Taking a limited number of immigrants who respect American law, culture and customs can make America more awesome. Our country, our choice. I prescribe this song while you read this, mostly because it’s a fun flash from the past.
I’m sad to think this, but I don’t know a solution to illegal immigration other than protecting our borders, which may require that we build a wall. It hurts the liberal UCSC graduate inside of me but I can’t help drawing conclusions from data, evidence, and long-term thinking.
The world is full of people who would be better off as the poorest of the poor in the USA. Can anyone deny that? If we let everyone in the world move to the US who would be better off here than where they are, we would destroy what we have.
We have native folks who aren’t self-sufficient already. That’s not what the human spirit wants, but if it’s dependency or death, the life instinct is strong in our species or you wouldn’t be around. I’m not saying individualistic, self-serving capitalism is the ideal, as I’m not a believer in the god of the invisible hand that will heal all the ills of modern life, but it’s sure better than communism and those are the main options on the table that I know of. Maybe someday we will come up with something better; I hope we do because I believe capitalism/consumerism/materialism is bad for the soul of humanity. Personally, I’m a fan of local solutions to social problems, involving interactions between people who know and love one another but also hold each other accountable, but I believe the major thing lacking in modern life is a community of support for every human. But I digress from the main topic, immigration.
Basic arithmetic says that, despite our compassionate desires to allow all homo sapiens a chance at the freedom and opportunity we have here in the USA, we can’t do this for the entire world without asking every American to lower his/her living standard, at least, at this point in our technology. The book Abundance, by Diamondis and Kotler describes some technology that could be used to lift up living standards around the world, which is a much better option for helping people in the 3rd world than trying to make them all into Americans.
There are conflicting arguments on both sides as to the effects of illegal immigration on the US and it’s hard to find an unbiased source of information on people who are here illegally and thus hard to study, but it makes sense based on the laws of supply and demand that if we add an influx of low skill workers willing to work for much lower wages than the US-born, then jobs for the low skill US citizens will be fewer and wages will be depressed (read this, this, and also this). This has the effect of harming the poorest of the poor in the US. Pick your battles!
The “solution” being offered by many to the current population of illegal immigrants in the US is amnesty, i.e.. let’s just make them citizens and start over. Then we will magically protect our borders without a wall and without changing anything else fundamentally; are they planning to use the force? Incentives play a huge part in human behavior and if we incentivize people to break into our country by offering them a prize (US citizenship is a prize!), then, do you think we won’t be burgled again because of that “solution”? The word is gonna get around that breaking into our nice house is not only easy, but we give robbers prizes for breaking in successfully; let’s spread that story around our neighborhood and expect no one will ever take advantage of our generosity again, right?!?!!!!! Go ahead and give it a shot on YOUR HOME and let’s see how well that “logic” works…
Considering the other benefits of US citizenship, such as welfare, food stamps, free public education, voting, general public safety and security (many countries are much less safe and have “civil servants” that are routinely bribed), public libraries, public transit, parks, roads etc, US citizenship is a gift, especially for the lower classes* . Amnesty is open borders, so, if you are advocating amnesty, admit that you are for open borders. We tried amnesty a few times already and it didn’t work. I’ve heard the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results, though technically that isn’t the definition, but it’s still evidence of irrational thinking.
I read an NPR article about Mexico’s attempts to thwart illegal immigrants from central America from coming through Mexico to the USA:
But just about every frustrated Honduran migrant who ends up there says the same thing:
“Voy a hacer otro intento.”
Meaning, “As soon as possible, I’m going to make another attempt to get into the United States.”
The world is full of people who are desperate enough to move here illegally even if we didn’t offer them citizenship; we need to preserve our country and we can’t do that if we let the decisions of the most desperate people in the world determine our future. We can’t doing anything significant to help the poor of the world through immigration, it’s too big. We have a right to protect our borders and decide who gets to be an American…that’s not racism or bigotry, it’s common sense and decency towards Americans, especially towards the most desperate of OUR citizens. In the history of nations did a country allow others to, basically, invade it without doing anything to protect itself? If that happened in history, how long did that nation last? I really want to know if anyone knows of an example in history where our current policy worked long term.
Is it really crazy for our immigration laws to work in the best interests of our own country and it’s citizens? Immigrants should come here legally and add value to our country, not depress wages for our workers, and we should aim for ZERO criminal immigrants, since we already have plenty of native born criminals. It’s common sense that is not common.
What is wrong with a little bit of honesty? Why are people so offended by the reality, which is that illegal immigrants who break the law to come here are criminals by definition**? There are a lot of accidents of birth. For example, I’d rather be a 3rd world peasant with just enough resources to survive but with a loving family than an American with a childhood full of sexual and physical abuse. There ARE some violent criminals among illegal immigrants, but it is considered offensive and racist to talk about that, to stick up for your fellow US citizens who become victims of violence by illegal immigrants, because racism is a worse crime than murder or rape these days, apparently. I’ve recently noticed my own liberal emotional programming; criticizing anyone who happens to be slightly brown causes me to feel very uncomfortable. But that in itself is RACIST, because if I treat brown people as some special class above criticism, I’m not being honest and not treating my follow humans like self-determining adults who are responsible for their own actions. Illegal immigrant crime is a huge problem and shouldn’t be one at all if we as a nation act like we care about preserving our legacy for future generations and using our immigration laws and enforcement in our country’s best interests. Which is what a nation ought to do if it’s not suicidal.
I realize we took the land of natives to make it into the USA and killed most of the natives along the way, but it’s stupid to adopt suicidal policies to make up for our “original sin” that no one alive now was a part of. That just makes the sins of the past worth nothing to the future, if we destroy America trying to give it away because we feel bad about how we got it in the first place. We are here now, let’s do what is best moving forward. The past is the past. History is full of various atrocities and all we can do now is try to be better in our actions while we also work for our own interests, because that’s what nations do if they aren’t suicidal.
By the way in communist East Germany they had to erect walls and fences to keep their OWN PEOPLE IN! I saw part of the Berlin wall and I visited the Checkpoint Charlie museum in Germany, which displays some of the many ways that East German citizens tried to escape to the west. Nations should strive to become so awesome that they need walls to keep people OUT rather than in. If you’re doing ok, your country needs walls to keep people out, not in. I’ll take our situation over East Germany, though it does make for many excellent movie plots, most of them depressing.
*Corporations probably get the most in terms of $, and they are also beneficiaries of our immigration policies, but they own our government and we let them so what do we expect? We ignored the presidential candidate who pointed out the idiocy of trying to solve problems on the national level in the current state of our government. We’d rather fight about divisive social issues in a silly left/right battle than face the real problem together. (Slaps forehead in frustration) By the way, some environmentalists are worried about the implications of mass immigration on the environment, but the Sierra Club doesn’t because………wait for it………….big surprise………………..$$$$$!
**Apparently many illegal immigrants overstay their visas and that is apparently not technically a criminal offense. But, if it’s becoming a problem, it should be made one.