Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nothing good comes for free

Todays piece by Peggy Noonan brings up some interesting points about immigration, specifically, the illegal kind. Noonan begins by writing about the wonder of what can be done here in America, where in 2 generations famlies go from sleeping outside on benches to writing speeches for the President. The kind of success this demonstrates stems from certain values, values she fears may be absent in many of today's illegal immigrants.

This is what I fear about our elites in government and media, who will decide our immigration policy. It is that they will ignore the human questions and focus instead, as they have in the past, only on economic questions (we need the workers) and political ones (we need the Latino vote). They think that's the big picture. It's not. What goes on in the human heart is the big picture.

By human heart Noonan refers to the following:

They knew citizenship was not something cheaply held but something bestowed by a great nation.
Did the fact that they had to earn it make joining America even more precious?
Yes. Of course.

She continues

Again: What does it mean when your first act is to break the laws of your new country? What does it mean when you know you are implicitly supported in lawbreaking by that nation's ruling elite? What does it mean when you know your new country doesn't even enforce its own laws? What does it mean when you don't even have to become an American once you join America?

We need change in immigration law and practice. I do think that we need some way to take the 10-20 million illegals that currently reside here and bring them into the system, not as citizens or people on the citizen-track, but as contributing, tax-paying workers. If they want to become citizens they would need to go through the normal and official channels, possibly even returning to their native land in order to do so.
We also need greater border security. There is nothing inhumane about a wall or fence. Nations have always had the right to delineate territory and defend it. A more effective border barrier and greater supervision of that border are other necessary steps.


At 12:44 PM, Blogger kevin said...

In a perfect world the ideas proposed would be enough to ward of would be illegal immigrants from entering our country...but lets be honest this is not a perfect world...and by increasing security and constructing "fences" along our borders will create their own problems and problems that I believe are greater than those present now. The problem will be those patroling the border. They are supposed to be non biased and turn everyone away. What will happen though is that there will begin to be corruption and the monetary temptation will be too great for those border patrols to refuse. A black market for illegal immigrants would ensue making getting across the border more expensive and dangerous for the immigrants (as many come across by coyotes and end up being the coyotes slaves here in the US).
Now in my ideal world what would happen is that the US would buck up and allow free trade to occur and not have special interest groups crying because their low education jobs are going across the border to a much lower wage country. If you make it possible for the immigrants to make enough money to live in their own country than they will not flock to the US. So who is to blame...I think the US is doings its job, we have talks open with the Mexican government to create a better economical partnership. The country truly at fault and which should be pressured greater by the US government is Mexico. Their tax structure is in no way competitive for a low wage country. Example...HP(Hewlet Packard) opened a multi printer factory in Guadalajara. This created thousands of manufacturing jobs and engineering positions for the Mexican citizens. But due to both economic conditions of the printer market and the Mexican's taxes HP ended up closing the plant just 8 months after opening it. Out of the thousands of mexicans who had jobs only 3-4 engineers were able to transfer to factories and plants in the US. What will the other 99% of the workers do? Many of the unprofessional workers will end up crossing the border to find work in the US. Mexico should be blamed and they should be pressured to make a change.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Lowdogg said...

I'm all for free trade. I do believe that would take care of a lot of these issues, but we need today solutions because this is a today problem. Our security depends on acting now, in addition to letting reforms like free trade do their thing.
Corruption is currently a problem. It might be a problem then, but corruption on a closed border is preferable to wide open ones.


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