Without a doubt illegal immigration is one of the biggest problems the US has faced in recent history. Until just a few years ago virtually nothing had been done about the millions of people coming over the border from Mexico. Once on US soil phony I.D.’s and jobs were easy to come by. The government was well aware of it and did nothing for decades. Why? – Cheap fruit? Loyal janitors? Surely the past governments could see a problem brewing. Obviously they missed that one. Now the problem is so big and out of control that no one really has a good solution.
Illegal immigration has contributed substantially to the bankruptcy of several states with heavy illegal populations. The baffling thing about the situation is the selective law enforcement. In many situations when a person who has no proper ID and is stopped for a minor infraction and is obviously from a foreign country (cannot speak English) they are let go after being briefly detained. Often they are arrested later for a more serious crime.
In San Francisco there was the case of the illegal immigrant who was arrested for a minor offense. He was released on bail and committed a triple murder that same day. Why wasn’t this person taken immediately to a detention facility and deported when he was initially arrested? The taxpayers paid for a trial and put him in jail for about the next 50 years at roughly $20K a year. By the way, San Francisco is a self designated ‘sanctuary’ city where illegal immigrants are not scrutinized, are free to operate as they wish and are even encouraged to migrate there.
On the other hand a born and raised US citizen is subject to being prosecuted to the full extent of the law for minor traffic offenses. Those who pay taxes, are educated, have insurance, and have never been in jail or even been convicted of a misdemeanor are not happy that they don’t get to select the laws they must obey. It is little wonder that many US citizens feel they only exist to contribute to the government’s tax coffers. It creates resentment when it is obvious that their tax dollars are supporting illegal people that shouldn’t be on US soil in the first place. When they voice opposition to this financing of illegal immigration they are labeled a racist, insensitive to the poor or mean spirited.
There are really no accurate figures on how many illegal people are in the US. You see numbers of anywhere from 12 to 35 million. To be objective and to not lump all illegal immigrants into one category it would be fair to say the vast majority are law abiding (except for being in the country illegally) and just want a better life.
They contribute to the economy by consuming goods and services. They wouldn’t come to the US if there weren’t jobs. Of course the big justification is that they do all of the jobs no one else will do. In a way it helps the employer who pays them low and doesn’t report them to the IRS. By employing illegal aliens the employer reduces his expenses like health care and unemployment insurance. The employer usually gets a dedicated person to do a menial job by someone who actually values it instead of resents it. But by dodging employment laws the employer becomes an outlaw also.
That has been true but what about now that the economy is down? Maybe a seasonal work program where the immigrants come to work and then return home would be a good idea. This would have to be based on trust that the illegal immigrant would return home out of season. That would be very difficult to enforce.
Perhaps the solution lies in a program where illegal immigrants who can prove they have been in the country a certain amount of time, have paid taxes, speak English and not committed crimes could become citizens. At the same time a crack down on the drug cartels and other illicit activity should be enforced. Stiffer penalties for employers who give work to illegal immigrants would halt a lot of them coming.
Then you have people like Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. You may know him as the hardnosed Sheriff who makes his incarcerated personnel know they are in jail not in a luxury hotel. They sleep in tents in the hot Arizona desert. When they complained he told them that US Marines sleep like this and they didn’t commit any crimes. His prisoners sued in federal court and won the right to have cable TV in jail. The sheriff responded by limiting it to the weather channel and Disney cartoons. He has aggressively gone after the flood of illegal visitors from Mexico. When his officers see what are obvious illegal immigrants he stops them and asks for ID. If they can’t produce it they are detained. If it is proven they are illegal they are sent back to their home country pronto.
Now the Obama Administration is attempting to curtail Sheriff Arpaio’s aggressive policies. The Obama staff has caved into political posturing and the same old, racial profiling argument of the ACLU. They use the Constitution when it’s convenient to allow the flood to continue. President Obama’s attorney general’s office has issued an order to the Sheriff to stop detaining people to check for citizenship. The Sheriff has cited States Rights. He refused the federal order and said that he will take them back to Mexico in his own car if he has to. This issue is currently in the courts. Hmmm, Obama says you can’t stop someone just inside the Arizona/Mexico border fence in the middle of a desert to investigate suspicious activity. However it’s ok to put up a road block and stop me to see if I’m drunk. Many see this as a political maneuver to gain favor with Hispanic voters.
Now, more than ever, the illegal immigration situation is in transition. Many illegals are returning to Mexico because of limited job prospects. Others are turning to crime and staying in the US. Now that jobs are scarce US citizens are eyeballing jobs that illegal Mexicans have. This is creating resentment and the cry of foul is getting louder. In these hard times the federal and state funds going to illegals are under more scrutiny. The fact that illegals have contributed to state bankruptcies and continue to receive welfare has some Americans outraged.
Something effective needs to be done to lessen the negative impact of illegal immigration and it needs to be done soon. What is being done now is too little too late.
Many Americans are fearful that the US is being ruined by lack of control of immigration and cite it as one of the major reasons they want to flee. Are you one of them or do you think immigration, legal or otherwise is beneficial to the American social structure and economy? Please let us have your comments.