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Friday, June 1 

Too Long For A Comment

I started respond to Ed's comment in the post below, but it quickly grew too long for a comment, so I'm posting it here.

Insensitive, morally ambiguous, misguided? Yes. Racist? No

That's why I like you, Ed, you don't beat around the bush.

I do understand the plight of the immigrants. I see the crappy countries they are coming from, and understand their desire for a better life for themselves and for their children. But I also understand the need to protect our national sovereignty by being able to control who gets in, and when. Right now we can't even stop a guy infected with TB when we know his name and where he's coming from.

As to my beloved Minutemen, that's a bit of a stretch. However, I have been doing some reading about them, as well. You're right, there are a lot of really stupid people getting involved with this, and I would totally support having a large percentage of them beaten severely about the head and shoulders.

The concept of the minutemen is a good thing. Citizens volunteering to protect the border because, and we all know this part is true, the government can't and won't enforce immigration policy. We both agree on securing our border, and we both know that it's not just innocent, oppressed people who cross the border. I lived within 30 miles of the Mexican border for more than 7 years, and I've seen what happens when the drug cartels start fighting each other, crossing back and forth over the border. Something has to be done to stop that. I understand their desire to help, but if the Minutemen are nothing more than an excuse for people to shoot at Mexicans, than I support whatever bad things happen to them. It's called the rule of law. I still think it should apply to everyone. Someone shoots an illegal just because he's sneaking across the desert, than he ought to be locked up.

The problem I have with the current immigration bill, and the current problem with illegals, is that we should never have gotten into this mess to begin with. There are more than enough laws on the books to address what to do about immigration and illegals. All we've had to do all along is have someone in the White House that was willing to say "Okay, you know the rules, now enforce them" and this would have been stopped 20 years ago. And I'm blaming everyone in this one, from Reagan to W, because none of them have enforced the laws of the land, and this is the result.

The vast majority of Hispanics are completely silent about the idiots who are controlling the immigration debate. You have groups like MECHA, who want to see a large chunk of the U.S. returned to Mexico, as the face of Hispanics and that hurts everyone. Non-Hispanic voters in this country see someone waving a foreign flag, or flying an American flag upside down, and talking about how they want to reclaim their land, and they get pissed off. Whether they happen to be a racist or not.

Anyone who wants to come here legally and work to support themselves is welcome as far as I'm concerned. This is where we get into an argument about whether illegals are a net gain or loss on our economy. They typically work in lower wage earning jobs, meaning we get to keep our cheap labor and lower prices on produce and the likes. However, since they are lower income, they tend to receive more governmental assistance. Does it all balance out in the end? I don't know. I'll leave that up to people smarter than myself to figure out. What I would hope is that they would immigrate, take those lower paying jobs, teach their children the value of hard work and education, and the next generation would then go after an education and work in higher paying jobs, reducing the burden on the government. That, however, seems to be the exception and not the rule. And I'm not limiting that to Hispanics, because I know more Caucasians collecting government money than I do minorities. And a lot of them are 2nd and 3rd generation leeches on the system.

The real problems I have with the current immigration bill aren't that I want to limit immigration, it's with the bill itself. It's too lax in too many areas. It is yet another attempt by politicians to grand stand and show how much compassion they have for the poor minorities without ever actually doing anything to substantively help them. Rewarding the illegals for getting here without getting caught while penalizing those who are trying to follow the legal channels to come sends all the wrong messages to the world.

Why should anyone follow the rules if one segment of the country is exempt from them? Whey should my children pay out of state tuition to attend the college of their choice when illegals can pay in-state? Why should an immigrant from Europe or Asia pay obscene amounts of money to get here legally when the Central or South American gets off with a slap on the wrist just because they don't have an ocean to cross?

What we need is a level playing field. We need to enforce the current laws, and protect our borders. We can have the guest worker program, I have no real problems with that. But don't just allow thousands of Mexicans in to fill those jobs because they happen to be our neighbor. Are Africans less deserving of this opportunity just because they're in Africa? Would they work any less hard? Would they demand higher wages? Don't they deserve the same opportunity at freedom that all these Hispanic illegals want?

If we really wanted to help Mexicans, we should be doing all we can to help them clean up their own country. The rampant corruption and socialism in Mexico makes it nearly impossible for the common man to ever be more than he is. So he looks north and sees a chance at freedom. If I lived there I would probably feel the same way. However, just because I can empathize with their situation doesn't mean that I can condone their breaking the law. Or our refusal to enforce it.

Moving a country from rampant poverty to growing economy is not impossible, but the people have to want it. Just look at India.
For half a century before independence, the Indian economy was stagnant. Between 1900 and 1950, economic growth averaged o.8 percent a year -- exactly the same rate as population growth, resulting in no increase in per capita income. In the first decades after independence, economic growth picked up, averaging 3.5 percent from 1950 to 1980. But population growth accelerated as well. The net effect on per capita income was an average annual increase of just 1.3 percent.
They came from a stagnant economy just 50 years ago to being one of the strongest in the world. If India can do it, so can Mexico. Or Honduras. Or Guatemala.

But they aren't going to do it by sending their work force to American to pick lettuce.

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I firmly believe that border security should be a top priority, not because I believe that terrorists are sneaking into the US across the borders (it would actually be easier and safer for terrorists to cross the border between canada and the US), but because the drug cartels pose a much more serious risk to America.

As far as illegals go though, it isn't as simple as instilling the American can do spirit into the local governments. Unlike India or Pakistan, Mexico isn't a true third world nation... it is second world at the very least and consequently, what worked in India won't work for Mexico... Countries like India, Pakistan, Viet Nam, have no where to go but up. Mexico is in a awkward middle stage... like you were in your early teens. Not bad enough to really want it and not well enough to actually achieve it. The only way Mexico becomes the kind of country that people immigrate to as opposed to immigrate from is if they can leverage their assets... in this case, it is oil... they have TONS of it... but they are unwilling to work with american oil companies to harvest it because those american oil companies want a permanent stake and 70% of the profit (in exchange for their expertise, materials, and technology). They are not allowed to seek help from the othre opec nations, like Argentina, because the US would impose heavy fines, embargoes, and other political pressure on the Mexican government if they chose to work with what is quickly becoming a socialist autocracy in South America (Chavez is quickly becoming enemy numero Uno to GW and his oil swilling cronies).

But, again, my only problem with your ideas is they punish too many of the good, just to get to a few bad apples.

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