Sunday, July 01, 2007

Immigration Bill Defeated

Sure, we are a nation of immigrants making this such a land of opportunity that many risk their lives to live here. Some of our journalists and others would make you believe that illegals are welcome as when Franklin Roosevelt said to the Daughters of the American Revolution: Welcome, fellow immigrants.

Legal immigrants are welcomed by an overwhelming majority of our citizenry. A great majority do not welcome illegal immigrants. We must close our borders to illegal immigration from anywhere. By closing the borders we stop those uneducated, unskilled, those with criminal records and illegal pregnant women. (We are one of the few countries in the world that allow new babies to become automatic citizens without one of the parents being already a citizen. This law must be changed).

We must open the borders for more migrants and immigrants who go thru a legal process and who have skills required by industries of all types. This includes the produce business, the meat producers as well as those with medical expertise, technology, biotech, nuclear, the teaching fields and wherever we have a shortage of people willing to work and have from some education upward. We need these people but we want them to come legally and enforceable records must be kept on them until their temporary visiting rights have expired. If these green cards, ect., are not legally renewed; they must leave this country or apply for citizenship. After a reasonable time the employer must discharge them and update mandatory reports to the prescribed governmental bodies or face steep fines and penalties.

We must suffer short term losses for long term gain. We must lawfully demand that the employers pay on an adjustable monetary formula: The employer must pay the going minimum wage. The employer must also pay an additional flat hourly fee to the local government to offset costs of additional record keeping, law enforcement, health and education. The Federal Government must pay to close the borders and set up the Ellis Island type immigration facilities then required. They must have enough employees to handle the traffic coming and going.

Anyone hiring illegals must register them and report them to the County, who reports them to the State who reports them to the Federal Governments. It should not be the employer’s responsibility to check the validity of documentation submitted. The validity must be checked by the security departments of the federal government. All illegals that can not prove that they are employed and paying taxes should be eventually deported. If illegals are temporarily between jobs, have them report to a county unemployment office (Counties, not cities as all cities are in a county) so a record can be kept of their addresses, family status and activities. Set an arbitrary period of time to find a new job or be rehired back at their old job. Put them on some type of probation until they can return. Give them time to make arrangements for the care of their children. The employer must give them identification paperwork so they can soon legally re-enter this country and go back to work. If the employer indicates that they will not be rehired, the identification papers must state this fact. They cannot re-enter this country unless they have paperwork to show they have jobs waiting. (I know that counties are opposed to any type of costs for ID cards but we have them; all county employees must have an ID card; and I agree if this is an unfunded mandate by the federal government). Fees, fines, ect., should be high enough to cover all costs to the public sector.

Any temporarily unemployment would give them time to return to the country they left. If they cannot prove they have a job to return to, deny them any type of legal entry form. If the demand for their service is there, they will learn about it through their relatives and friends and the employer can send them re-entry documentation.

Be harsh but not too harsh because it is our country that has created this old problem of illegal entry now accelerating at a totally unacceptable rate.

Incarcerated illegals should be automatically deported once they have served their time and their identity placed in all immigration records so they cannot ever reenter this country. On this issue, be very, very, tough.

David Rogers of the WSJ says some parts of the defeated Immigration Bill could be salvaged such as the AgJobs portion which confines itself to 1.5 million workers with proven records of ag employment and who are willing to remain on farms for the next 3 to 5 years to qualify for permanent residency. He says that another portion of the bill would expand college education and military service opportunities for children of the illegals. Studies indicate that 6 out of ten illegal Mexicans lack a high school education. 76% of all from India have a college degree or more. As long as these educational and military service opportunities are the same as already offered to current citizens, I see no objection. Base these decisions on eligibility and merit; same advantage to all. All children born of illegals on U.S. soil are automatic citizens but these children are barred from such in-state tuition. As earlier stated this law should be changed and newborns of illegals must eventually earn the right to become citizens.

Mundane jobs now offered to the unskilled (the term “unskilled” is mis-leading - any one who knows the English language has an advantage; they can learn) do require three basic skills, a work ethic, dependability, and reasonable honesty. I use “reasonable” in this statement because it appears that the majority of U.S. citizens will do some cheating if they can get away with it. A book to read titled "The Overachievers"; the secret lives of driven kids, gives case histories on cheating apparently rampant in our school systems. Some cheating goes on in sports (think steroids and other enhancement drugs, corporate CEO's like Ebbers, Richard Scrushy, Ken Lay and all tax cheaters and stock value enhancing cheaters). Why hold illegals to honesty standards higher than in our own lives, businesses and school systems?

Those concerned about rising costs of illegals becoming legal or barred from entry, I say “grin and bear it”. I am a believer in the law of supply and demand. If the demand is there for more employees, employers will pay a higher wage and pass the costs on to the consumer. Eventually someone is going to have to pay Peter if he is going to pay Paul. If the corrupt and overly bureaucratic Mexico starts legitimizing the activities within their own country, Mexican businesses will be forced to pay more to their employees lessening the demand for their citizens to come to the U.S.

U. S. employers exploiting illegals are being subsidized by the taxpayers. Most of us, I believe, are against subsidies unless the entity being subsidized is NOT in competition with others in the community and these entities can show that they would fill a needed “sector gap”. Allowing illegals in this country under any circumstance is a subsidy to businesses as it is to citizens who employ illegals around their residences.

Any immigrant other than those with green cards and others with temporary visas must eventually leave when their time is up, reapply or apply for citizenship, learn English and pledge allegiance to one country only; the United States of America. If they can’t pledge to support the country they try so desperately to enter, why let the permanently live here?

There is no answer that will satisfy even close to everyone. However, it is not a proper choice to round up all illegals, fine them and return them to the country they left. Or arresting those gainfully employed. The onus should be on the employer who knew they were illegal and that he could hire them cheaper. Supposedly to keep costs of what they produced down so they can compete with other countries. Or is it to make a larger profit? There are better ways to handle the situation if our politicians had the guts and common cause to do it.

Don’t count on any immigration action soon except some more half-hearted efforts to close our borders. Too much at stake for politicians “testing the wind” as to votes gained or votes lost in their next reelection bid. Not only votes, but big contribution dollars are at stake here. It is most unfortunate that illegal immigration is such a political football. If Republicans and Democrats and certain “special interest” business people had the best interests of this country in mind, in the long run voters would vote for the best candidate instead of the candidate who opens up the short term “goodies cupboard”.

Too bad for not only this country but Mexico and the whole world.

I suggest that those who are as concerned about this problem, and yes it is a problem greater than the many of the other problems facing our elected officials and bureaucrats, I suggest reading Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Foundation and the author of “Mexifornia: A State of Becoming. 2003. Also read his columns in the WSJ titled “El Norte”, dated 1/19/04 and “Mi Casa es Casa dated 12/28/05”. Also read a "A Middle Ground on Immigration” dated 6/10-11 by Mike Pence in the WSJ. Pence, I believe is still a Republican Congressman from Indiana.

I quote the WSJ so much that some of you may believe that I believe everything the WSJ editorial board and their columnists print. My beliefs on the immigration policies run counter to their beliefs. They are mostly one hundred percent of the side of business. I am on the side of most businesses and 100% on the side of our country. There would also be side benefits to the unions but they may or may not agree.

Most proposals call for more government and I am opposed to bigger bureaucracies. A lot of what is being proposed could be privatized with governmental oversight. With proper leadership there should be less cost and greater efficiency. Any policies or laws must be universal to the whole U.S.A. to create a level field.

I am not hopeful that much of what I propose, which is a collection of what others are proposing, because I do not think today’s politician have the guts to stand up to all the “special interests” that would be affected. That the consumer would pay more is a given. But people with foresight see the very likely scenario that is being actualized in Europe as I write.

If you disagree with what I write, come up with better plans or correct me where I am in error. If you agree, pass my site on to like minded others.

Thanks for reading my “column”.


Anonymous said...

I don't even see a complicated way out of the illegal immigration issue, let alone an easy one. I'm sure there was a lot written about Italian immigrants 100 years ago.

I think it helps to bear in mind that most of the southwest US once belonged to Mexico for a long time. They talk about "Montezuma's Revenge," but this goes far beyond the trots.

This is a little larger than us. The very fact of a 1000-mile fence being built should say a lot.

Tough call.

AdamB said...

I agree with pretty much everything here. Legalizing immigration could go a long way to reducing the relative incentives to illegally immigrate.