Thursday, December 16, 2004
Proposition 200, Immigration, and Political Tightwires
You will not find a more ardent proponent for hispanic immigrants than yours truly. I butt heads with many "conservatives" on this issue. My counter to rants like Pat Buchanan's The Death of the West (the "bible" of many anti immigrationists) is that the loss of western culture comes from the flaccid state of Western Civilization itself. If our culture were more vibrant, we would absorb the immigrants and change THEM more than they change us. The solution of many "hard border" advocates is indistinguishable from statism: they simply wish to erect legal barriers to immigrants rather than be willing to compete economically, culturally, linguistically, etc.
That said, Proposition 200 in Arizona is a good thing. It simply limits social "benefits" of the state to legal residents. I realize this puts a burden on the "foreigner among us" by denying state services to the poorest and most vulnerable. However, the alternative is to simply bust the system. The one issue of undocumenteds/illegals literally shutting down emergency health care clinics has caused resentment and backlash against some of the finest future citizens we could ask for.
Prop 200 is an attempt to:
1) Gain control of our borders. In an age of terrorism, this is mandatory
2) Control our social welfare net. Social Security is the ultimate payor of these benefits, thru state mandated medicaid. That system is going BROKE, and all the lugubrious handwringing about corporate greed and excessive lifestyle of rich white people won't change that. Fiscal collapse brings far greater problems than some selfish jerk tooling around in an expensive car.
3) Force a re-think on our immigration policies. We have the most hypocritical system one can imagine. We are dependent on entry level labor. Market economies always are (maybe I should say REAL economies always are...., as command economies are consistent basket cases). We want to import people into our system to mow our lawns, build our houses, prepare our food, clean our homes, etc etc, but we don't want to acknowledge their presence. So, we deliberately do not enforce our own border laws, and allow people to live in a state of no status, no chance of legally entering society, no possibility for citizenship. We complain (and rightly so) that illegals strain the social programs we have in place, but allow no legal avenues for them to get OUT of the lowest economic rungs. This is just crazy.
I think we should FIRST Change our immigration policies. Yes, even before controlling our borders.
a) Bush's recent moves to grant permanent status to those who have been living here and productively employed is a GOOD thing (despite the fact that he said he was against "amnesty" in the debate.
b) We really need to change the entry requirements. The inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty may as well read: "Give us your rich, your elite, your braintrusts and those who won't be a 'burden'..... and screw the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. We don't need em." We should set a limit on the number of immigrants we will receive (and it should be LIBERAL), and take anyone who can prove no criminal background
c) Rather than sending our military to 150 countries around the world, they should patrol our border and forcibly evict ANYONE coming over. Anyone caught illegally coming in should be documented, fingerprinted, and permanently denied entry.
All that said, the recent decision by an AZ court to delay Proposition 200 is a bad thing. Having a welcome out means HAVING A WELCOME OUT., not having hypociritical laws that we feel guilty about and depend on a activist court to set aside.
In an interesting aside about this issue Hillary Clinton has decided to shed her liberal image by coming in on the right side of Pat Buchanan. Just listen to her quotes on illegal immigration quoted by Tony Blankley in his Washington Times: Editorials OP-ED "[I do] not think that we have protected our borders or our ports ... we can do more and we can do batter?I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants... Clearly we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we are going to let people in for... work...lets have system that keeps track of them... People have to stop employing illegal immigrants."
It is a crazy world when the Dem diva for prez in 2008 starts howling over illegal immigrants, and the born again bible quoting Republican president catches hell from his base because he wants to legalize illegal immigrants......, but I guess that is what politics does to you.