The next point is that there is an almost systematic paranoia and fear of being called a racist when you start discussing this topic, which makes having a good, healthy and open debate on the subject almost impossible.
The last point is that immigration is not a single topic but is actually several topics which are closely related. Those include immigration (legal and illegal), smuggling, border security, migrant workers, drugs, illegal hiring practices (and exploitation), and, of course, terrorism. Each of these topics, although thoroughly interwoven in the fabric of the problem, is quite unique. Each comes with its own set of causes and consequences and each requires it’s own, individual solution. The bad news is that in order to be effective most of the “solutions” should be found and enacted almost simultaneously. The good news is that because they are so interrelated the enactment of one solution will automatically aid in the implementation of the others.
Immigration has traditionally been an important and vital part of the United States. With the exception of the Native Americans among us, we are all, after all, immigrants or the descendants of immigrants. Our entire culture, the “American Experience”, is a product of mixing every culture on the face of the earth and assimilating them in one way or another into a common experience. The English language spoken in America is only slightly similar to that spoken in England because it is a product of that amalgamation with words and phrases in common use from every conceivable language in the world.
Immigrants bring new ideas and talents to the country but, just as importantly, they bring a renewed appreciation for our freedoms and liberties. Many of them come here from places where those liberties which we so often take for granted simply do not exist and they remind us of their importance and their frailty.
It has become extremely difficult, if not impossible; to have a frank discussion about immigration because doing so will almost certainly result in someone being accused of being racist in their opinions. This is a phenomenon which has only recently developed. It is partially a product of the failure to effectively regulate legal immigration over the past 30 years. There are many “illegal” immigrants (estimates run as high as 15 to 20 million) who have been able to come across the borders undetected and now reside in this country, in many cases already integrating into society by working in agricultural or labor intensive, low paying jobs. A huge fear exists on the part of these people that any discussion of immigration will hasten some sort of mass round up and deportation. This fear, although obviously impracticable, is unfounded because no such desire is held by the majority of Americans. It is purposefully being exploited by several groups. Those groups include politicians (primarily left-wing liberals) who see the pool of illegal immigrants as a vast untapped voting block and stoke the fires of discontent in an effort to win their loyalty in the belief that they will eventually become “legal” and then vote with the liberals in some sort of an expression of gratitude.
Another group finds the border situation advantageous because they can make a fortune smuggling drugs, guns, money and even people, back and forth across the border –something they could not do after we secure it. A third group that thrives on the discontent and confusion surrounding the immigration debate are the “professional” dissidents. These are organizations that exist solely because of the immigration issue and see its resolve as their death nil, including some groups that believe the Southwestern United States was territory that was stolen from Mexico and should be returned. Most Americans have forgotten the Mexican-American war. However, the same can't be said of Mexico. According to a 2002 Zogby poll, 58% of Mexicans said that the, " territory of the United States' southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico." That sentiment is being spread in the United States as well. Not only are we seeing it on protest signs at the immigration rallies, but Hispanic groups are being allowed to teach this potentially dangerous nonsense in schools. As impracticable and impossible as that sounds, they use this line quite effectively to justify the illegal crossing of the border. After all, if the territory should be Mexican anyway then they are not actually doing anything illegal by crossing into it. Right?
Add to this mix the fact that Mexico has not been helping. Mexico's behavior in recent years has been far from neighborly. Not only do they refuse to secure their side of the border, they actually encourage their own citizens to come to the United States illegally. They've even gone so far as to make comic books that explain to their citizens how to get into the United States illegally. Worse yet, they've openly said they want their former citizens to "influence the foreign policy of the United States towards Mexico." Encouraging dual loyalties in America is simply unacceptable. It may be easier to turn a blind eye to this problem than to deal with it, but history is replete with examples of situations like this that have led to violence, terrorism, and even open warfare. Just because we're not there yet doesn't mean it won't happen. We must take steps to ensure that it doesn't get to that point.
OK, most of my discussion thus far has been about the problems on our southern border but there is another subject associated with immigration that needs to be explored as well. We have a significant immigrant population entering from the Middle East and these people bring an entirely different set of things to consider: radical Islam and the specter of terrorism like we have never experienced before. The overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants are patriotic, loyal, and good citizens of the United States. But, given that we're in a war against radical groups who have hijacked and mutilated the Islamic religion and try to claim moral authority by hiding behind their manipulated vision of it to justify killing as many Americans as possible, shouldn't that prompt some sort of discussion about our immigration policies with regards to Muslims? What I mean to say is, how do we tell these radicals from the others? How do we protect ourselves from the one group while simultaneously recognizing and not alienating the others? I don’t know either, but we had better start discussing this and figuring it out or we will pay the price in blood.
Being allowed to become an American citizen is a great and tremendous privilege. It is not a right. Moreover, we don't allow immigration just to be nice or so we can "share the wealth." We allow immigration to our country because it benefits the people who are already American citizens -- and it does. Overall, immigration is a major asset for our country. However, our immigration system is broken through and through. We don't fully enforce the laws on the books against illegal immigration and we create reams of paperwork, exorbitant expenses, and ridiculous wait times for the people who want to come here legally.
All of these things, no mater how daunting they appear on the surface, are very solvable. What we need to do is start forcing our politicians and legislators to start addressing these problems systematically. We need to start holding them directly responsible for getting a handle on these issues and voting them out or impeaching them if they fail to act effectively and immediately.
On A Lighter Note: