By Tom Quiner
The wailing and gnashing of teeth from the mainstream media and the political left (pardon the redundancy) regarding the latest immigration crisis has reached a decibel level unlike anything I’ve heard since, well, the last crisis concocted by the left.
Let’s talk immigration.
Is it illegal to break into the United States? Yes. It is considered a federal misdemeanor, which subjects violators to fines and up to six months jail time.
Is it horrible to separate parents from their kids when they break in? Yes. This blog hates it and is glad the president is ending the practice.
Did Obama separate kids from their parents who broke into the US? As I understand it, he tried to keep kids with parents, but the government was sued and lost because the courts said it was inhumane to keep kids in jails with their parents.
Is Trump honoring the laws on the books and court precedents? As I understand it, yes.
Trump has signed an Executive Order reuniting kids with their parents. Is that the end of the story? Probably not. The next lawsuit may undo it. It really needs a legislative fix.
How many bills did Democrats submit to fix this problem when they controlled the government and had a filibuster-proof Senate? None.
How many bills have the Republicans put forth in recent years on immigration? Two, none of which passed.
When was the last major piece of immigration legislation passed in the US? In 1986 with the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Another dozen lesser bills were passed, the most recent being the Secure Fence Act of 2006 which built a partial wall along the Mexican border.
Did these fix the problem? Evidently not.
Trump detractors equate recent immigration enforcement with Japanese interment and Nazism. Is this accurate? No. Japanese interment forcibly relocated legal US citizens from their homes into remote compounds simply because of their ethnicity, a clear violation of their civil liberties. The Nazis rounded up legal citizens, most notably Jews, and mass executed them because of their group identity. By contrast, US immigration authorities are arresting illegal aliens who have broken into the US in violation of our laws. When fines and jail time are served, they are removed from our borders and free to return to their homes. Those on the Left making these claims are either ignorant, cynical, or dishonest.
What percentage of the world’s nations have laws protecting the integrity of their borders? One-hundred percent.
Is amnesty the answer? We tried it in 1986 and it didn’t work. Illegal immigrants kept coming. Besides, amnesty isn’t fair to legal immigrants who waited in line for years to earn US citizenship.
Is “The Wall” the answer? Depends on who you talk to. President Trump insists the answer is yes. The libertarian Cato Institute, which is respected by most conservatives, says no. This blog is dubious about The Wall’s long term efficacy.
Is there a better solution? Maybe. How about unleashing the marketplace? Thanks to Trump and Republicans, the economy is exploding. Trump is undoing job-killing Obama era regulations every month. Coupled with the big tax cut, the unemployment rate has plummeted so low that employers are begging for workers. Even more, baby boomers are retiring so fast, that we won’t have enough workers to take care of them in the years to come. Doesn’t it make more sense to transform undocumented immigrants into documented ones and put them to work? In other words, let them enter the country through controlled points of entry that allow them to come and go as long as the jobs are there.
We’re not talking citizenship. That has to be earned.
We’re not even talking automatic entry. Workers have to apply for documentation.
We’re talking guest workers with proper paperwork to fill jobs business owners are begging to fill.
Bureaucrats aren’t getting the job done in controlling the border. Neither is the Congress. Perhaps the marketplace can help out. Enforcement can be beefed up by increasing fines on employers who knowingly employ immigrants without the proper paperwork. But if we provide a more realistic flow of documented workers, there is less incentive to employ illegal ones.
Won’t this approach ultimately create more illegal aliens when guest workers don’t want to go home? Maybe, but how can it be any worse than the current system? Besides, guest status provides incentives to play by the rules. If they get caught violating the privilege, they lose the privilege forever.
The Left and the MSM really have no interest in solving the problem. Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, pretty much admitted as much when he said it is totally up to the president, suggesting Congress has no role. That’s why this issue never goes away.