May 06, 2005

Sensible Immigration

Coyote Blog has a good post on immigration that roughly captures my own take on the issue. I have trouble buying into the feelings behind the anti-immigrant people because it seems to me they are at best disastrously misguided and at worst bald, socialistic racism. After all, the vast majority of immigrants coming up from Mexico are here for jobs and freedom.

We need to separate out the different needs of immigration policy. There are two in particular that have been intentionally grafted so that the justified and important goals of one can piggyback in the darker and shadier goals of the other. The first strain is national security - keeping out terrorists with bombs and ill intent and so forth is of course important. The second strain is about jobs, ethnicity and blunt nationalism - as Michael Savage calls it, "borders, language, culture." It is beyond intellectually dishonest to associate the sensible objectives of the first strain with the protectionist and exclusionary objectives of the second strain.

This is one of my larger pet peeves about social conservatives. There's no objective ethical reason why being born in another country should mean you have to stay there. America is founded on the idea that men make their own destinies, and we shouldn't force Mexicans to be confined to their crummy destinies just because they were born Mexicans.

Moreover, we'd all be a lot safer and more prosperous if immigration were allowed above-the-table because then businesses would get the workers they need, consumers would get the services they need and the only people who'd have any call to sneak across the border would be criminals and terrorists, not would-be workers. National security is served through regulation, not prohibition.

Prohibition only forces something underground where the police have trouble monitoring it. Regulation makes it much more accessible to the authorities at the same time that it is allowed. If we regulated immigration instead of criminalized it, we'd see millions of immigrants getting the regular background check process instead of living here illegally with no checks. It would be safer for them as well, since they would not have a reason to fear the police, who currently might toss them south of the border.

They just want to work and improve their lives. I don't see how anyone can object to that. After all, they're not making you speak Spanish or eat their excellent burritos. All you have to do is not kick them in the shins when they try to cross the border to clean your toilet, pick your food or build your home.

And speaking from an anecdotal point of view, down here in SW Florida we still haven't rebuilt after all the hurricanes. A lot of people are still constructing homes and trying to finish a roof, etc. Many people still live in the FEMA trailers (18-month rent-free leases that might be extended) and massive debris piles are still common. It is only because of extensive immigrant labor - primarily I think El Salvadorans and Guatemalans - that we have gotten this far. Hurricane season starts in less than a month, and without immigrant labor (hard-working, non-union, long-hours, no-fuss) we'd be nowhere near so rebuilt from Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan.

In part, that's because most of the people here are retired or professional semi-retired. The retired people spend their time relaxing and boating, while the semi-retired people travel to New York and Miami to work and then sail in their off time. There's a precious shortage of young people in the area and immigrant labor provides a much-needed boost of those (male, primarily) aged 18-35 who are so integral to rebuilding after the disaster.

Immigrants of every nationality have helped to build (and rebuild) this country; I condemn those exclusionary tendencies that would weaken the country and harm individuals just to serve some arbitrary concept of "culture." Culture is just a made-up word that Europeans use to console ourselves. We shouldn't make our policy based on "culture." We ought to instead formulate our immigration policy based on a sensible approach to security and an inclusive approach to economic refugees from poverty-stricken socialist states like Mexico.


Anonymous Ivor Manuel prophet said...

Thus says the Lord God of ISRAEL, Let my People go!
When the Great God of Israel, the Mighty Lord, the only God appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a “bush:” and he looked, and behold, the “bush” was not consumed. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my People which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters: for I know their sorrow. And I AM come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good and large land flowing with milk and honey. Now therefore, behold, the cry of the Children of Israel (those that struggle with God, the poor and suffering) is come unto Me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that you may bring forth My People the Children of Israel out of Egypt. That was then, when with signs miracles and wanders God did bring His People out of Egypt. But now, a White Bright Light appeared unto me, and my understanding heard His Voice saying: “Thus says the LORD GOD of ALL PEOPLE. I AM the LORD; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, and unto Moses by the name JEHOVAH, and to the Jews and Gentiles as My Son JESUS, their SAVIOR, but by My New Name ALEUZENEV was I not known to them. Write through and out of the airways saying to the burning bushes, (politicians) and his leader: Let My Peaceful People come! Los AZTECAS, that they may honor Me with their work, gathering the Bread of Life under the Sun for their brethren with love, For I AM the Bread of Life that came down from Heaven to save the World.” “And He said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.” Revelation 10:11
Then, I praised His New Name, ALELUYA! AMEN! ALEUZENEV! Revelation 3:12
And I saw The New Jerusalem as The New Vision of Peace coming down from Heaven from My God, and His Son JESUS ALEUZENEV sitting on a white horse, The LORD and SERVANT of ALL PEOPLE, His New Name. And the Berlin wall coming down in fragments and stating: “NO MORE DIVISION AMONG MY PEOPLE.” And I say: “Vengan mis hermanos Judios para Aleuzenev”

Ivor Manuel prophet, the pillar, branch of the Lord. Orlando, May 20, 2006

May 20, 2006 10:43 AM  

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