And now, for your mocking pleasure, the horse apple line of the week:
“Illegals do jobs Americans won’t do.”
If that’s true, why do West Virginia coal miners have jobs? Surely coal mining is a job too dangerous and degrading for Americans to do. If that’s true, why doesn’t George Bush stay up at night worrying about unemployment? Surely with unemployment hovering around 5% or less – the point where economists think it can’t go lower – there are Americans who won’t fill jobs because they are not worthy of such labors.
Please. Americans have a long and proud history of working hard. This line we’re being fed this week is just that – a misleading statement intended to give those who claim it a rhetorical leg to stand on. By using it they show themselves to be rhetorical cripples.
Immigration Reform is this week’s topic du jour, and it encompasses three political minefields: National Defense, Immigration, and Social Security/Taxes. Republicans have cleared two of those three fields, Defense and Social Security, but are wary of mines they may have missed. Unfortunately, it seems the President’s mine detector has a fritzed sensor. The party doesn’t have a unified voice on fixing this problem, despite the remarkable command Republicans have of the issue’s component parts.
First and foremost, Immigration Reform is about National Defense. No border is secure unless you can control who comes across it. Mexico is adamant in their opposition to a fence. Democrats are dismissive of its effectiveness, claiming we need a “virtual” fence, a technological wizbang, to secure ourselves.
A virtual border only works virtually. It does nothing to protect its enclosure literally.
A border fence is a non-negotiable issue, and it must be off the table. Efforts to get rid of a real, wired, barbed, and supervised fence should be met by walking out of the room. Real fences keep out real terrorists. The fact that they also keep out people who want to work here is a side effect I can live with. They should have enough respect to come here legally, even if its for the benefit of them and their families. We can let them in, as they are not a threat to us. We can’t afford to let in the terrorists. Let the immigrants come in through the gate.
Tom Tancredo and carnival monkeys like him do nothing to help the rhetoric of the argument. Their heated statements about immigrants destroying America are just that – heated rhetoric. On the one side are those willing to throw open our borders and let in everyone, here’s your green card and voter ID, voto DemÃƒÂ³cratas por favor. On the other are Tancredo and the ilk, who want dem illegal furriners outta dis here cuntry, hear?
Why, please, would we reject a bunch of people who work hard and value life, family and religion? Heck, they practically are US citizens, at least as far as their values go. Let em in!
But do it legally. And make them become full-fledged citizens. They should do some things.
They should give service, either in the military or civic services. They should take a loyalty oath. They should learn the language of success – English. And above all, no dual citizenship. Pick one country or the other, not both. My ancestors chose this country, and I am better off for it. Mexicans should choose this country as well, for the sake of their progeny.
This approach works not only for legal immigrants, but illegal. Rounding them all up and sending them home is not an option. But, rounding them up as they are found and giving them the option to stay (with conditions) or leave is.
Of course, it does not help if the thing driving them here – jobs – isn’t addressed as well. Employers have to be treated with a carrot and stick approach. On the one hand, if they hire illegals, they need to be punished. Fine them, heavily. You can’t stop bad behavior unless you make it unattractive. On the other, you can’t encourage good behavior unless you make it attractive. This is where taxes and Social (in)Security come in.
Employers pay taxes for hiring people. Counterintuitive, yes, but its how the system (and the employer) have been set up. They pay Social Security contributions too – for every dollar extracted from your paycheck under the heading ‘FICA’, your employer pays a dollar as well. This means that an orchard owner who wants his produce brought in has a strong incentive to pay an illegal off the books with cash and not report the Social Security money, since they illegal can’t collect it anyway. If, however, Social Security was optional, an employer would have no reason to hire the illegal instead of the citizen, especially since the citizen would be more likely to understand when the employer said “get the ladder and go pick the oranges”. It would also enable the worker to put aside some of his paycheck voluntarily, instead of being forced to do so by the government for a return (if any) that is beaten by even the most humble savings account. Personal responsibility – providing for your own retirement – begins by taking away the chains that bind you from being responsible. After that its the worker’s fault if they don’t provide for themselves.
By combining the three component issues, Republicans can trounce Democrats on this problem. They own the security debate, especially when Democrats come out threatening to kill the Patriot Act. George Bush has been the only politician in my lifetime to dare grab the Social Security rail with both hands – Democrats whine and complain that tampering with it will destroy the country. And finally, Mexican immigrants, because of their respect for family, church, and hard work, have a natural gravitation towards the Republican party. We need to respect and welcome them, not distance ourselves from them.
We can solve this problem, but only by addressing the components all at once.