Tuesday, May 17, 2011

On Immigration

Georgia passes an illegal immigration bill, and of course, some celebrity comes along to raise a fuss, and call it racist. Frankly, Santana doesn't know what he's talking about. The bill says that if an illegal immigrant gets nabbed while committing some other crime, they get sent back home. Big whoop. Oh, and employers have to take some reasonable effort to make sure their employees aren't committing identity theft. Which is, again, a crime, in case you didn't remember.

You know who really gets left out of the immigration debate? The folks who are already trudging on a path to citizenship. The law-abiding immigrants who are here under their own names, who have spent decades and often tens of thousands of dollars filling out forms and making sure they abide by all the rules, waiting to get through "the system". These are the people who really deserve the benefit of immigration reform. But they can't vote, and most of the folks I know on this road aren't Hispanic. They're Indian (like from India, not Native American), or African (like from Africa, not Black American), or East European. So, there's no big block of "minority votes" to court. Yes, they're part of minorities, but their minorities are too small to mean anything to a politician. Every time a bill passes to give a group of illegal immigrants a "step up" in the immigration process, it pushes these law-abiding immigrants further back in line.

Santanta's statement implies that immigration laws mean we don't want immigration. That's like saying that traffic laws mean we don't want anyone to go anywhere. Frankly, the US immigration laws are just about the most generous in the world. Just try becoming a Japanese citizen if you don't believe me. Try working in Switzerland as a non-citizen. Immigration laws just mean this: That there is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. It's not right that we should punish people who are working hard to follow the rules, and overlook or reward law-breaking.