Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Immigration Battle, My Thoughts

Well, Senator Nelson disappointed me (I won't mention the other disappointing Senator from NE) and voted for cloture yesterday, but there is still a chance that the bill will fail with another cloture vote scheduled Thursday after the various amendments have been debated.

Meanwhile, Heritage's Robert Rector, who has been one of the point people arguing against the bill, answer his critics (in the link above) from the administration. Once again, the pro-amnesty crowd confuses (or attempts to confuse) the issue by grouping all immigrants together, rather than properly separating them into the illegal, little educated and low wage group and the legal, highly educated and high earning group (like those coming into the country on H1-B visas).

AGAIN, I am personally all for the latter group - the ones that follow the the rules, wait their turn, and contribute so mightily to our society. We need more doctors, engineers, software developers, etc. And I would personally like to allow more of that kind of immigrant into our nation, even to the point of (possibly) doubling the legal limit. I also think we have to take into account where they are coming from - are they fleeing a despotic dictator, or are their old societies unwelcoming or violent toward minority ethnic groups? If the answer is yes, then we should seriously consider making a place for them in our own society. People in such dire straits, where they are at risk in their own nations, should merit some additional consideration, in my view. (Think nations like Cuba, China, Venezeula, Zimbabwe, or any individual Christian or Jew living in a predominantly Muslim nation).

But we would have to drastically curtail the other type of immigrant, the ones that are a net drain on our society and resources, before I'd agree to that. I understand they are coming here for opportunities that do not exist in their home countries. That is the unifying thread of all immigrants, all the way back to the beginnings of this country and even before into pre-history. But up until the last 30 to 40 years, immigrants generally followed the prevailing rules that the US government established for the entry of new Americans. We have to control our own borders before we can face the questions of which people merit admittance to our society. Right now, we don't have any control over who arrives, where they are from, and what their behavior is when they arrive here. We also have no clue if they have the skills we need for the advancement of our economy and society.

I do not now, nor will I ever, support the notion that we should just accept the fact that all these people that are here illegally and reward their behavior with immediate citizenship. I can accept the fact that there should be a path to citizenship for such persons, but it should be long, difficult, and expensive, just as it is for the legal immigrants today. They have to prove themsleves worthy, as it were, for the price of cheating their way to admission. And those here illegally should start at the back of the line, not the front. If we are going to address such issues in legislation today, then we also need to make it easier to gain citizenship for the people that are following the rules, and set the bar very, very high for those that decided to come here not in accordance with US laws and regulations.

From what I have seen out of the pending legislation, it does not meet my criteria, nor does it come anywhere even close to it.

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