Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law: My Two Cents on the Whole Matter

One of the brouhahas in the news lately has been about a recent bill passed in Arizona (SB 1070), that states that Arizona police can question somebody about their immigration status upon “reasonable suspicion.” I would first like to state that the federal government already has such laws on the books. What Arizona has done is made it a crime on a state level, and what’s more, is that because Arizonians are fed up with illegal immigration, they’ll actually enforce the law. Second of all, Arizona is able to do so within the scope of Ninth and Tenth Amendments (i.e., since it’s not explicitly stated within the Article of the Constitution for the federal government to handle the matter, it goes to the states).  Plus, the law was supported by 70% of Arizonians.  For some reason, I would imagine that living on the border and having to deal with it day-by-day gives a little more credence than some putz on the Left by grossly offending people by erroneous analogizing this law with Nazi Germany, thereby diminishing the horrors that those in the Holocaust went through.  But I only digress.....slightly.....     

Personally, I am glad that somebody is saying ¡ya basta! to the fact there are millions of people who are here illegally. Yes, we’re still a nation of laws, and if you break a law, you are a criminal. Is it really any different if you’re pulled over by the police and you don’t have your driver’s license? I don’t think so!

I find a few issues with the approach of the whole immigration issue, and it has nothing to do with the state of Arizona actually deciding to actually confronting the issue rather than pretending as if one didn’t exist.

The biggest issue I have is with a lack of border enforcement. We’re worried about some non-existent enemy in Afghanistan while in the same breath, we cannot even defend ourselves when an even bigger problem sits right on our Southern border, especially in light of the narco-terrorism that is plaguing Mexico. Put up a huge fence and make sure that nobody crosses. If the defender in a soccer game is doing his job, there theoretically is no need for a goalie.  Or here's another way of saying this: if we had a fence up in the first place, none of this would have become an issue.

This, of course, is only a short-term solution.

Securing the border needs to be coupled with a temporary worker program. Why do I say that? Because the United States has had this issue in its recent memory—during the 1950s. During the mid-1950s, there was rampant illegal immigration. When border security was combined with a temporary worker program, illegal immigration dropped 95%. If we did this, we’d see a shrinking underground economy. Furthermore, by making the Mexicans citizens, it would force them to pay taxes, at least in theory.

The reason why these two initiatives wouldn’t work in practice is because of how our already-burdensome tax system is set up. The lower half of Americans does not pay any taxes. If we absorb newly arrived Mexicans into our economy, they will expand upon the lower half because just about everybody who crosses the border to begin with is unskilled labor. At least with the immigrants that came into Ellis Island in the 19th and early 20th centuries, they were actually skilled labor, i.e., they were able to make positive contributions to the advancement of America. The reason why I make a distinction between skilled and unskilled labor is that skilled labor is more likely to advance upward [i.e., they won’t be stuck in poverty anymore].

Although a temporary worker program with secure borders sounds nice, it has to contend with one huge obstacle that they didn’t have back in the 1950s—dependency on government. Thanks to schmucks like LBJ, and more recently, Obama, we have created a society which is dependent on such “services,” if you can call them that, as Medicare, Social Security, welfare, free public education, the list goes on. Since these hypothetically absorbed workers would be lower-class because they are unskilled, the only thing they would do is expand the Nanny State’s already pervasive role, thereby causing further debt for America.

A temporary worker program with the status quo will only exacerbate the situation. Until more Americans get furious at a much higher furor about dependency on government, expanding deficits, and increasing invasiveness of the government, most Americans will view the Mexicans coming over to the United States as a socio-economic burden rather than people who just want a decent life for their families.

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