immigration, and the phrase is illegal immigration. If you've been in a cave, or don't live in these United States, let me catch you up.

In December, the House of Representatives passed an immigration reform bill. It makes it a felony to be here illegally. On Monday, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a separate bill. It doesn't criminalize, and gives illegal people a chance to become legal with having to leave the country first. This is a nice overview, although it's dated.

The debate is vehement. There are those who contend people who want tougher immigration laws are racists. Personally, I don't think that's true. I think the main argument against illegal immigrants (or undocumented workers) is that they drive wages down. Of course that means they also drive prices down. I firmly believe if the illegals stood together and demanded higher pay, there wouldn't be as much of a fuss.

I also don't buy into the "jobs Americans won't do." I watch Dirty Jobs w/ Mike Rowe. I know there are a lot of gross and difficult jobs people do because they need to eat, pay bills, support families, etc. I think Americans have standards, which I see as a result of being American. So instead of "jobs Americans won't do," it should be "jobs companies won't pay a decent wage to have done."

And of course there are terrorists. We need to watch our borders for those determined to do us harm. And according to the Government Accountability Office, we're not doing such a good job.

I'm not going to give you a detailed description of my plan to secure the border and stop illegal immigration. One day I'll run for office and this might still be a crisis. So I might need my brilliant idea. But I appreciate the debate. What I don't appreciate are the student protests. I really don't think the high school students clogging streets across the country and waving Mexican flags know what's going on. I hear them on TV talking about Congress being racist and trying to make them criminals. I bet if this were happening during summer vacation, there would be so many student protests.