The Illegal Debate

This post title is a little confusing. I didn’t mean that this particular debate is illegal, like, outlawed by the government. I’m talking about the debate in this country over illegal immigrants. I have several things to say. As a word of caution, my first point will seem like it is irrelevant, but trust me, it will make sense in the end.

1) It is extremely important to consider where our rights come from. There’s a grammar rule that says you shouldn’t end a sentence with a “from,” so perhaps I should have said, “It is extremely important to consider from where our rights come,” but that seems a bit more awkward. What I mean is this: We have no “constitutional rights.” The Constitution never gave us any rights. That was not the purpose (the purpose was to create a big government, in my opinion…but that’s another story). Besides that, a piece of paper can’t give rights. If it did, I could get together a group of very well-known and smart people, find a large piece of paper that appears to be rather ancient, and in my best handwriting with a feather and ink, declare, “All Americans have the right to 3 cookies per day.” And of course, if each person doesn’t get 3 cookies a day, their rights are being violated….right? Anyways, I digress. I’m a little hungry (this blog post is being written pre-breakfast), so the thought of cookies was slightly distracting. I believe that we have our right to life, liberty and property because of the existence of God, because He made all people equal, because we were made in the image of God, etc…some people believe that we have those rights because, well, we’re obviously better than monkeys, so we must have more rights. Okay, that’s probably not quite how they phrase it, but that’s how I imagine that it must be. Obviously, those sorts of people are at quite the disadvantage here on my site, but they’ve probably got their own sites where I’m at a disadvantage, so it all comes out even, I suppose. But I digress again. My 1st point is that all people have the right to life, liberty, and property and that these rights come not from human inventions, thoughts, or devices, but from something higher than humanity itself.

2) This illegal immigrant debate sometimes scares me. Maybe I’ve studied history too much. Not matter what is happening, I usually can say, “oh, this is just like __________, when so-and-so did ________ to _________,” or whatever it might be. It scares me that we are turning the Mexican race into a subhuman sort of people. And yes, this is like what we did to the Germans and Japanese during WWII. That will makes me sad and angry, thinking about those Americans imprisoned in what were basically concentration camps…all because they happened to have Japanese or German ancestors. Atrocities happen when we begin to think of some people have being not quite as good as we are. Nagasaki and Hiroshima will be eternal proof of that. It is like these suspected terrorists who are always depicted as looking something like the “missing link”…not quite human, not quite beast. I saw a series of pictures this morning in an email. I should not have opened the email. It was a bitter start to my morning. It was a series of pictures taken by this motion-sensing camera posted near a watering hole in Arizona. It wasn’t really a watering hole, but more like a giant tub of water. So obviously it was placed there by someone, not just a natural feature. The first picture was a cougar or something similar drinking from the tub. The next was a deer. Then a badger or something similar (I’m not real strong on my Arizona animals) came. And then a few other creatures. And then a small group of Mexicans. Now most people wouldn’t object to having wild animals come and drink from their watering hole. A deer is fine. Even a cougar. But no illegals, please! For heaven’s sake, why not? Are these humans (yes, in case you are wondering, I assure you, Mexicans are people) even below the cougar and the deer? That picture just made me sick because I can imagine how many people open it and go, “oh, those rotten thieving illegals…look at them!”

Now it is true, these illegals were probably trespassing on private property. And that is wrong. But must we regard them as subhuman because they are trying to improve their lot in life?

And that leads to a subpoint, (don’t worry, I will eventually get to point 3), about the nature of political borders. I’ve often lectured on the stupidity of the political borders in the mideast. These borders were drawn for political purposes. They forced enemy tribes together and split up tribes. It was absurd. It had led to no end of fighting and tension because of these ridiculous borders. So, in the interest of being fair, I must ask, what’s so significant about this line in the sand that some big-wig (i.e., president, government official, etc…) deigned to draw, and suddenly, anyone who crosses the line without permission is a criminal. It doesn’t really make sense, does it?

3) I happen to believe that our anger against these “illegals” is falsely directed. Instead of being mad at them, we should put the blame squarely at the feet of the government. You say that they come and take our jobs? Yes, because they are illegal, they can and will work for under minimum wage. Get rid of the minimum wage laws and you too could have their job. You say that they live off welfare? Yes, they do. I happen to know that at least in one state, they have several side jobs that they do “under the table” and collect unemployment or whatever government benefits they can. Well, get rid of the government handouts, get rid of welfare, get rid of unemployment (I mean the unemployment benefits from the government, not unemployment itself. I think that’s economically impossible), and you wouldn’t have millions of “illegals” living off the system. Get rid of the system and they would have to stand on their own two feet and make a go of it like all immigrants did 100 years ago. Many would find that they don’t want to do it on their own and they would leave. Others would prove to be productive members of society (I don’t like that phrase, but I’ll use it, just this once) and would make our “country” better off.

So that’s my theory. Stop getting mad at the “illegals” who cross this line in the sand, and instead work to get rid of the system that is ruining us all.

2 Comments

  1. In much of the above Illegal debate I agree with you. However I can not vote in Mexico, only in the U.S. Although I vote in the U.S. they rarely do what is right or what I want in Government. That leaves the millions of Illegals to consider as I work and support most of them. Apparently a large group of Americans don’t mind supporting them, I DO! I work hard for my money and I have a history with this Nation as my ancestors did. I resent people that jump the fence, tunnel in, swim in, hide in trucks and basically lie to get (for free) what I have to work for. To me Mexico is a ROGUE nation out of control. Money and cartels run the country where here in the U.S. Money and more Money run the Country. Honest elections are “No More”. Yes, Illegals may do work that Americans don’t want to do. Does that give them the right to transgress upon our Nations Freedoms & Rights. They were not born here, most are leaches on society. I continue to see an ever increasing advertising in Spanish. If I wanted to read spanish I would move to another country. In America I would like to read English. I think Toyota should be boycotted for their new stickers for foreigners that says in spanish “we are many”. Whats that suppose to mean? Maybe every democrat should adopt an illegal family. They can live in the back yard and do yard work. It would take millions off of welfare. Do I sound angry, YES! Am I under attack? Yes Is my Government doing reckless things? YES Is it affecting me? YES Must I work harder and longer to support my family because the government gives Illegals all of the benefits for free? YES Am I resentful? YES

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    It’s so easy to demonize undocumented immigrants when you haven’t met any. When your best friend is undocumented, it opens your eyes. Unfortunately, the rhetoric surrounding immigration in our public discourse has very little basis in fact. There are so many misconceptions and lies about immigration.
    For example, “illegal is illegal.” Well, not exactly. It’s not a crime to live in the United States without permission. It’s a civil offense or a violation of administrative regulations, depending on the circumstances, comparable under the law to speeding or building a fence in your yard without a building permit. When a deportation proceeding takes place, it’s a civil proceeding, not a criminal proceeding. When a deportation occurs, it is not a criminal action; it’s an administrative action.

    Or another common myth: immigrants are taking “American jobs” (whatever an “American job” is). This is completely counterfactual. Immigrants – regardless of legal status – typically create more jobs in our economy than they fill. Studies have demonstrated that immigrant labor creates jobs and improves wages for 90% of American citizens. American workers are not suffering because of the presence of immigrant labor, but because of the LACK of it. Because immigrants are usually different from American workers, either more or less educated, they generally don’t compete directly with natives. Instead, they complement the American labor force. Even in this economic downturn, employers have worker shortages among very high-skilled and low-skilled positions: positions that could be filled if we allowed more immigrant workers in. In an average year, our economy demands roughly 500,000 low-skilled foreign workers, yet our government only issues 5,000 work visas to year-round low-skilled foreigners. In total, our economy demands about 1.5 million immigrant workers each year, but we usually only allow 1 million. It’s as if we were in the auto industry and we had to import steel to make cars, yet the government only allows us to import 2/3 of the steel we need. That’s an absurd policy when we do it with steel, and it’s an absurd policy when we do it with people.

    Another common myth about immigration is that undocumented immigrants are using public services without paying taxes. This is just that: a myth. In fact, public budgets on the federal level and state levels often see a net fiscal gain as a result of illegal immigration. Costs add up at the local level, but typically not at the state level and never at the federal level. Studies by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Research Council, and the 2007 Council of Economic Advisors have all agreed that undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in benefits on the federal level. One study estimates that immigrants, regardless of legal status, pay about $80,000 more in taxes than they receive in public services over their lifetimes, on average. Furthermore, undocumented immigrants pay about $6-7 billion each year into Social Security and about $1.2-2.2 billion in Medicaid that they’ll never be able to draw. In 2005, the state of Texas reported that undocumented immigrants paid $424.7 million more in taxes to the state than they used in public services. Yes, that included the costs of education the children of immigrants, too.

    Another common myth is that illegal immigration is bringing crime to our country. Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Limbaugh like to use anecdotal evidence about an illegal immigrant drunk driver or serial killer to perpetuate this notion, but statistic evidence does not reflect that idea. Between 1994 and 2005, illegal immigration doubled. During that same period, violent crime decreased 34.6% nationwide and property crime decreased 26.4%. This trend holds true for border states and those states and cities with the highest undocumented populations. El Paso, TX and San Diego, CA are border cities with high undocumented populations, yet they are consistently ranked as some of the safest cities in America with the lowest crime rates. It’s also worth noting that immigrants have less than 1/5 the incarceration rates of the native-born population. This generally holds true for immigrants of every legal status, every nationality, and every ethnicity. Most of the crime statistics that immigration restrictionists and neo-con talking heads like to use are crimes relating to document fraud, not violent crime or property crime.

    I could go on and on, but that wouldn’t be very expedient, so…..
    Great post, Savannah.

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