Thursday, September 02, 2010


Illegal Immigration

A quest for the right solution

For me, the starting point is the 11 million or so illegal immigrants now in the nation. They are human beings that were driven to breaking our laws simply to feed, clothe, and house their families back home. While we could organize a mass deportation over a few years, the human suffering and the dislocation of the Mexican economy–and our own economy–by such an act needs to be taken fully into account.

There are few answers that satisfy all comers to this issue. It seems to me that we need itenerant workers, and we need skilled workers, yet the quotas for them are not sufficiently high to allow for sufficient numbers of itenerants. Creating an effective itenerant worker program should be very high on the to-do list. Despite a number of difficulties, I believe that the US can solve this IW problem.

Good fences make good neighbors. We should complete the border fences and any other necessary additions to shut down illegal entry insofar as possible, while at the same time allowing legal entry to many more migrant workers under suitable controls. Employer sponsorship should be made more stringent and costly, and the migrants themselves should be monitored far more closely. The basic premise is that a migrant is not a candidate for citizenship here; he is expected to return home once his job is ended. Illegal hiring of migrants by employers should be penalized heavily.

Amnesty is another “third rail” issue. I believe it is not fair to those who have tried for years to emigrate legally to wipe the slate clean for the illegals that have managed to survive here—and to prosper in many cases. If we gave amnesty to all 11 million illegals today, we would in effect saying that the doors are open for all to come, and wait out the next round of amnesty here, instead of waiting for legal emigration at home.

This brings our current emigration policy into play. We have gone from Y’all come, to a strict quota system, and then to a looser system now in vogue that I cannot describe. I suppose the question is, how many emigrees per year in total should we allow in the US from now on? a million? Ten million? What? Should we require that emigrees be able to earn a living by way of their skills, or by sponsorship? Recognize too that by allowing many unskilled people into the nation during boom times, inevitably results in having them here without jobs during downtimes, when they may leave on their own, or may not.

I have not seen much cogent analysis of these issues by commentors here in blogs, but a lot of posturing for effect or beating of sour drums, when these and more issues cry for intelligent responses.

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