Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gate Crasher Worker Program

Previously on Pat's Rick© Says. . .
I had posted about free speech. Does that include the "right" of illegal aliens to protest their illegality? Do the benefits of citizenship belong to anybody just because they are in the U.S. by whatever means? As Cal Thomas asks whose country is this?

A "guest worker" provision for those already here might work, but there should be restrictions on how long they can stay and a requirement that they return home before applying for legal admittance. Accompanied by much tighter control of our borders, such an approach would be in America's best interests. And could we please put this country's best interests first for a change?

Yesterday, I linked to a column by Thomas Sowell, but did not quote from it. I am correcting that now:

Immigration is yet another issue which we seem unable to discuss rationally -- in part because words have been twisted beyond recognition in political rhetoric.

We can't even call illegal immigrants "illegal immigrants." The politically correct evasion is "undocumented workers."

Do American citizens go around carrying documents with them when they work or apply for work? Most Americans are undocumented workers but they are not illegal immigrants. There is a difference.

The sequel is equally good.

What about all those illegal workers that we "need"? Many of the illegals are working in agriculture, producing crops that have been in chronic surplus for decades. These surplus crops are costing the American taxpayers billions of dollars in government storage costs and in the inflated prices created by deliberately keeping much of this agricultural output off the market.
In California, surplus crops grown and harvested by illegal immigrants are often also subsidized by federal water projects which charge the farmers in dry California valleys far less than the cost to the government of providing that water -- and a fraction of what people in Los Angeles or San Francisco pay for the same amount of water.
For too long, we have bought the argument that being unfortunate entitles you to break the law. The consequence has been disastrous, whether the people allowed to get away with breaking the law are Americans or foreigners.

An unfortunate side effect of our failed immigration policy has been the loss of a national identity. Once upon a time people made great sacrifices in order to become citizens of the United States of America. Now people protest for the right to remain in the U.S. illegally, reaping the benefits of the country with no desire to "become" a United States citizen. We have all manner of hyphenated Americans: Italian-American, Greek-American, African-American, Mexican-American, etc. Gone are the days when people struggled to reach America and carve out a new identity. Now they want to retain their old identity and cling to the old systems that they tried to leave.

Kathleen Parker and I do not always agree, but in this article, we do.

There's nothing like the sight of 500,000 protesters on U.S. turf, demanding rights in Spanish while waving Mexican flags, to stir Americans from their siestas.
In Los Angeles, the iconic phrase may be "Si se puede," but in Muncie, it's "What the ... ?"
Suddenly, in the flash of a newscast, polite political debate about guest worker programs visually morphed into what seemed like a full-blown invasion.

And again:

Let's just say that convincing others of one's desire to become an American citizen would be more effective if one were to do so in English - while waving an American flag. Just imagine how welcome 500,000 bubbas waving American flags and chanting, "Hell no, we won't go," would be in Mexico City.
I grew up in Florida with Cubans as my closest friends, and my stepfather is Mexican - a legal immigrant who came to this country at age 16 to attend medical school.

I am, in other words, an unapologetic Hispanophile.
Before I bleed to death or start writing poetry, let me balance this romantic view of the illegal immigrant with another nugget: About 27 percent of all inmates in the federal prison system are criminal aliens, according to government figures. Then again, millions of illegals who are otherwise law-abiding people have lived here for 10-20 years, buying houses, attending parent-teacher meetings and giving birth to native-born Americans.

Although there seems no simple solution to such a complex issue, two nagging thoughts persist: (1) The right to protest was a gift from America's Founding Fathers to the nation's citizens, ergo, non-citizens should protest in their own countries; and (2) the purpose of the legislative branch of government is to pass laws that serve the best interests of the nation's citizens.

I have written to both of my Senators and my Representative to do some serious looking at this issue. But, as Kathleen observed,

The question of what to do with some 11 million to 20 million illegal immigrants already living and working in this country may be too problematic for mere politicians.

What do you think?

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