The Backstory: Immigration reform

manrangerBefore starting let’s clear something up. People who are in a country illegally, whether the US or anywhere else, are illegal aliens. They are not undocumented immigrants, temporary visitors or non-resident immigrants, they are illegal. Some are here in school, some live in appalling conditions and mow lawns to survive, and some are even high-paid technical workers whose green cards have expired.¬†Whatever the situation, calling them illegal aliens is neither disrespectful nor a violation of their human rights.

President Obama, always quick to seize a political opportunity, used this issue to his advantage to get re-elected. He has been promising a fix to the problem for four years, but his proposals basically boil down to amnesty. That means giving 12 million people license to stay here and eventually become citizens, though in reality very few would ever try. Citizens don’t get as many federal benefits. The other downside of amnesty is that it’s like telling the rest of the world, “hey, come on in, the doors are open.” We don’t need to encourage more illegal immigrants.

On the other hand, it is logistically impossible to bus, truck, ship or fly illegals out of the country. There are simply too many of them. And if you tried that you’d have liberals in your face about the inhumanity of it all and the media would have a field day. So what we have is a giant mess thanks to years of neglect by politicians in both parties.

I happen to live about a half mile from several huge trailer parks full of Mexican migrant farm workers and I’d be surprised if any of them were legal. They pretty much mind their business and I mind mine, it all works out. The only time we really cross paths is if I should wander into Walmart on a Saturday night. That is when the store transforms into little Mexico and becomes a social gathering place. All in all it is sad that in the 21st century people have to live this way to survive because their home country is so badly managed.

man_032I have to admit to feeling very conflicted about the whole issue. I’ve seen illegals up close and find their plight to be pathetic and sad. On the other hand we can’t afford to school and feed them all. It really is like the situation I described with feeding birds in the park. We run the risk of being overwhelmed if we allow it to continue.

I listened to Senator Rubio explain the Gang of 8 proposals and they actually make sense. That’s pretty surprising since the Senate rarely produces anything that makes sense, but this group for once seems sincere. There are already rumblings that Obama is going to push for full amnesty as one would expect, but hopefully the Senate will get its way on this. Let’s hope they don’t try to pander too much to special interests.

This problem is huge and won’t be solved with ideologies by greedy politicians. It requires clear thinking and pragmatic solutions, both of which are in short supply in Washington these days. I don’t have solutions, I voted for people to come with them for me. It’s time for them to get busy and fix the mess they created by ignoring this for so long.

Reality sucks, but it still has to be dealt with.

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  1. #1 by Mike on January 29, 2013 - 11:15 pm

    I keep hearing how impossible it is to deport them, but ICE has deported almost 400,000 people a year for the last three years. If the borders were really closed, that would take care of the problem in just a couple of years with normal enforcement measures.

    • #2 by Rick on January 30, 2013 - 12:46 am

      A lot of the problem is the vast numbers of people involved (and costs of dealing with them) because this was ignored for so long. If an orderly process was maintained over the years we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. I’m bothered by the President’s insistence that we don’t need enforcement prior to initiating any other steps but he hasn’t called me for advice lately. We’ll have to see how this pans out. Sen. Sessions of Alabama is calling for Morton to resign from ICE, that might not be a bad first step.

      • #3 by Mike on January 30, 2013 - 1:19 am

        I just don’t think the deportation problem is as difficult as it’s being portrayed. We seem to be able to deport lots of people every year. Just doing the same thing we’re doing.

  2. #4 by caribbeanmarvel on January 29, 2013 - 11:28 pm

    I read your comments with a smile and I would like you to answer these question. Were the Mexicans spending money that will positively affect the revenue of the store; money that will filter through the economy with a positive multiplier effect?
    What would be
    Who is exploiting the poor in Mexico, are American companies part of the slave shop owners there, do they exploit their natural environment?
    is the United States properly managed, why a fiscal cliff; why the housing bubble that led to recession?
    Is the United States not a country of immigrants; tenth generation, maybe but immigrants?
    Did the US not go out of its way to attract immigrants to build its economy?
    Are they not people from the US all over the world?
    Why point out the Mexicans, why not the Chinese or any other nationality?
    Why would one leave their own home and go to a place where someone will shoot children at school?

    Your post was thought provoking!

    • #5 by Rick on January 30, 2013 - 12:40 am

      Whew, there are a lot of serious questions there! Not sure I can answer all of them but I’ll give it a shot after I feed my 7-year-old and get her settled in for the night. :)

      R.

      • #6 by caribbeanmarvel on January 30, 2013 - 12:44 am

        Immigration is not an easy problem but rather one which most countries large and small grapple with.. especially in time of recession we become very anti-immigrant. I recognise that some or maybe many are illegal but if 20 million are in your country are they just lazing around?

  3. #7 by Immigration Solicitor in Rochester on February 13, 2013 - 1:25 am

    Great post! We will be linking to this great
    article on our site. Keep up the great writing.

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