The Real Immigration Reform Legislation None Will Offer

Go8 Bill Won’t Stop It

Throughout this debate on immigration reform, what has become clear is that so very few in Washington DC actually have any intentions of solving the problems.  As the Senate bill evinces, too many view the bill as an opportunity for “pork” while others view it as an opportunity to shift the polity of the country in their favor.  We won’t get real reform that will answer our problems so long as this is the case, because politicians don’t really solve problems so much as they tend to patch them and push them down the road for future legislators to tackle.  On the matter of immigration, there are a number of core problems that must be addressed as fundamental components to any alleged reform package.  It needn’t be complex, and it needn’t be left in the hands of political appointees or politicians.  We simply need a few honest laws that will be enforced uniformly and without exception.  First, let’s inventory the broad problems we face, and let us then discover if they’re so hard to solve as the DC crowd claims.

  • The border is too porous so that no enforcement measure will be effective
  • There are too many powerful magnets attracting immigrants who may not be willing to “stand in line”
  • There exists no serious effort to contend with those who are already in the US illegally
  • There are too many bureaucratic hurdles for people who are following the legal immigration procedures

These are significant problems, and there’s no way they will be addressed by the current Gang-of-Eight bill.  Even with the amendments that promise to improve the bill, it’s a completely disingenuous attempt to put one over on the American people, and it does nothing to address the four general points listed above.  In Washington DC, it seems easy to make anything complex, because everybody sticks their fingers into every pie, trying to get a slice for themselves, while being able to claim to have been instrumental to the process.  You and I don’t care about who gets credit, so long as things are fixed.  Here are some broad notions on how to address the points listed above:

Border security is a joke presently.  One can hardly expect to stem the tide of illegal immigrants if they’re pouring over our borders at an astonishing rate.  The CBO estimated that the current Gang-of-Eight bill will only slow the rate of border-crossings by between 20-25%, and that’s generously assuming all of the promised provisions are enforced.  In various pieces of legislation in the past, that has not been the case.  Invariably, the “new tough measures” are enacted, but they aren’t enforced, and no benefit is derived from all the hoopla.  Let us start from the basic premise that good fences make for great neighbors, and let us build a fence from end-to-end of our border.  To claim that a country capable of putting men in a dune-buggy on the Moon won’t be able to erect a reliable barrier across a border frontier on Earth is frankly preposterous, and any who claim this should be embarrassed.  A physical fence will not solve every problem, but it will serve as a line of demarcation between ours and theirs, and for many people, that is enough.  Enforcing a border is much easier for Border Patrol agents when a physical barrier exists, because just as it makes things clear for outsiders looking in, it makes things fairly black-and-white for our security personnel looking out. Giving our border security personnel the tools to more easily spot penetrations along that border will help to reduce the number of people entering the country illegally in the first instance, making it a good deal easier to contend with the rest of the list.

We have too many things drawing people across our borders.  Among them is our expansive and quite generous welfare state, while the other is employment.  What we must do is to curtail the availability of the first to those illegally in the United States.  While individual states can always do as they please, there is no reason not to attach Federal strings to our welfare-state, essentially telling states that if they wish to subsidize illegal immigrants, that’s a state matter, but that it may not be done with any funds from Federal coffers.   Insofar as job opportunities, we want America to become even more vibrant for businesses and job-seekers, but not to the extent that it endangers our civilization, our standard of living, or our security.  On this basis, we must make it somewhat less difficult to bring in guest workers, but we must raise the level of punishment for employers who hire illegals.  To take away their last excuse, we need to fully field the E-Verify system that was mandated by Federal law over one-and-one-half decades ago.  What we must also do is to ensure that guest workers don’t constitute a cost-savings over resident aliens or US citizens, so that we create a de facto “affirmative action” for guest workers that places our own citizens at a competitive disadvantage.  Once such a system is in place, employers should have no more reason to claim they hadn’t known, and that they too were victims of some sort of identity fraud.

There is a great deal of talk about additional Border Patrol agents, and while there’s little doubt that we need to augment current personnel, I think we need to discuss ICE agents if we’re going to contend with the number of illegals, particular criminals, who are already in the United States.  The Border Patrol doesn’t deal with illegal aliens who have penetrated much beyond the zone along the border, so that if you’re going to contend with the rest, you will be required to examine Immigrations and Customs Enforcement as the key area in which personnel must be augmented.  Another significant issue faced by existing ICE agents is that they are frequently hand-cuffed by executive branch policies and executive orders undoubtedly calculated to make their jobs harder.  This is where the real reform needs to come, because unless and until we’re willing to enforce all the laws already on the books, we have the de facto amnesty about which Marco Rubio and John McCain continue to blather incessantly.  This is a highly politicized issue in large measure because we have a President (and many others) who has no interest in enforcing the laws, since it serves his political purposes to bring as many illegal aliens as possible to our shores in the hope of eventually adding some percentage of them to the voter rolls.  There are many complicated subsidiary issues, like what to do about so-called “anchor babies,” and all of these other issues arising out of the fact that immigrants seldom remain here alone over the longer term, instead bringing in family and having children, oftentimes with people who are legally residing in the United States.  These complications make this part of any reform more difficult, but they do not make it impossible and it shouldn’t prevent us from enforcing the laws of the land.

Insofar as legal immigration is concerned, we have a process that is often subverted to the geopolitical purposes of whomever is in power at the time.  What should always be considered is whether issuing a visa to a particular immigrant is in the best interests of the United States and her people, and then establishing a firm set of rules under which this can occur.  Except in the most extreme cases, I do not think political asylum should be used in the way it has been in recent years.  Political asylum is the method by which the Tsarnaev brothers entered the United States, but it is clear that the elder Tamerlan was able to go back and forth to his homeland without much in the way of political impediment, in my view calling into question the legitimacy of the original request for asylum.  If one can largely come and go as one pleases, it seems that perhaps a normal immigration application is more suitable.  Instead, many people are permitted to seek asylum who may not really qualify by a strict understanding of the term.

There is no doubt that there is an extensive bureaucracy that acts as an encouragement to break our immigration laws when paired with other factors considered above.  We should set a quota based on what we believe is a reasonable number of new Americans each year, and in so doing, we should provide a little excess room since some number will somehow invalidate or waive the process, perhaps by criminal entanglements, or other matters.  Whatever that number is, we should permit one-fifty-second of that number to apply per week, with all their paperwork in good order, and fees paid, to begin the process of naturalization.  Our system has become too disorderly, and too chaotic, in large measure because we haven’t secured the border, so that our legal immigration system spends much of its time dealing with issues pertaining to illegals.  Another matter we should insist be addressed is an applicant’s suitability to be naturalized.  Simply put, if a given applicant isn’t adding something to the country, there should be no reason to consider the application.  We need to screen people applying to become legal immigrants with respect to their willingness to assimilate and contribute to our civilization.  If they’re not willing or able, why should we let them come in?

I think immigration is an important driver to the continued improvement of our nation, but I hardly think that quantity should be permitted to overrun quality.  There are too many good potential Americans in the world who wish to come here and who are willing to do so by legal means to let all comers into our country ahead of them.  The world is bursting at the seams with people who would come here in good will, seeking freedom and opportunity who would happily join us in order to become Americans rather than simply arriving to reestablish their own cultures here.  That is the point of assimilation, and it’s the reason we should take care in screening who should be permitted to enter our country.

Accomplishing these in legislation would be a tremendous boon to the people of planet Earth who look to America for its liberty and prosperity, but it would also constitute a great benefit to the American people, because it would ensure that our system works, securing the country against invasion or subversion, while helping to blend into our melting pot a vast number of people who come to these shores with the singular notion of becoming Americans.  This would augment the exceptional character and nature of America, but after all, isn’t that what any serious immigration reform should provide?  It’s time we tell our legislators that America is not up for grabs, but that its doors are still open as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  In America, we’re always looking for a few good men and women, and there’s no reason whatever that we shouldn’t insist that our elected representatives comply fully with that demand, but they must do in a manner that balances the security interests of our nation.  The current Gang-of-Tr8ors immigration bill merely offers to make things worse.

Sadly, there is no chance that we will see an immigration bill of the sort that will actually resolve the problems most Americans recognize in our current system, so that if the House passes a bill, even if it appears tougher than the Senate bill, in conference, where they must rectify the differences between the two versions, the Senate bill will prevail.  For this reason, we simply must stop any immigration bill offered in this Congress.

 

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