Monday, April 10, 2006

My take on the immigration debate

The U.S. has had impractically low legal immigration quotas for the past 20 years.

Xenophobes, racists, and those who fear change have demanded that the legal immigration quotas be kept low. So lazy politicians pass impractical quotas, just to keep their constituents happy.

But businesses need those employees, and are against any actual enforcement. So lazy politicians skimp on the enforcement, just to keep businesses happy.

The U.S. should want to spread the American dream; since it's clear we need workers from Mexico, we should provide them with a path to citizenship and allow immigration at realistic levels. It's a very bad idea to create an unofficial "second-class citizenship" in the form of a guest-worker program. (An idea we're copying from France!) If someone wants to be a part of this country, and is willing to work for it, we should do everything in our power to let them. A permanent class of non-voting outsiders is a recipe for disaster.

The U.S. has to stop lying to itself and admit that we need these 11 million immigrants, and we need to figure out how to assimilate them as soon as possible.

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2 Comments:

At 3:48 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger kendra said...

mike,

i agree that we need to get rid of the unrealisticly low quotas, and that a guest worker program is stupid (look at germany too!), but the need to "assimilate" the 11 million? hmm.. first off, i thought "assimilate" was a very un-pc way to look at it. why should they work to meet the norms of america? that would be "assimilating" and giving in. also, i said this before, but i don't think giving blanket amnesty or minro slaps on the wrist is really going to solve anything. it happened 20 years ago and what changed? nowt. we shouldn't make citizenship for illegal immigrants impossible, just not automatic. reform the laws, don't ignore them.

 
At 4:14 PM, April 11, 2006, Blogger IvyMike said...

The Borg gave "assimilate" a bad name, so maybe it wasn't quite the right word to use. But this country is stronger if people want to participate (in whatever manner) in their community, and want to make this country a better place because they see themselves as a permanent part of it. I want America to encourage people to become Americans.

The reason amnesty didn't work 20 years ago is because it didn't do anything to solve the underlying inconsitency in our immigration policy. We're standing on the border, one hand saying "stop", the other hand waving people across.

Unfortunately, we've got a 20 year backlog of dumb policy to fix now, too. We can take a hard line, or we can be honest with ourselves: we needed these workers.

 

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