Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Immigration Plan

The immigration issue hit home today when federal agents raided a local business. I am just an ordinary American, but take seriously the proposition that walling up America's borders is not only the most progressive answer to America's immigration crisis, but is in the end the only way forward on this divisive issue. Any resolution seems to be mired in the fact that the natural political groupings (Democratic, Republican) are split as to legalization or deportation. Opinion as to whether or not the estimated 10 million undocumented laborers ought to be allowed to work here openly may be broadly broken down as follows:

1. Legalize the immigrants' status (or at least let them stay for a while):
Businesses both big and small which rely on these low wage undocumented / under the table workers.
Well-meaning left leaning types who oppose their exploitation.

2. Send the immigrants back:
– Socio-ethnocentric citizens with jingoistic tendencies.
Union Democrats who want to better control the size of the labor pool.

To form a coalition large enough to move legislation through the Senate, I propose the following:

Secure our borders. A wall would make for a nice public works project (assuming it's not outsourced to Halliburton). I've traveled back and forth across the "Iron Curtain" in the days of dogs and guns. Imagine what could be done with modern technologies. The opposition from those in group 1 above could be overcome by presenting this as a homeland security issue. Blast corporate America for putting profits over national security.

With the flow of cheap labor reduced to a trickle, Big Money will finally be motivated to negotiate. They'll support an amnesty/citizenship plan and sell it to the American people. (Advertising works!) This would placate the liberals from group 1 and with reasoned constraints on the number of immigrants to be legalized, the labor Democrats from group 2 should also come on board. The only constituency who would remain vocally dissatisfied should all these steps be taken would be the bigots from group 2.

The concept of "illegal alien" is in some sense artificial, yet also a reality of our own making. My grandparents and great-grandparents came from Europe in the late 19th century. Their labor was needed and they didn't need to sneak into the country. A hundred years later, we still have a labor deficit, but we force non-native born workers underground. This is immoral and a national disgrace.

Lou Dobbs has similar views... "Give it a rest, Mr. President"

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