What a mess!: Haste does make waste

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Written By Phil Brennan

Whenever a difficult problem filled with all sorts of complexities bubbles to the surface and begins to create discord among the parties involved, politics intrude and the real trouble begins.

The moment a problem is politicized, lots of heat, and little light is generated. All rational thought is immediately banned from the dialogue, various segments of the population   rise up in what they see as righteous anger, partisans on either side of a problem that has now become an issue resort to taunting those who disagree with them with accusations such as racism, or of one side being in the pockets of fat cat businessmen, and in time, the problem that has become an issue is no longer soluble in the normal course of affairs.

Such is the case with illegal immigration, a long standing problem that has been seriously afflicting some of America‘s border states for a long time while simmering just below the surface nationally.

It has now emerged full-blown, and has been exacerbated by both the proximity of the November congressional elections where control of Capitol Hill is at stake, and by the low poll numbers plaguing  President Bush, mainly due to the Iraq war.

In normal times, the long-standing problem of people pouring across our border with Mexico and illegally settling down in our midst would be dealt with in an orderly manner. Debate would be civilized, the problem would be examined in all its many dimensions, each of which would be addressed along with the solutions.

If that were the case, the current situation would be seen as  multi-dimensioned   each of which would be examined with an eye toward in dealing with it in the manner deemed most appropriate for all concerned.

Succinctly stated, the problem begins with the security of the border between the U.S. and Mexico and the blatant violation of that border by hordes of poverty-stricken Mexicans seeking escape from their corrupt federal and local governments and a better life in the U.S. It is   exacerbated by the failure of the federal government to stem the tide effectively, and by the lure of jobs paying what in Mexico is a more than a living wage but pretty much coolie labor wages in the coolie-labor-starved U.S. economy.

Here the immediate solution is obvious: close the border tight to all those who seek to enter it by hook or by crook. It may not be easy, but it can be done.

Once here, the illegal aliens – it sheds no light on the problem to resort to political correctness and label them “undocumented” workers – readily find jobs, sometimes using false documents and often simply by applying for work. Frequently, they come to the U.S. by invitation from prospective employers who promise to hire them while they are still in Mexico if they can get across the border unhindered.

All this is music to the ears of the Mexican government, which by inaction encourages its lowest classes to leave the country and then benefits from the vast sums of money the illegals send home to their relatives – a windfall for the national economy that comprises a substantial percentage of Mexico‘s income.

Critics of current U.S. policy, which turns a blind eye on the complicity of employers who either knowingly employ illegal aliens or make no effort to determine if their workers are here legally, demand that the federal government rigorously enforce the law, punish the employers and send the illegals back to Mexico, and do it pronto.

We now arrive at the most difficult dimension – the matter of what to do with the … what? ten, twelve or who the hell knows how many millions of illegal aliens now living and working in the U.S.Some have been here for as long as a decade or more. This is now a situation with its own dimensions – a practical one and a moral one.

It is here that there is nothing but heat and not a single beam of light.

The border can be tightened, employers can be forced to stop hiring illegal aliens and those aliens sent home. But what do you do with illegals who’ve settled down in the U.S., and had children who are now U.S. citizens?

I got an e-mail today from the Christian Newswire reporting on a statement by one Steven T. Voigt, Executive Director of something called Foundations of Law PAC, responding to President Bush’s May 15 speech on immigration.

What he wrote outlines the problem in the starkest terms and bears repeating because it illustrates just how difficult it’s going to be even to take a stab at solving it.

Wrote Mr. Voigt: “In his Monday night address to the nation, the President outlined what would be an entirely ineffective plan to secure the border and then all but endorsed the wayward Senate plan for mass amnesty.

“If enacted, the Senate’s plan, which places illegal aliens in one of three tiers based on the number of years they have resided in America, would quickly turn into a bureaucratic boondoggle. Accurately ascertaining the date when illegal aliens arrived is impossible, and a federal scheme to do so would only waste billions of dollars of taxpayer money. After all, what is to stop someone who yesterday slipped across the border from today claiming that he has indeed been living and working here for two years or even five years? Do we have the resources to haggle over millions of such claims in a court of law?

“Plainly, the only realistic answer to the illegal alien crisis – and the one answer that our present leadership seems all too willing to dodge – is to secure the borders, enforce existing immigration laws, and to punish employers that employ illegal aliens. Nothing less than this is acceptable. No amount of feel good phraseology from the President and the Senate is a substitute for meaningful action.

“The President’s claim that enforcing the law would necessitate ‘mass deportation’ is disingenuous and designed to stir unrealistic fears. If we first secure the borders and then punish employers who employ illegal aliens, the huge pool of illegal aliens in the nation will dwindle by attrition, as illegal aliens return home voluntarily without any forced displacement by the federal government.

“The bottom line is that America’s public servants will either start protecting America and enforcing our laws, or the American people will simply leave them behind. If our path is the latter, then let us hope that the out-of-touch elites who dominate both sides of the aisle do not inflict too much irreparable harm on America before we finally find statesmen who truly put American interests first.”

There you have- equal amounts of heat and light.   It seems to me that we are simply in too much of a hurry to wrap up this problem so we can get on with arguing about something else. After all this mess has been around for a long time.

I think that the immediate problem that needs to be handled now is our ineffective border security. Obviously we need a vastly increased force of border agents and until that’s done using the National Guard to supplement the existing force makes sense. Encouraging those who can to volunteer for the Minuteman movement to help beleaguered border control agents by alerting them to illegals crossing the borders also makes more sense than calling those patriots vigilantes. We’ve had a Peace Corps, why not a Minuteman Corps?

The most effective step, however, is to eliminate the jobs that are drawing the illegals to penetrate our borders in the first place. That means cracking down on employers who hire them, and punishing them severely. With the jobs gone, the illegals will stay home.

Do we need a guest worker program? Sure we do, there are too many low-paying jobs around and too few Americans willing to fill them. Either we hike the wages and pay higher prices for everything from fruits and vegetables to having our lawns mowed, or we get aliens willing to work for coolie wages.

For the rest, lets take a while to let tempers cool and then we can begin to think about and deal with the really tough parts of the problem. Remember, haste does make waste.


Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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