Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This Is Not Your Father's Ellis Island

Once more blurring the lines between personal life and news as we know it is the immigration “debate”. I can guarantee three things:

1) Some additional measures will be enacted by Congress.

2) Some hapless government agency will have to embark on a mission impossible attempt to implement the changes.

3) Whatever new measures are enacted will be the wrong thing.

Why am I so cynical? One reason may be that I’ve worked for several government agencies. One agency I worked for was entrusted with the task of implementing fanciful new legislation which made sense to someone’s auntie who lived in a nice neighborhood in Peoria but to few other people.

Another reason is that the immigration service has been buried under a pile of unworked immigration cases for about the past twenty years. A news agency reported last week that there was a three million case backlog. If there were only a three million case backlog, I would be optimistic about the immigration future.

Liking or not liking immigrants is beside the point. No one loves the poor immigrant as much as I do. Whether it’s the nice little lady in the supermarket beneath the hijab or the chef in that nice restaurant at the edge of town or the Latinos who are afraid to look at you because your hair is cropped short like a police cadet’s hair, I welcome them all, with the narrow exceptions of the terrorist and the criminal some of whom wish to steal our resources, assault our citizens, and kill us all in the name of Allah. And so long as they don't "jump the line" and put themselves before the thousands of people who are patiently undertaking the legal process of immigration to the U.S.

But there are too many of them, and more on the way. My sister, an ultra-liberal social activist who administrates social programs and teaches school in California, has finally admitted there is a problem.

“I recently found out that four of the classroom aides I hired were illegal. And they were the ones who admitted it when I asked,” she said last night.

Meaning that there were others she didn’t ask and others who might not tell. She also tells the story of the college scholarship award made to one of the school’s brightest students which had to be retracted when it was discovered the student had no social security card and was an illegal alien.

The horror stories abound. Overworked and understaffed hospitals must treat illegal immigrants without medical insurance. Illegal immigrants are robbed and sometimes slain by coyotes smugglers who steal their savings and leave them abandoned in the dry desert.

Nor are the horror stories limited to the Southwestern states and Florida. A June 2007 immigration raid in Pennsylvania netted eighty illegals in a factory which received state incentive grants designed to create work for the local citizenry. It was the local residents employed by the same factory who tipped off the police to the cycling of illegals through a local employment agency. It seems that illegal immigration is a trough where everyone is feeding from. Certainly, the illegals do not benefit from the modern day equivalent of indentured servitude and living fifteen people to a small room, moving constantly to escape authorities. In the long run, illegal immigration benefits no one and presents great risk to the United States economy and well-being.

A message to Congress: Get real about immigration policy. Rid us of the fuzzy-headed idea wonks who are using the issue to gain votes.

No comments: