Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scorned In Our Own House 

That's the headline/photo caption on the homepage of Fox News Online as I write this. The story is about Mexico's President Felipe Calderon's address to a joint session of Congress in which he scolded the United States and Arizona in particular about the need to pass "comprehensive immigration reform."

I guess that kind of arrogant (and rather ungrateful) behavior is what happens when the President of the United States and his minions go out of their way to apologize for the country's sins, real or imagined, to any and every government on the planet, bowing and scraping as they do so.

I can't find it in my heart to blame Calderon too much, since he's on the brink of losing his country to narcoterrorists and the Mexican economy isn't much better than that of Greece (due in large part, by the way, to stifling economic policies and corruption going back at least a century). He knows that people of Mexican heritage in the US, whether here legally or illegally, send about a billion dollars a year to their relatives in Mexico, and if that cash spigot were to dry up Mexico would be in dire straits, indeed.

The irony is that the bracero program that was in effect from the middle of WWII until the Johnson administration worked pretty well for both countries. It was canceled in 1964, largely due to the efforts of US labor unions, who saw the program as a threat to their efforts to organize domestic agricultural workers. Of course, back then we didn't have the drug problem we have now.

I am among the many who are all in favor of immigration so long as it is done in compliance with the law. I have no sympathy, however, for those who are in the country illegally. I think our immigration laws ought to be revised to let more people in from all countries, and to allow guest workers from Mexico and elsewhere, providing they fulfill several requirements that are part of the Mexican immigration law, in particular the following:
It should be a felony for any business to hire any person who is in the United States illegally, and the penalty for that crime must be severe. I'm thinking a mandatory $100,000 fine on the business per illegal alien employee for a first offense, no plea bargaining allowed. A second offense should be punished by a mandatory $200,000 fine for each illegal alien employee and a mandatory prison term for the person or persons who make the decision to hire the illegal alien of at least one year. A third offense should double the fine again and result in mandatory prison time for the proprietor or CEO of the business. If it's already a felony to hire illegals, then we damn well ought to start enforcing the law forthwith.

I also think the clause in the Fourteenth Amendment that provides that "All persons born ... in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States ...." should be amended to further provide that the mother must be a lawful resident of the United States at the time of such birth, i.e., no "citizenship tourism" allowed and no green card for Mom means no automatic citizenship for Baby. This would solve the "anchor baby" problem. At the time the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted the United States had no immigration laws to speak of. We wanted pretty much everyone we could get, in order to settle and develop our vast West. Times have changed.

I realize that many will find these measures harsh, but I firmly believe that a nation that cannot or will not defend its borders will not long remain a nation. Our political leaders of both parties have been "ostriching" on this issue for at least two decades, and we absolutely must get a handle on this problem for both economic and national defense reasons.

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