Finding Balance: Fear is Never a Good Basis for Policy
What is all the hoopla really about? It is certainly not about new citizens coming from other countries and making a new home here. That would be crazy because that is the very soul of our great nation. Every wave of immigration has been met with a certain amount of resistance. White Europeans were not the first humans on this continent. The illegal Mexican workers/criminals are mostly of Spanish descent. Even the group referred to as Native Americans came from somewhere else. (Remember the Bering Strait land/ice bridge?)
The economy requires immigrants in order to grow. America requires a growing economy. If we are not moving forward we are being left behind. Stagnation is not really an option. Lots of really smart people (and some who aren’t) work hard to find ways to make the economy work. Keeping a segment of the population out of the work force is counter-productive and should be counter-intuitive. So why do all the people who crave our attention and our votes scream about immigration like it is a new issue? Because fear sells.
Make the people afraid of something and then promise to fix that problem. If old white guys with money are your target voting bloc, find out what causes them anxiety, stoke the fear with rhetoric and then offer a solution. Every group of immigrants once established tries to protect themselves and their new found position in the society. That is done by keeping others out. Ultimately keeping others out is counterproductive.
The key is the same as it is in all things…finding balance. The proper controls to keep the flow of immigrants coming, but not letting it overwhelm resources.
Illegal immigration is different from undocumented. Drugs and crime are real problems, but throwing the baby out with the bath water is not a valid solution. Being a child of undocumented immigrants should not be a crime. Seeking a new life should not be a crime. The process to get into the U.S legally should be hopeful and not discouraging. It should be easier and less painful then being undocumented. Use the carrot, not the stick. The stick has not been all that successful.
Drug/gun running and human trafficking are crimes and should not be lumped in with immigration policy. American business and the U.S. tax base need more new people then are being born to citizens each year. A sane immigration policy is and always has been the back bone of our economy and our way of life.
Has anyone actually read the inscription on the Statute of Liberty? It is the heart and soul of that which we call America. That is why so many people want to come here for a better life. Keep the welcome mat out, it’s good for business which is good for taxes and therefore good for America.