Welcome to this week’s Watcher’s Forum. Every week on Monday morning, the Council and their invited special guests weigh in with short takes on a major issue of the day. This week’s question: Do you consider Illegal migration to America a problem, and if so, what would you do about the estimated 11 million illegal aliens already here?
The Noisy Room: Yes, I do consider illegal migration to America a problem. I believe in the rule of law and that you come to America the right way. We brought my son-in-law over from Denmark – it took 2 years and financial support to do so. I welcome immigrants – this country was built on immigrants. My great grandfather came over from Ireland, so I very much want new Americans here, but there is a legal way to do it. Obama’s amnesty tactic encourages a form of illegal invasion and creates more want, crime and chaos in America. That is his point along with getting more votes from illegals, the dead, criminals and just outright fraud.
First, before anything else, close the damned border. And by the way, if you are being invaded, a military solution is appropriate. As long as the border is wide open, anything else you attempt is pointless. You don’t go shopping for bilge pumps before you plug the leak in the hull. As far as the estimated 11 million illegals in the US currently, I’m afraid I don’t have much sympathy there for a couple of reasons. First of all, they are an invading force. A force I might add, who is being ginned up by Communists. Second, the elites take advantage of these people as if they were a slave class. Anyone here illegally should be deported unless they have political asylum where their lives are in danger. They need to follow our laws, apply and come in the front door, not the back door.
Robert Averech, from Seraphic Secret: Without territorial integrity, a nation has no claim to nationhood.
There is no law that guarantees a state’s continued existence. In fact, world history is littered with fallen nations and dead languages. Not many Etruscan speakers out there. The Roman empire committed cultural suicide through a combination of negative birth rate — kids are a major buzz-kill when there’s an orgy to attend — debt, inflation, civic and government corruption, broken borders through which barbarians penetrated, and most important: a loss of belief in the purpose of their society.
The left encourages debt and inflation, and codifies civic and government corruption through lawless executive commands such as The Dream Act—notice they are no longer illegal immigrants, they are dreamers.
The left does not give birth to enough children to gain new voters to the Democrat rolls and perpetuate their ideology. Thus, they recruit new leftists by enabling and encouraging illegal immigration. The left rejects American borders in favor of a utopian borderless world. This is the mission and strategy of the left, to impose a statist-globalism on an America whose uniqueness they not only reject but despise.
The left claims that the 11 million illegal immigrants — I have no idea if this number is accurate and neither does anyone else — must be treated fairly and humanely. How can anyone argue with that?
But here’s my question: What about the 11 million — just making up a number here — law abiding folks who have filled out mountains of paperwork and now patiently stand on line, for years and years, in order to immigrate legally to America? Is it fair to them that America gives lawless immigrants, non-citizens — who include Islamist terrorists, gang bangers and narcotics criminals — preferential treatment and the privileges of citizenship?
If you are standing in line for a movie do you just smile with Zen serenity when someone jumps ahead of you because, well, they got tired of waiting in the back of the line?
Solution: 1) Strict border enforcement and 2) Send all illegals immigrants — whoops, I mean dreamers — to blue states and let the oh-so-tolerant liberal-progressives deal with the consequences of their radical policies.
(Robert,among his many other accomplishments is the author of The Hebrew Kid, an amazing story that mixes Doc Holliday, the Old West, immigrant Jews and Apache Indians in a tale of adventure and spiritual quest. Highly recommended, believe me!)
Tina Trent, from Tina Trent.com: I live in a farming community in west-central Florida. After several unspeakably miserable years as a malaria-ridden turpentine camp for state convicts in the 19thcentury, it was settled in 1908 by socialist utopian followers of John Ruskin,and then rescued by the ingenuity of local farmers (including some very capitalist-acting socialists) who created a new tomato hybrid and invented innovative methods for sealing and freezing their produce for shipping. To summarize the town’s history: turpentine,socialism, capitalism, tomatoes, cellophane, cash.
Then, air-conditioning. Now we cleverly package and freeze old people too. But unlike the lettuce and tomatoes, we import, not export them. Sun City Center is one of the largest middle-class retirement communities in the nation.
Since before World War II, the agricultural industry here has been a magnet for farm laborers from Mexico. Substantial numbers of first, second, and third-generation Mexican families make up an integral and integrated part of the community.
By my own admittedly unscientific estimation,Mexican-descent kids join the military at higher rates than non-Mexican kids,though the town as a whole sends a lot of young people into the service. The local Catholic Church is probably 50%Mexican and Central-South American, 40% white (snowbirds and permanent residents), and 10% Asian, Caribbean, and mixed-race, many from military marriages.
Until the early 1990’s, the people coming here from Mexico were all or mostly legal immigrants. Some came on temporary work cards, and some of those people eventually settled here permanently after traveling back and forth for some number of years and doing the paperwork to stay.
Illegal immigration didn’t explode until the early1990’s. It drove farm wages down. It drove violent crime and drug-running way up – to levels not seen here, even during our own small involvement in the Cocaine Cowboy days. Welfare dependency has skyrocketed. Two-parent families (at least on paper, as I’ll explain below) have plummeted.
Worst of all is distrust and resentment this fosters between the Mexican and non-Mexican communities.
I think it’s been especially difficult for the legal immigrants from Mexico who set down roots here before illegal immigration became the norm. I’m not going to pretend that forty years ago everything was sweetness and light between all the races, but illegal immigration from Mexico is creating awful new tensions among people who grew up together, occasionally intermarried, and frequently prayed alongside each other for decades.
And as a conspiracy realist who does not like Obama, I think this is a completely intentional outcome of the amnesty policy. Ours is a conservative, multiracial town. What could possibly destroy social cohesion faster than a policy like this one?
I used to work in both refugee services and child protection in Atlanta. The most common household arrangement I saw was a mom with two or more children who was living with an“unattached” male who might or might not have been the father of one or more of her children. The children are the anchor for all the welfare services we hand out, and although we’ve changed the names of these programs, they are actually no less generous than they were when they were called welfare. Section 8,other programs through H.U.D., and Medicaid comprise the bulk of these services.
Have one baby in the U.S. (and say that you’re not married,even if you are), and an entire family can live off the U.S. taxpayer, depending on us for housing,medical care (which is frequently more comprehensive and accessible than the medical care available to lower-and-middle-income working Americans), utility assistance, transportation assistance, and of course food stamps and W.I.C. Want a child? Prenatal care and post-natal care and taxpayer subsidized pre-K child care from the age of zero (used flagrantly by people who don’t have jobs), and after school and summer programs paid by the county, are all yours for the asking.
Do some seasonal work planting and picking and packing tomatoes, which is very hard work, but part-time, and you are now an oppressed farm-worker with loud activists shouting your plight, from the Socialists, to the Occupiers, to La Raza, to the alphabet soup of Shadow Party, to the execrable and ignorant Mark Bittmann (who recently did a Potemkin swing through the area, courtesy of the George Soros-funded radical Coalition of Immokalee Workers). All of these groups pretend as if the farm workers and illegal immigrants they represent don’t qualify for social services, but between the benefits listed above and tax credits (we’re the epicenter of tax credit fraud in the entire United States), it’s a nice living.
Last year, I sat in my highly multicultural church watching the priest bless a group of young people going off to college or the military. There were kids of several races going to school, and one young Mexican kid joining the army. The priest put his hands on the young man’s head as his dad beamed and the women in his family wept in the row in front of me. I have no idea if some or all of the adults were here legally or illegally: I know them by face only. It’s a big congregation.
But I also know several of the youths we’ve buried in the past two years were gang members in the new, extremely dangerous Mexican gangs,populated by illegal immigrants, who are setting up shop in our small town. I served coffee and cake at one funeral where the younger men (and,disgracefully, a few of the older ones) milled around with their pants hanging down to their knees, black-urban gangster style.
Their tattoos and gold chains depicted the iconography of Catholicism but not its intention.
I spend a lot of time thinking about all of this, especially when I’m standing in line in the local grocery store behind some chick who can’t be bothered to figure out which groceries go on her free-money EBT card and which go on her free-money W.I.C. voucher, so she hands the whole mess to the clerk to sort out while cradling her brand new cell phone between her $60fake crimson-and-glitter-two-inch fingernails. Yes, this happens. It happens all the time. And I don’t know how much it costs to tattoo her boyfriend’s Hispanic gang name across that large an expanse of flesh, but it’s certainly more than what I’m spending to subsidize her baby formula.
I don’t have all the answers. But I have formulated two opinions, living in a town like this: I can’t help but to agree that if a person has been brought here illegally at a very early age, and then he or she joins the military, we should give them a fast path to citizenship.
And just in that case. No amnesty for attending college, or just staying out of trouble with the law.
And, no social services without providing more information about the father than his name stenciled across your back. If we’re not going to do something about illegal immigration, we can certainly open up the child support courts to illegal immigrants. And then make them support their own kids, instead of the other way around.
The Independent Sentinel: There are a lot more than 11 million illegals here. The numbers are based on surveys, not solid data. It’s an insult to my intelligence to say there are 11 million illegal immigrants in this country.
It’s unaffordable, especially since we are allowing illegal immigrants to attend our schools, collect welfare, and use our medical services. We have 8.3% unemployment and we need to stop giving jobs to people who are here illegally.
Then there is the problem of terrorists coming in from “time-to-time”, to quote Janet Napolitano.
We also have at least one drug cartel member living in Arizona.
Has anyone looked at the repercussions for people who go into other countries illegally? Check it out online – start with Mexico.
This is becoming an invasion.
If we abandon borders, we are no longer a country.
To say this is a racial issue is absurd and merely a technique to shut down the opposition.
Bookworm Room: The problem isn’t the number of illegal aliens — or, at least, the main problem isn’t the number of illegal aliens. The problem arises when our federal government boldly countenances and supports illegal activity. Ours has always been a nation of laws. Laws provide reliability, stability, justice, and equal opportunities. This is the covenant between the people and the government as explained in the Declaration of Independence and made manifest in the Constitution. Betraying this trust bespeaks a fundamental failure in the relationship between our federal government, which is responsible for using the people’s representatives to enact the laws and the people’s executive to enforce them. The free flow of illegal aliens across the borders — regardless of whether they’re people searching for a better life for their families, helpless young children, or hardened criminals — is a gaping hole in the existential fabric of a constitutional democracy.
So yes, I do consider illegal migration to America to be a problem. As to what to do with the estimated 11 million illegal aliens already here, that’s a more vexing practical problem. Ethically, I’d like to deport all of them, but I know that’s almost impossible to do and (yes, even a conservative gets this) that doing so is a humane problem. I would draw an admittedly arbitrary bright line (because there are no non-arbitrary lines) in the sand and say that those who have been here more than five years will get a temporary green card and must immediately put themselves on the waiting list (no priority) to become a legal resident. Those staying under the green card would then have all the legal rights and responsibilities of any other green card residents — and no greater rights. Those who have been here less than five years would get deported, but without prejudice to put themselves on the waiting list.
As for that waiting list, if the U.S. really needs the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide, then the laws should be changed ASAP to admit more legal immigrants. If we’ve been lying about the necessity of cheap labor, we need to be honest about that with the American public. Incidentally, lowering taxes, especially employment taxes, might reveal that the only virtue of illegal labor has been the ability to pay illegal immigrants under the table.
When it comes to hard work, the illegal immigrant population is, for the most part, an admirable one. I hope I make it clear that my concern about illegal immigrants has to do with the integrity of the American social, economic, and political contract, and not with any animus towards those Hispanics who come here. As I’ve argued before, they’re reasonable to leave their often dysfunctional economies. I’ve also argued that, by countenancing illegal immigration, we immorally provide a safety valve to those dysfunctional, usually corrupt, countries from which they come.
Well, there you have it.
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
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