The Immigration Reform Issue
Congress is about to make a decision on immigration reform legislation; let’s hope they don’t make another wrong one.First, let me clear the air. I have nothing against legal immigrants, regardless of their country of origin, so long as we can control their numbers. But the 12 million who have swarmed across our borders illegally from Mexico and the Central American countries in the last 20 years is another matter. Misplaced sympathy says they are just coming here to better their lives like the immigrants most of us are descended from. There is a big difference, though – they came here illegally. If India and China were on our border, would we stand for hordes of their people pouring across that border because they, too, want to improve their lives? Why should we give Hispanic illegal immigrants favored status?
Illegal is illegal. Anyone who enters our country illegally is breaking the law, which makes them a criminal. Yet these people have the effrontery to demand “their rights.” What rights? The right to obtain employment using forged documents? The right to overburden our education and health care systems, raising our taxes and forcing our hospitals into bankruptcy by exploiting the emergency rooms?Many get teary-eyed because families would be broken up if illegals are deported. That is one of the risks illegals should have considered before committing the crime of illegal entry. Should we not send criminals to jail because that would disrupt their families? People also point out in their defense that most illegals are decent, hardworking people. Since when has being a decent, hardworking person exempted any of us from paying the price if we are found liable in a traffic accident, or guilty of some other offense?So what is the answer? Many claim we can’t afford to round up and deport 12 million people. Maybe we can’t afford not to, when you consider the cost of providing infrastructure and services for 12 million people and their offspring. The real solution to the problem is to deny employment to illegals, in which case they would have to return to their homelands. (We should be happy to provide them with bus fare.) It is claimed by many that it is too difficult to determine who is legal and who is not. Bull feathers! If our government was truly interested, it would be easy to set up a computer program capable of checking the validity of Social Security and drivers’ license numbers.
But the government doesn’t seem to be interested. And why is that? Because too many of us benefit financially from the cheap labor that illegals provide, often without benefits. For 250 years, we had a cheap labor system created by importing Africans. It was called slavery. Paying substandard wages to illegals is exploitation, only one step above slavery.But we are willing to overlook that because cheap labor increases profits for a host of industries, and reduces the cost of many of the goods and services we all purchase. However, that doesn’t make it right. We are sacrificing the future of our country (overpopulation is the driving force threatening the quality of life of our children and grandchildren) for short-term financial gain. Anyone who performs a productive day’s work should be paid a living wage. If that were the case, there would be a lot of people willing to fill jobs Americans supposedly won’t take. The reason they don’t take them is because illegals are willing to take them for half of what the jobs should pay. With the number of high school dropouts increasing, we are going to need the jobs illegals are filling for many of our lesser-skilled citizens. We are outsourcing many higher-paying jobs to foreign countries where labor costs are lower. Are we also going to insource jobs in our own country by importing foreign cheap labor illegally?
Be sure to let your Senators and Congressmen know how you feel about immigration reform as it is currently being proposed.Hal Sundin’s column appears every other Thursday in the Post Independent.
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