In an earlier article in this blog, I committed a kind of heresy by asking if we really need fences to keep out illegal immigrants. It was more of a rhetorical than a real question. Obviously in this era of terrorism, "no fences" would not be possible. But, the rhetorical discussion is still important. You see, we have a good number of American people who want to use illegals to do labor that many Americans see as distasteful. Even during President George W. Bush's administration, he and some of his advisers wanted to offer opportunities for Hispanics to cross into our country on temporary work status, with the expectation they would return home once the work was through. The latter is somewhat laughable unless the workers were treated like a chain gang or something similar. And this came from a Republican administration -- you know, the Republicans who want to build stronger fences and hire more guards. Why would they break with the traditions of their own party? Probably because people from Texas and other Southwestern states know the value of having such people available to get the work done.
Then, on the other hand, we have some of us bleeding heart liberals who want to offer amnesty to them every few years. "Oh, the poor people. They've been here so long, we shouldn't make them go back." Then there are the people who see it as too expensive to arrest and send them all back.
Not only are the various parties of differing opinions concerning these matters. I believe that individual Americans are indecisive within themselves. It may be time for all Americans to have a showdown with themselves. Do the majority of Americans want Mexican, other Hispanics, Asians, Canadians, etc. to continue flocking to our country?
If the answer is no, then perhaps we should spend several times the current expenditure on firmer fences and many more guards. But if that is the majority opinion, then otherwise conservative voters are going to have to quit hiring illegals and some U. S. citizens are going to have to work the less desirable jobs. If the answer is yes, then we may need to lessen the security -- perhaps just check to see if the people entering may be terrorists.
There once was a method or reason for the madness of immigration laws. People came by the boatload to Ellis Island where their papers were inspected. They were quarantined until it became evident if they had any diseases that might threaten citizens, natural born or legal immigrants. Some sort of controls were exercised. Potential terrorists couldn't race over and race back. Numbers could be controlled of people headed for various parts of the country. Backgrounds could be checked before someone became a problem, not just after.
The old expression -- there ought to be a law -- may not be pertinent. However, we ought to enforce our laws is very apropos. Coming to this country without permission and not following legal procedure is breaking United States law. Breaking our law is, duh, a crime. People who break laws are criminals. So, you expect us to turn our heads and let you break our laws? How many more do you plan to disregard? Will the others include robbery, violent crime, murder? How can we tell that? How can we trust you?
Perhaps it is time to force our hands. How many United States citizens want illegal immigrants here? How many don't? How many actually know what they want?
Maybe you have a favorite immigrant in your neighborhood like I have. This is my very favorite neighbor. But is he/she here legally? I don't know. Perhaps the best neighbors in your apartment building are immigrants or children of immigrants. Mine are. Would you want to lose them in an all out deportation process?
There are a lot of serious decisions we need to make. Until we have made them, this country is going to continue handling immigration in this wishy-washy way. And we need to compare the good immigrants with the bad. An old neighborhood of mine now houses an Hispanic gang complete with several murders in the last few years. How can we control this if we don't even know who lives in the neighborhood?
Perhaps before Congress spends any megabucks on locking people out and patrolling all borders to keep them out, they might ask the American public what they want. Don't use polls that can be manipulated by where you ask your questions or how you ask them. Congress, why don't you consider the legality of putting it to the test by putting questions on the next Presidential ballot? Would it be legal to take an actual popular vote to determine the hearts and minds of the American public? Then go with whatever a true majority of Americans want and quit this bickering back and forth. It needs to be a Done Deal. It needs to be done soon. It should not be a political game meant to win elections.