Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Immigration Problem

Immigration is one of those topics that confound me to the point of frustration. When I see the photos and videos of those people streaming across the southern border I am at once infuriated and saddened. I'm infuriated because my country has totally lost control if it's border, and I'm saddened to think of how horrible life must be for a mother to let her children head north in hopes for a better life. And yet, I notice that there s no similar stream of humanity pouring across our northern border. I also notice that Mexico's southern border has no similar traffic in or out. So, what to think?

History stubbornly reminds us that any country that loses control of it's border is not long for this world. One of the basic functions of a State is to control the comings and goings of people entering and leaving it's territory. If I want to take Pam to Paris for a vacation, I must first obtain a passport from my government. Similarly, if Pierre and his wife want to explore the vast treasures of beautiful down town Short Pump, they must obtain the same passport from their government. If Pierre falls in love with Short Pump and decides to move here full time, he must obtain a Visa and a green card for the privilege of holding gainful employment. It's a soul crushing process that takes forever, but, it's the law.

What's going on down in Texas and New Mexico and Arizona is something else entirely. There, thousands upon thousands of unaccompanied minors are streaming across on false rumors of "amnesty", rumors that even the administration has admitted were the results of it's "confusing" policy with regards to immigration. The only thing confusing about it is that this administration doesn't seem to think that opening the floodgates on our southern border is such a bad thing. Obama has long been identified with the "open borders" crowd, but if you're going to get all Kumbaya on immigration, you've got to have the facilities and money to deal with the results. We have neither. So, the pictures of thousands of kids being held in make shift detention centers,(and being fed, clothed, showered, etc..), invokes two distinct reactions among Americans. On the one hand, militia types have sent out the call to head south and do the job that the government won't, and on the other hand, Nancy Pelosi shows up and suddenly finds her evangelism voice, letting us all know what a wonderful opportunity this is to take care of God's children.

The cynic in me can't shake the idea that the only reason Democrats like Pelosi hold such views is a purely political one. The spectre of hundreds of thousands of new immigrants, mostly poor, and all in desperate need of the bounties of the American welfare machine, is enough to make every Democratic precinct captain in America salivate. Face it, these unfortunate folks are like a ready made source of new Democrat voters, a natural constituency.

However, cynicism aside, there is something to Pelosi's words. Those children down there are God's children. And as such, the rhetoric of this issue disturbs me. When I hear the term "illegal alien" thrown around, I recoil. Yes, they are here illegally. But, alien? No, they aren't from another planet. That term makes people think of them as less than human, and far more dangerous than they are. I'm no speech police and I certainly can't be accused of being politically correct, and I'm not even sure what the correct term is. I just know that "illegal aliens" isn't it.

So, what would I do if I were in charge, I mean, besides declare bacon the official meat of America? Well, first thing I would do is faithfully execute the laws of the United States. After all, it was in my oath of office and all, and there are laws on the books that make this sort of mass influx of people illegal. Secure the border! Then I would try to figure a way to make the immigration process less burdensome. My niece's husband  who is from Scotland but who wisely moved here when he fell head over heals in love with Becky, spent a fortune and an eternity navigating the byzantine labyrinth that is the current broken system. We can do better. Then, I would try to figure out a way to deal with the 10-15 million people who are already here illegally. We can't round them all up and ship them back to wherever they came from. They aren't cattle! And, can you imagine our government, who can't find two years worth of lousy e-mails from Lois Lerner, finding 15 million people? Please.

What's happening on our border is at once an outrage and a humanitarian disaster. But, less you think that the solution is simply to accept them with open arms, you know, give me your huddled masses yearning to be free, ask yourself this question. Are you ready to have twenty or so extremely poor, ill-educated, non-English speaking neighbors move into your little slice of America? If not, then where would you suggest they be sent to live, and what gives you the right to do so?

Yes, it's a humanitarian outrage alright.