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.

1 comment:

  1. I can confirm one thing, the government is not doing a good job of blocking people from crossing the border. During my 3 years in Laredo, I saw countless people wade, swim, float, or tube through the Rio Grande, and scurry up the bank into Laredo. Border Patrol was there and on alert, but they can only cover so much ground and catch so many people at a time.
    The illegal immigration issue is as much one of misinformation as it is one of people struggling to make money in the U.S. for their families in Mexico. Coyotes make thousands of dollars per person to get someone into the U.S. The good ones have scoped out the land, know when to cross, and how to beat the U.S. Border Patrol. But these Coyotes also paint a picture in small towns throughout Mexico, Central, and South America of S.U.V.s, Large Homes, and Millions of Dollars. Most people in these small, rural towns do not know any better, and believe these tails of riches. The reality is, while there are some success stories, many remain in poverty for the duration of their life, and wish they had never left their home.
    But stopping the misinformation is tricky, because U.S. propoganda programs in these rural towns to educate people on the reality of coming to this union illegally have largely failed. People don't believe the "Gringo Lies" which in this case are actually the truth, and rather believe the lying Coyotes who they then shell thousands over too for their upcoming ardous, sometimes deadly journey.