My ancestors arrived on the North American continent before there were any laws governing immigration and were kicked out of Nova Scotia before the US became a country. The vast majority of them were resettled in the territories that would ultimately make up this country long before they came under US control. But how I came to be born here is irreverent to the current immigration discussion.
Every generation of Americans has to decide what rules are to govern immigration for the time and circumstances in which they live. In some periods sticker immigration policies may be best for the country, in others allowing more immigration may be desirable.
I used to be against the illegal immigrates from South of our borders because they entered the country illegally. However, I have come to understand those people are here in their current state because of our failure as a country to set up legal immigration policies that actually work.
In recent years we have put a premium on allowing in the best and the brightest from other countries, those who would most contribute to our country’s economic well being. We also prioritized the entry of political refuges. What we have paid little or no attention to are those potential immigrates who are willing and able to do the jobs that most Americans don’t want fill.
The vast majority of the 11 million illegal immigrates who are old enough to work are employed and somehow earning a living or they would not be here. I’m sure they would rather be unemployed in their native countries than be unemployed here.
For many years our immigration laws have virtually ignored a fundamental economic principal – unemployed people will flow to where jobs they can do are available. You can’t condemn people for attempting to better themselves and provide for their families. Their crime is little worst than stealing food for one’s family before allowing them to starve. However, we can blame our politicians for failing to set up workable work visa system to fill the jobs which were going unfilled and we can also blame ourselves for electing them. I also have a problem with companies which employ illegal workers instead of willing Americans because they can exploit their illegal status by paying much lower wages than they would have to pay otherwise.
Regardless of who is to blame, there are at least 11 million illegal immigrate in this country and regardless what lies are being told by Republican clowns running for President, there is no way we are going to manage to deport all of these people, many of which have children who are American citizens. Just catching and deporting the very small percentage of that populations who are bad actors will be difficult enough.
Therefore, we are going have to find some way of legalizing the presence of most of these people, whether or not that includes a pathway to citizenship or not. We are also going to have to find a way to avoid having to deal with an near identical situation every 20 or 3o years. That path forward has to include to a work visa plan to fill otherwise unfillable jobs at the bottom of our economic ladder.
The bottom line is we need to quit ducking this problem and solve it with responsible legislation and the sooner the better. That means we have to elect people who will solve these problems in a pragmatic manner instead of filling the airways with BS rhetoric.