Immigration “Reform” – or Dropping the Baton?

By | April 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

  

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This country was built by immigrants. If you want to hear positive comments about America, your chances are better if you ask immigrants rather than people who were born here. Immigrants know why they left their birthplace to come to America. These statements are true – but are no help in planning an immigration policy.
Food is essential for life. This statement is also true – but is no help in planning a healthful diet. There is no implication that overeating is good. Indeed, it can be fatal to an individual. Likewise, the fact that immigration has many benefits does not mean that unlimited immigration is good. It can be fatal to a nation.
The current joint Democratic-Republican plan is still unclear. But the reaction to it is entirely predictable. Those in favor of unlimited immigration will argue that it doesn’t go far enough. Those who want to curtail immigration will argue that it goes too far.
Remember “amnesty”?
The word comes from the same root as amnesia. It implies that we forget something – in this case, that people broke the law to enter the country. If they did so once, it was a misdemeanor. If they did so after being deported, it was a felony. Amnesty means different things to different people, but one thing it clearly means is a reward for those who broke a law they found inconvenient.
That’s what the word means theoretically. What does it mean practically?
We already had an immigration amnesty in 1986. Republicans agreed to, and President Reagan signed, a bill that granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. Democrats promised that later, the border would be secured. Of course that never happened.
Now we will probably have another amnesty. Sen. Chuck Schumer outlined the plan, again leaving securing the border for some indefinite future time. Here we go again.
As a result, more immigrants will come illegally, correctly assuming that their status eventually will be legalized. And the Border Patrol will reduce its efforts to a minimum. Why should they risk their lives to arrest people who eventually will be allowed to stay?
Just as repeated amnesties for criminals would effectively repeal the criminal laws, repeated amnesties for illegal immigrants effectively repeal the immigration laws. This may or may not be intended. It just happens.
Be careful what you attempt – you might succeed.
It was rumored that President Bush signed the Campaign Finance “Reform” Act reluctantly, in the hope that the Supreme Court would overturn it as an unconstitutional infringement of free expression – which I believe it is. But the court upheld most of the law.
Is it possible that the proposed immigration reform is something similar? Is it possible that some Republicans hope it will attract Latino and other ethnic voters, but that Congress ultimately will fail to pass it? That way Republicans can take credit for trying.
But the risk is the same as with campaign finance “reform.” The risk is that it will go into effect after all. The risk is that Murphy’s Law also applies in reverse – that things don’t go wrong when you want them to.
When liberals and conservatives agree, watch out.
Democrats claim to be for working people and unions. But unlimited immigration forces wages down and weakens most unions. If you doubt this, check out the construction industry in the Southwest – almost all workers are Latino. Or check out how many liberals employ gardeners, house cleaners, and nannies at low wages.
When I think of unions, I think of the United Auto Workers and various craft unions. But I’m hopelessly out of date. The largest union now represents government employees, and that union’s president is also president of the AFL-CIO.
So when you hear that the AFL-CIO endorses the new immigration plan, remember that the AFL-CIO does not speak for the members of craft unions. Surely, these workers do not want more low-wage competition in a shrunken job market. No, the AFL-CIO speaks for government workers, who want more recipients of government benefits – and therefore more jobs for themselves.
Republicans claim to be for family values. But low wages force both parents to work, and unemployment causes stress that can break up families. Republicans claim to be for patriotism. But schools don’t teach the children of immigrants to be Americans. How could they? They don’t teach the children of citizens to be Americans, either. Republicans want to attract more Latino voters and win elections. But if Republicans abandon conservative values, what good will it do even if they win elections? “More of the same” is not the rallying cry of leaders – it is the whining of followers.
Unlimited immigration plus lack of Americanization equals the eventual destruction of our country. But who cares? Who even notices?
Everyone claims to be for education, health care, and law enforcement. But unlimited immigration overloads public schools, public hospitals, and jails to the point of near-collapse. If you doubt this, look at California.
The lure of cheap labor – and the hope for new voters – is too much for many Democrats and Republicans to resist.
● They can deny their real motives – and still claim to be humanitarians.
● They can visit doctors in upscale office buildings, while giving away seats in crowded clinic waiting rooms to immigrants – seats that were occupied by poor Americans, especially black Americans.
● They can send their children to private schools, while giving away desks in crowded public schools to immigrants – desks that were occupied by poor Americans, especially black Americans.
● They can give away jobs they don’t want to do to immigrants– and narcissistically assume that no citizen wants those jobs, especially black Americans.
● They can forbid police to arrest or report illegal immigrants, even those with criminal records – and still claim to be friends of law enforcement.
● They can make our borders as porous as possible – and still claim to be fighting terrorism.
● They can increase profits by replacing employees with minimum-wage immigrants – and still claim to be pro-worker.
● They can neglect the duties of citizenship and claim to be “citizens of the world” – which carries no obligation except breathing.
● They can wrap themselves in the mantle of altruism – while acting as selfishly as possible.
Where else can you get a deal like that?
We’re dropping the baton.
America isn’t a place. It isn’t an ethnic group. It’s an idea. Ideas are powerful, but they are also fragile. If they are not transmitted to the next generation, they die. This is true for our kids, and equally true for the kids of immigrants.
When I was young, schools taught us to be Americans. American history and civics classes emphasized our accomplishments. We observed Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays. For national holidays, we heard patriotic music at school and on the radio. Many high schools and colleges offered ROTC. I was handed my first gun by a master sergeant with combat ribbons. My high school had a rifle range in the basement, but there were no shootings.
But now, schools emphasize America’s failings. We observe only Presidents Day. (Which president? Millard Fillmore, an overt bigot?) We never hear patriotic music. Many schools kicked out ROTC and the Boy Scouts. Many boys are handed their first gun by the local gang leader. Do you suppose they form a different idea of the purpose of a gun than I did? Do you suppose they form a different idea of the purpose of a man than I did? Do you think this is why high schools no longer have rifle ranges, but do have shootings?
There is a saying that life is not a sprint but a marathon. This is incorrect. Life is a relay race. Our job is to do our best, then pass the baton to the next runner. We are in a relay race with those who hope to destroy our civilization. But instead of passing the baton to the next generation, we’re dropping it in the dirt.
Unless we resume Americanizing our own children and the children of immigrants, teaching them the values that made America exceptional, immigration laws won’t really matter much. In another generation or two, America won’t be America anymore, so who is or is not admitted as an immigrant will be irrelevant.
Eventually America will deteriorate to the point that few people will want to come here. Why should they, when we will have the economy of Greece, the health care of Cuba, and the respect for individual rights of China?
People waited in line for years, and even broke the law, to come to the land of freedom, opportunity, and Chevrolets. But the land of regulations, conformity, and Fiat 500s? They might as well stay home. That will be the Final Solution to the immigration problem.
Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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