Wednesday, March 29, 2006

'Splain it

Okay. We've been going back and forth on this immigration debate this week. Needless to say, on such a complicated issue, there is a great difference of opinion about what the outcome should be. One thing I'd like to know is, and Gord touched on it a bit last night, can folks tell the difference between legal and illegal?

Ladies and germs, 'illegal' means you have broken the law of the land. I realize we have become desenitized to 'illegality' after dealing with the Chimp and his entourage for the past 5 years but the definition is the same. So, in dealing with illegal immigration, let's first get that fact straight. The illegals' first act of setting foot in this country is to break the law. An auspicious beginning.

Next, it is these same people who are making demands of the United States. I doubt, because I've researched it in anticipation of retirement outside the U.S., many other nations would even consider the wishes of folks who are not citizens, let alone in the country illegaly. A jail term at worst, deportation at best, are the current reactions by others toward illegal entrants. So when these folks march down the streets in U.S. cities waving flags of their own nations, making demands of our government, it naturally chaps my ass. Not because I'm a white boy and they're all brown, but because they don't vote and don't pay taxes (don't wave the sales tax at me, not when I pay close to $40,000 a year in state and federal income taxes). I give a damn if they're British, German, Indian, Asian, or Canadian.

Next, this is the only time in the past 5 years I have agreed with the Chimp. Read my lips: It is a slap in the face to my parents and all the other immigrants who came here to make a better life and achieve the American Dream in a legal manner, and you can't tell me otherwise. Maybe those folks who think we should just hand out amnesty should read the history of Ellis Island before running off at the mouth. Amnesty for illegals is an insult to immigrants who arrive here in a law-abiding manner. Besides, it was tried 20 years ago and the problem was exacerbated five-fold.

Next, the jobs illegals take are not 'jobs Americans don't want to do'. They are jobs corporations don't want to pay competitive wages for. Not when they have a ready and willing pool of cheap labor just across the border. Illegals are being exploited, period. If corporations would feel some pain for hiring illegals, enough pain for them to feel it in the bottom line, they would change their tune, quickly.

Next, I don't want to see millions of illegals rounded up and deported. As I've said in the past, the U.S. has taken a peculiar pleasure in dicking over the part of this hemisphere where most of them come from. We are a major reason their economies and societies (maybe an economic package of the type we give to say...Israel or Egypt, instead of propping up tinhorn dictators, might make more of them stay at home too) are in the desperate state they are and we do owe them something. Those here should be allowed to stay, but they should feel some pain too. They did break the law, after all, and while we scream for accountability from our leaders, we should also expect it from regular folks. Maybe a tax surcharge for a number of years, or some sort of probationary period. I don't know but that's for better minds than mine.

And finally, secure borders. Not this joke-and-a-half we call Homeland Security. Can somebody honestly tell me with a straight face we shouldn't know who and what comes across our borders? I want to know that the people coming across the borders (and that means our northern one too) have at least as much hassle as I do coming into JFK from Europe.

Now, I don't flatter myself to think I know what the answers are, but I know this nation, first and foremost, is a nation of laws. It's time we started enforcing them for everyone, from the war criminal in the White House to the poor bastids putting their lives on the line to get across the border.

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