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Position on Immigration
|By Jason F. Smith
||Tuesday, April 15, 2008
NOTE: I am here in America because my ancestors came over from Germany, Ireland, and
ONE - The first point we should accept about the concern over immigration is that this is about
us wanting to protect and maintain our way of life. Immigration, new people coming in, of
whatever culture, fundamentally scares many people. The reason many people are against all the
illegal immigrants is not because they don't want these people to have a better life… it's that
they fear their OWN life will be impacted negatively. Some of these fears are valid, and some
TWO - The second point we should understand is that we are a compassionate country. Most
immigrants, by FAR, are coming to America for the same reason everyone else comes: To make
a better life for themselves here. This is Lady Liberty folks. This is why many of your ancestors
crossed the Atlantic from Europe. They come HERE because they want to make a better life for
themselves. We welcome those who seek to be free and are willing to risk all. We reach out to
these folks. This is the second point.
THREE - The third point is NEED. America has become great not because of its exclusivity.
Some people will argue with that. But I don't believe it. I believe it is great BECAUSE it is
made up of those people who come here for a better life. These people were STRONG. These
people were risk takers. These people were willing to leave all behind for a better life. This is the
fabric of American strength. We NEED a continued influx of people who seek the better life,
and are willing to risk all to get it. I believe in my heart we NEED a constant influx of
immigrants. There is the economic need as well, that immigrants from time immemorial have
done some of the hardest work necessary in our country.
So what do we really need to do here? We need to balance our legitimate fear and desire to
protect our way of life, with our compassion for those who suffer, with our need as a country to
Let's start with #1. The #1 honest real issue about Immigration is fear and how it impacts my
life. This is the root stuff, the stuff that you don't hear people really talk about. Here is how it
impacts my life for the real or perceived negative.
- I don't like that my daughter's school is filled now with non English speaking students, and
that her education is possibly getting compromised because of it.
- I don't like that most of my fast food restaurants are filled with people who don't speak
English, it's annoying and it's hard to understand them just to order a hamburger.
- I fear them because they are different. There is a sense they are taking over… and that I'm
not safe in my own normal 'habitat' any more.
- I fear crime rates are going up.
These are all minor situations for me, of course, relatively speaking. I understand that in some
areas of the USA, with higher immigration rates, there are other concerns such as:
- Increased crime
- Increased costs in taxes - We all pay increased taxes to treat people in hospitals and to
educate immigrant's kids.
- Depletion of Jobs
- And a real loss of 'culture and way of life'. An English speaking church might become fully
Spanish speaking, those making regular church goers left out.
- Increased risk of terrorists coming through our border
There are, of course, great benefits to the influx of Hispanic immigrants, but in reality, these
things are harder to see.
- The fabric of America is growing stronger with the influx of people who risk all to get here to
better themselves. But this is hard to see…
- The Hispanic culture, it's food, it's way of life, has impacted my life in a great way, and
continues to do so. A diverse and new culture brings new ideas and an influx of energy
into an old culture. This is hard to see, but a definite benefit.
- Cheaper Labor - Immigrants from the beginning of time have always provided fundamental
growth by working for cheaper wages. This is a fundamental part of our economy, and
provides benefits that I just don't see every day while at the grocery buying stuff.
Again, the fears and negative impacts are often more pronounced. In some areas, this is probably
ridiculously imbalanced, with the negatives far outweighing the positives. In some areas, it is
more of a perceived imbalanced, since the negative impacts are probably relatively minor.
Let us not forget that growth almost always causes pain. As America grows, we will have to
sacrifice some things. This is NOTHING NEW. Consider New York when Irish immigrants had
to fight tooth and nail just to survive. And yet they came, risking all. Integrating the Irish into
America was painful: there was a lot of fear, prejudice and yes, violence. But today, the Irish
American segment of our population has proven itself to be a valuable component of the fabric of
America. Just as the wave of Hispanic, Russian, Puerto Rican, and other immigrants will do (and
So what do we do?
There are around 11 million undocumented workers in America today. So the stats say. Here are
the nuts and bolts of a new immigration policy:
- We provide a 2 year Amnesty Program. Yes… we even call it Amnesty. (Get over the fear of
that word!) It works this way: Through the DMVs of America, all Illegal Immigrants,
have 2 years… to become documented. They come in, are fingerprinted, given a real
SS#, photographed, and given an ID card. They can obtain driver's license, if they pass
the tests like anyone else, and so forth. Furthermore, no fees need to be paid. This is
another unwieldy concept, and will just keep poor immigrants from becoming
documented. In other words, becoming documented is almost in every way, a benefit to
the immigrant worker. The only ones it does not benefit are criminals, and those who
possibly are making a lot of money illegally and not paying taxes.
Why Amnesty? That is a good question. Why 'reward' those who came illegally, while those
who used the proper channels had to wait? This is really a no brainer folks:
- Rounding up 11 million people, 99% of whom are working right now, is NOT
a good idea. Not only is it not good, it's not practical.
- These people didn't come for the wrong reasons, they came to WORK and
better their lives, and they came the only way they know how. Well, great,
we'll give them Amnesty, but we'll fix the back end so it works this time.
- Crime - After 2 years, if you are caught as an illegal, you are sent home. Period. We
welcome you, but you need to get documented. That's just too important for our national
safety. Further, if as a documented immigrant, you commit certain crimes, such as
felonies, you are deported and not allowed to return. Yep, your standards for staying are
tougher than citizens.
- Citizenship - The path to citizenship for all documented immigrants is normal. Everyone
who wants to gets in line. First come first serve. It's ridiculous and unwieldy to suggest
the concept where those who were here longer have to wait longer. How do we really
think we are going to accurately determine how long someone has been here anyway?
And those who have been here longer, have been working longer, so why punish them?
The process is the process, you have to go through it normally, and now all documented
immigrants can apply for citizenship through normal channels.
- Numbers and Quotas - We greatly, and I mean GREATLY, increase the number of
immigrants allowed into the USA while removing the absurd and racists quotas that A)
Limit the number of people who actually want to come here, and B) Provide easy access
for people from nations where hardly anybody wants to come here. (If you are German,
it's a piece of cake. If you are Mexian, the line is twenty years long. There are countries
where a person would probably die waiting for a visa to enter the U.S. And YES… we
need to cap this number at something reasonable. Some people WILL have to be turned
away, at least initially. The truth is sad, but we cannot take in the entire world's
population right now and help everyone. We would collapse, and the American way of
life, including that opportunity for future immigrants, would disappear. The number
needs to be increased greatly, and the process needs to be made fair. Once we change our
paradigm and see immigrants as they really good and necessary elements of America.
- Migrant Worker Status - We also need a law creating a new status: Migrant Worker. Not a
permanent resident, you just come here for a season to make money and take them back
- Increased Border Security - With the documentation of immigrants, the amnesty program for
existing immigrants, we can focus on TRUE border security, which means stopping
DRUG DEALERS (The TRUE scourge to the American way of life) and TERRORISTS.
This will have huge and lasting benefit on the USA.
Copyright © 2008 by Jason F. Smith
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