Sunday, April 30, 2006

On Immigration, Part II

It seems that my previous post on illegal immigration has drawn a lot of criticism. I predicted as much. You know what though, maybe this was a misunderstanding. Maybe I wasn't as clear as I could've been. If I came off as self-righteous, that wasn't my intent. I do feel that many accusations were laid against my argument that have no basis in fact. I'm just going to tackle these all at once.

The intent of my first post was to make the point that the debate on illegal immigration, as with many other issues in America today, has been full of hysteria, demagoguery, and erroneous claims on both sides. No real reforms can happen if we're not honest about what's going on.

I think the approach the the House Republicans have chosen, and many support, of making illegals into felons, is the wrong approach. It is, and has always been a misdemeanor. I think it is unrealistic and unfeasible to try and deport 12 million illegals, especially without having a comprehensive plan to deal with the larger problem.

I'm against placing all the blame on the people coming here for a better life (albeit illegally), without placing due blame on the corporations who exploit these people for cheap labor. You won't stop illegal immigration unless you stop it at the source.

I'm for securing the borders. There are a lot of options here. A fence. More border agents. Maybe we do need some national guard troops.

I'm for paths to legalization for iillegals already here (Most of these people are hartdworking-and no contribute to the economy). I'm not for amnesty. Make them pay fines, and back taxes, and work out a compromise. I think the Senate bill had those here for five years become part of guest worker plan, and those here for less than that go back. The specifics can be worked out. My point is, a compromise is going to have to happen, because we're stuck between a lot of hard choices.

This is not, and I have never called it a civil rights issue, at least not in THAT sense.

Concerns about absorbing millions of new immigrants, and assimilation are valid, but those concerns are for later in the game. Besides, these are concerns we must tackle even with legal immigrants, so that shouldn't really play a part in the current debate.

To be honest with you, I'm no expert, nor do I claim to be. I'm just putting out my thoughts. For those who want to debate, I only ask that you stick to what I actually said, and not what others have said.

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