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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Immigration....Legal and Otherwise

I’ve tried to examine how I feel about illegal immigration, but I can’t get past the word “illegal” in the description. I have nothing against immigrants or immigration or foreigners, guest workers or green card holders for that matter. I do however have a problem with those who enter our country and cross our borders illegally. This means those on forged documents, no documents, wet backs, train riders or those smuggled in, in trunks of cars without entry verification by INS/Homeland Security. The mass demonstrations are impressive, if only for what they aren’t. They aren’t demonstrations by legal immigrants who are probably working or going to school during the events. I think that if all those people who have time to attend these massive demonstrations are all illegal then there needs to be busses there to send them back to Mexico, or El Salvador, or Nicaragua, or Panama.

I’m beginning to believe that the only real solution to this problem is to get Mexico economically solvent. That means cleaning up the bureaucracy and corruption that is rampant all over Mexico and especially near the borders. If Vicente Fox isn’t dirty then he has contact with hundreds of corrupt officials underneath him and needs to clean house. Notice I said “If” he isn’t dirty. I can’t believe that he isn’t. The Mexican Army has been caught making incursions into California and Texas and reconnoitering for drug and/or people smugglers. Any commander in chief (both Mexican and US), who allows this to go on without some heads rolling, is blind, impotent or complicit. None of which makes for a good leader.

NAFTA was supposed to make for a better economic situation for Mexico and help stem the tide of illegal immigrants flowing across our Southern borders. It hasn’t. What the effect has been is to line the pockets of wealthy factory owners with none of the trickle down economics that we’re used to in El Norte as was intended, when the law was written. This also means sending jobs to Mexico that were being done by Americans (represented by Unions). Manufacturers aren’t stupid; they will send the work where it can be done the cheapest. And Mexico among others, is that place. If goods manufactured out of the country had taxes or tariffs placed on them that made competitive the prices of goods produced in America, then the advantage would be gone. And the hemorrhaging of US jobs would halt.

***UPDATE***

Most of the jobs and factories in Mexico have since left the continent and moved to China, where labor is even cheaper (if you can believe it).

Bottom line, if it’s illegal, stop it, by enforcement, physical barrier, economic help or sanctions. Or in lieu of any action, legalize it and move on. Do away with the border completely and call it Amexico or Mexarica.

The Democrats have killed any legislation directed at fixing this problem because they see it as a lever for the 08 election cycle. They can then claim the high ground by pointing out the bad old Republicans want to send the illegal immigrants home. We welcome the “legal immigrant” and shun the “illegal immigrant”. This distinction makes all the difference in the world….to Americans.

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