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Friday, April 07, 2006

What are “guest workers”?

Thomas Sowell articulates a rare and refreshing perspective on immigration reform in his article Guests or Gate Crashers?” Sowell asks, “What is a guest?” Well, a guest is “someone you have invited.” He continues by stating that “[p]eople who force their way into your home without your permission” are anything but guests.

Sowell also points out the weak arguments given to justify ignoring that millions of people have broken the law with apparently no recourse from our government. It makes me wonder, are we nation founded on the rule of law or the whims of popular opinion? Why are politicians courting people who are ready to ignore the existing immigration laws?

Christ Simcox, co-founder of the Minutemen, comments: “[o]ur Homeland Security is a farce now. They do noting to secure our borders. They say they are fighting a war on terror, but they are leaving our country’s back doors wide open.” Minutemen is a organization, similar to a neighborhood watch group, that is comprised of about 4200 volunteers. They watch the borders and call the border patrol when they spot people attempting crossing the border.

What would you propose to as a solution to the growing illegal immigrant population in the US?

4 comments:

Centurion said...

Begin with enforcement of current
statutes, first and foremost against employers who break the law by harboring illegal workers.

It is a sad commentary on our Congress, president and bureaucracy
to watch them all scramble to write new law while ignoring what we have already paid them to legislate on our behalf; i.e., laws they refuse to enforce because of the vast array of special interests they serve to stay in office.

Oath-breakers? To support and defend the Constitution. Violation of the Third Commandment? To whom are they accountable?

Bill Nye said...

Ruth,

I like the topic you have brought up; of course, it is currently unavoidable. As I flip from news station to news station, I hear the same partisan comments from the same experts concerning this topic, which is presently the most interesting one to the American viewing public - immigration.

Despite the modern-day political twists that adjoin the issue of immigration, we must all admit that this is not a new issue. In fact, America has been dealing with immigration since its inception. The arguments that we are hearing now are directly from the mouths of 19th century Americans. Over the course of history, the government has made some attempts to thwart immigration but has overall been very flexible with this issue. Two of the reasons I can discern for the hesitancy in taking serious action are:

1. completely closing the border would require tremendous expenses and effort. Since the borders are so large, they would require a lot of border patrol and a very long electric fence. These both seem simply implausible.
2. I am sure you have heard the argument made that immigrants are essential to local economies, especially in the Southwest and Florida. The classic response is: "they do the jobs that most Americans would not do." I do not subscribe to this theoretical idea; it just seems pointless. But what I am saying is that economies have developed around the presence of illegal immigrants, and a sudden lack of them might cause an economic recession not only in those local economies but in America as a whole.

The main question I have is: why can't the Mexican government do something about regulating illegal immigrants? The answer I am inclined to suggest is that: 1. It would simply not be good for the Mexican economy and 2. It would be a shift in precedent. Immigration to America has been an American-Mexican tradition that has developed despite of laws.

I would like to draw your attention to something a little more subtle concerning the popularity of this issue. Perhaps the present discontentment of immigration is a sign of economic stress. Think about it: why has immigration remained, for the most part, on the "back-burner," but from time-to-time becomes a popular and heated issue? It seems to me that in general people don't care about the immigrants as long as they are stable and happy. But when "Joe" from California loses his job and on the drive home sees countless illegal immigrants working on construction sites, he will believe that the problem for his problems are the immigrants who take up all the work. So, if many people start to perceive illegal immigration as a threat to their economic stability, there will be popular discussions on the issue, like there is now. Maybe what we are experiencing is not a realistic debate about immigration in America, but a downturn economically.

Yes, there is a clear disregard for American law on the part of the illegal immigrants. The fact is: this disregard has been prevalent for over 2 centuries. To suddenly, at this point in history, begin a rigid enforcement of the immigration laws would most definately cause distress for America. I'm wondering, as the politicians are, if there is a way to increase security yet prevent any economic disaster. Bush has proposed that the illegal immigrants already in America should simply be made "termporarily" legal, and then followed by a strict enforcement of immigration policy (whatever that is). While we watch a Republican who is against immigration and a Democrat who is for it argue until there faces turn blue, our leaders in D.C. are trying to work out a solution that will require much compromise across party lines and a certain level of pragmatic thinking.

Anonymous said...

Bill Nye raises some important points about immigration history and the economics of our current situation. Of course, it has only recently become a major national issue since 9-11 and inreasingly widespread concerns of national security. The obvious inconsistency of rigid and inconvenient controls at airports in contrast to porous land borders is creating mounting political tension, along with other factors.

Long before current publicity, however, members of the Libertarian Party, the Constitution
Party and countless GOP conservatives have been complaining about lax enforcement of current law, leading to twelve to 30 million illegals, costing $
billions in healthcare, education,
crime, incarceration, lawbreaking employers, tax cheating, ect.

We also know that these are not only challenges to the U.S., but are sweeping across the UK and Europe, as well.

An excellent portrayal of the major features of this demographic
paradigm shift and its huge cultural implications is "Death of the West, How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil Our Country and Civilization," by
Patrick J.Buchanan (2002, St. Martin's Press.

Note: Largely because of over three decades of unabated abortion
(child sacrifice) in the U.S. and Europe, and the massive migration
of large families from Latin America, Islamic countries and Africa northward, it is little wonder that economic, social and
religious national profiles are
being turned upside down.

What do Christians have to say,
while the politicians bumble and blather?

Centurion said...

Sorry, Ruth. "Anonymous" was Centurion. My error.

By the way, a very worthy subject.