I think we can agree that crossing the border without proper documentation is illegal. And it seems reasonable to me that illegal immigrants in the USA who are employed are receving pay for work that could otherwise be done by US citizens or legal workers. And it also seems clear to me that we don’t have enough Americans who want to do some of those jobs. Furthermore, the impact on the inner city of illegal immigrants has been noted by others so the comparison between those who are unemployed and jobs that illegal immigrants are doing needs to be examined again. How significant is this debate for that issue? How are the American poor responding to this?
I’m wondering what you think of the immmigration debate? There are at least three issues:
First, to protect our borders sufficiently. Whoever writes the history of this political issue may well find that CNN’s Lou Dobbs just might be the one who forced the issue into open, public debate. For a “border” to have any meaning whatsoever, it has to be a genuine border. To use the language of sociologists, we now have a “centered” set when we probably need a “bordered” set.
Second, to deal with illegal immigrants justly and fairly. It does not seem reasonable to me to think that illegal immigrants ought be granted amnesty just for the asking. Nor is it possible to throw out the so-called 12 million illegals. It is not possible to pronounce them all felons (though we ought to have some kind of clarity here that a serious law has been broken), chase them all down, and prosecute and deport. We’ve got a problem because we’ve been careless. And what I hear of the policies being developed in the upper echelons of this discussion is that immigrants will be able to immigrate over time but with some clear conditions. That is what I heard from the US Senator on WGN radio this morning. I liked what I heard.
Third, to determine the conditions of immigration and also what is expected of an “immigrant.” Some, especially among the descendants of the older generation of European immigrants, think the way some “immigrate” is unjust.
Let’s start using some money for border protection, not as a message that we don’t want anyone in but to prevent the abuse of our porous borders. Let’s also define more carefully what is expected of an immigrant.
This is where the political factors enter in and I’d like to know what your thoughts are. I think this all began in 1965 with the Immigration Act.