Canonizing American Immigration

Donald Trump’s position on immigration is the primary reason I am no longer a Republican, but the immigration issue has long been a wedge between my personal position and the stance of the GOP.  The thought of giving amnesty to lawbreakers enrages Republicans, yet they label any attempt to deal with the issue as amnesty, even when it is not. The reality is that this is an intractable problem, one for which Trumpists don’t have any solution, except “build the wall,” which, frankly, doesn’t address the problem at all.

Let’s start with an immutable principle: you cannot repeal the law of supply and demand.

As long as Mexico and other South American countries remain mired in crushing poverty, people will look to escape that poverty and cross over the border into the United States. Build all the walls you want; they will keep coming. The demand for economic freedom is ever present, and it will not be denied. Certainly the supply is all but unlimited. Walls can be circumvented. Border guards can be eluded. Short of deploying the entire might of the American military on the border, people will continue to break into America in search of a better life.

That’s not to say that we should open our borders entirely. The “no borders” folks sound a lot like those who think we should legalize drugs. After all, both the supply and demand for dope are constant, too, so why not just give in? Because the consequences of legalization would be disastrous. Same with completely open borders. We decrease the demand by enforcing drug laws, just as we decrease demand by enforcing our borders. If we made no attempt to enforce border laws, we would be completely overrun by unskilled immigrants, and our economy would collapse under the strain.

Both in drugs and in immigration, enforcement of existing laws is necessary, but it is far from sufficient.

Continuing with the drug analogy, imagine saying “let’s not deal with people who are already addicted until we stop the drug supply first!” That would be lunacy, because current addicts are the primary reason for the continued demand. It’s all part of the same problem; you cannot separate the two.

Similarly, “securing the borders” requires some sort of accommodation for the 12 million people who are already here. They’re looking to bring over their families and friends. They’re creating a culture that feeds the demand, and they will not be entirely deterred by a great big wall.

A guest worker program makes sense, would ease the demand and help solve the problem, and it doesn’t have to be amnesty. If you doubt that, look at the precedent of the former Braceros program, instituted in 1942 for agricultural and railroad projects. Thousands would participate in the program and then return home with their earnings to Mexico. Evidence suggests that many, if not most, of illegal immigrants today would do the same.

So why don’t we do it today? Well, the problem back then was that Braceros were underbidding the unions, and Jack Kennedy decided to discontinue the program to make the Teamsters happy. And today, to Trumpists, any accommodation smells like amnesty. Actually, it’s worse than that – they have gone so far down the road of scapegoating that it is impossible for them to realize that these are human beings who ought to be treated with dignity and respect. They want to see these people kicked out of the country at the first opportunity.

Holy living crap, folks. Deporting 12 million people, besides being the most massive forced relocation of people in human history, is also all but impossible.

OK, you may say. Then lock ‘em all up! They’re lawbreakers!

Well, we have six million beds in our jails in this country today. You’d need to triple that number to make this happen. How do you do that? Even more, why would you want to? Most of these people are willing to work, and work hard. They’re guilty of putting the welfare of their families above the law. That’s a crime, yes, but so is speeding. How we punish lawbreakers is tempered by the criminal’s intent, and the impact the crime has on society at large. If we’re going to solve this problem, we’re going to need laws that reflect the reality of the situation.

That’s not to say I’m fully aligned with the Left on this issue. I maintain that all immigrants need to learn English. If people want to come to this country, they need to become part of the culture for their own economic survival.

The Left will have none of that. They want to open the borders and essentially set up a Balkanized nation, and dismantle American culture. It’s atrocious, but it appeals to a large number of people, particularly in the absence of alternative solutions.

The Right, in turn, has no solutions. All they have is anger. They want to build a big freakin’ wall, and that’s all they’ve got. It’s wrong. And it’s not effective.

What do you think? Build your own position in the camps below.