Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I See Nothing Wrong...

...in requiring illegal immigrants to pay fines, back taxes, perform community service and become proficient in English in order to earn citizenship. I may have my "liberal" card revoked, but here are my thoughts on the whole "immigration reform" thing. First off, in full disclosure, my great-grandparents came here via Ellis Island. At least I'm certain of my mom's side. Still working on finding out about my dad's side, since there aren't any oldsters alive. So. Arizona passes what I call a "Walking While Brown" bill - nothing much will convince me that it's going to lead to profiling. But I can sort of see their side. When CA enacted their crackdown, illegals just moved over a bit. And from what I understand, the crime rate in AZ is rather high, and the "mafia" and drug stuff going on in Mexico makes it pretty scary. There's much talk about "what to do" and "people's rights" - folks hollering about how the people come across the border "because there's no work" or because they're trying to provide for the families they left behind. Fine. But they're STILL illegal. No matter if they come from Mexico or Poland. Illegal is illegal. And amnesty is not a good tool. It's a whack in the chops for those who did go through the process. The law proposed by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is just in its infancy. Part of it includes: biometric identification cards for worker verification - would stop illegal hiring at its source; stronger enforcement of the laws; and a pathway for the illegals already here. And that's where the first paragraph here comes in. According to an article in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek, "Some aspects seem overly discouraging to illegal immigrants, such as requiring them to pay fines and back taxes, perform community service, and become proficient in English in order to earn citizenship." Would you rather spend the time being deported or jailed??? Come on. Get a grip. You are here illegally. In English, that's called "a crime" and you can be fined, jailed or deported. Here's what I call my "Grandma Rant" --- when my great-grandparents came over, there was no bilingual anything. No "Press One for Polish." They learned English. They paid taxes. They worked. They were sponsored by relatives or friends. My great-grandparents were treated as "ignorant immigrants" but all of them knew at least 3 languages. Not too shabby for "uneducated" folks. One thing that doesn't seem to be making much of a wave is the whole sub-standard wage thing. The rallying cry is that illegals "will do jobs most Americans won't." Well, tell that to my unemployed kid who had to move back home. It's not that he won't do just about any job he can find. It's that he can't even afford gas at $6.50/hour - which is what a recent job in our town was paying. How about this? We make EVERYONE get paid a decent wage. That will be a double-win for everyone. Those who've been unemployed will have a shot at a job that actually pays a wage they can live with (i.e. pay for gas, rent, etc.) and those who are hiring people specifically to under-pay them (i.e. "exploit" them) will be forced to hire people at a regular wage; and will be fined for not doing so. Politics will likely intrude, as it always does. But if the Feds don't do something quickly, other border states will continue these types of ploys. Eventually, we'll either become a country known for its inhospitable treatment or we'll be known as a country that can't get anything done.

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