Thursday, January 26, 2006
I don't hate immigrants.
I don't disrespect the fact that as a nation we are made up of a variety of cultures and ethnicities. I don't disregard the reality that most of our families arrived on this continent within the last few centuries. My own great-grandmother, back in 1914, arrived on a boat from Europe at Ellis Island. I have nothing against those who wish to come to this country and start a new life in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
However, my beef is with all the policies (and by extension, policy-makers) that make it easy and even desirable for immigrants to thwart the system and enter the country through illegal channels. I also take umbrage at the fact that tax dollars are spent by the millions on social services for these illegal aliens.
So here's my solution (and I know you won't like it):
The only tax dollars spent on illegal immigrants are on security measures to keep them out, law enforcement and justice officials to arrest, convict and punish the ones who break other laws, and busses and barges to take the rest back where they came from.
Here are some privileges they should not have:
- Health care benefits
- Public defense attorneys
- Food stamps
- Public school education
- Driver's licenses
- Social security benefits
- Land or home ownership
Here are some privileges that I would give:
- The right to apply for political asylum
- The right to due process and a fair trial
- The right to try to come back the legal way
- The right to seek assistance from charitable organizations
- The right to a free bottle of water and a ticket back home
Is there a price to pay for my proposal? Absolutely. People will die because they are denied health care benefits. Families will wallow in poverty because they are denied welfare assistance. Children will get stuck in a rut because they are denied free education. Prices will go up because cheap labor will be more scarce. The courts will get bogged down. Security officials will be overwhelmed. But if we are willing to stick to our guns (and sometime even be willing to discharge them) we can begin to stem the tide of people who make it harder for those who legitimately pursue the American dream.
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