17 Jun 2014

Legalizing Them Is the Conservative Thing to Do

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This early 20th Century cartoon depicts Uncle Sam holding his nose as he contemplates the entrance into the country of The Immigrant (who looks rather Jewish), bearing on his back bundles labeled Sabbath Desecration, Anarchy, and Intemperance, carrying luggage labeled Poverty and Disease, and wearing around his neck Superstition.

Peter D. Salins, in the New York Post, makes a conservative case for Amnesty.

[N]o matter who is the House majority leader. Most illegal immigrants will not be leaving the country, either voluntarily through “self-deportation” as suggested by Mitt Romney, or involuntarily through actual deportation, notwithstanding the current administration’s aggressive efforts in this direction.

So, we have only two options in dealing with these 11 million American residents: We can keep them in their current marginal status with all the negative effects that entails for them and their communities or acknowledge their ongoing presence among us and legalize it.

Both they and the country will be much better off if we pursue the latter course.

For the opponents of immigration reform, there appear to be three major concerns. Illegal immigrants: 1) broke the law, and thus shouldn’t be rewarded with “amnesty”; 2) are harming the American economy by displacing American workers and burdening American taxpayers; and 3) are a threat to American culture and values.

Let me offer a rebuttal to each.

On law-breaking: The uncomfortable truth is that our illegal immigrants are not the only law breakers. We would never have had so many of them if it were not for the thousands of employers who broke the law by hiring them and were never penalized because federal authorities — quite intentionally — turned a blind eye to the issue until it became too politically visible to ignore. Perversely, employers have escaped not only legal penalties for their behavior but any blame from those most exercised about illegal immigration.

Regarding their impact on the economy: For starters, for many American industries — and most American consumers — all immigrants, including illegal ones, have been a huge economic asset; countless studies show they not only don’t take jobs away from American workers, they eagerly tackle ones that the native-born shun. Contrary to the popular canards, they save American taxpayers money because the payroll, sales and other taxes they pay far exceed the cost of government services or payments they receive.

Nevertheless, the economic contribution of currently illegal immigrants could be vastly greater. If their status were legalized, the country would realize a human capital bonanza as millions of young illegal immigrants would have the motivation and means to go to college and millions of their parents would be free to further their education and training and become more productive in their careers.

Finally, regarding their impact on American culture and values: It is the assimilation of immigrants that preserves American culture and values, something we have been successful at for centuries.

In that spirit, we should be doing everything in our power to assimilate all of our current immigrants — legal and illegal alike. Yet, keeping our illegal immigrants in a state of perpetual economic insecurity and fear of deportation makes their assimilation well-nigh impossible and, incidentally, also casts a shadow over the assimilation of their legal relatives and friends.

11 Feedbacks on "Legalizing Them Is the Conservative Thing to Do"


Make it an absolute clear policy that anyone who comes here illegally can never become a citizen and must be deported within 24 hours, no exceptions. Make it a felony to be in the country illegally. Fine every employer $1000 a day for each illegal they employ. Fine every public employee for providing any illegal with any public benefit including school and hospital care. Require that everyone providing a rental, a room, or a bed to verify citizenship and fine them if they rent to an illegal. Require a visa for anyone visiting this country. Before deprotation fingerprint and mug photo every illegal and create a database for all law enforcement and border security people. Lets actually try to make illegal self deport before we claim it won’t work.


And will you pick fruit, mow lawns, and wash dishes for $15 an hour once all those illegal immigrants are gone?

T. Shaw

That was then. This is now.

Milton Friedman said, “You can have a welfare state or open borders, but not both.”

It don’t mean nothing. It’s all over, anyhow.


I won’t pick fruit, mow lawns, and wash dishes for $15 an hour as long as government will pay me that for not working at all.

Phil McKann

Same tired-assed old arguments. You might as well just make a rock-paper-scissors ruleset with them.

There are more than eleven million. Many more.
Legalize the probably 40 million that are here and 40 more will come in their place in the next 15 years. Plus the *5 multiplier with their kids.

The country that they’re immigrating into is extremely different than the country of your forefathers, so those old canards of Nation of Immigrants, or These Concerns Have Proven False Historically… they don’t stand up.

If there was nothing here for them they would leave. The culture can’t withstand the volume of immigrants here and continuing to stream in and phsycially we simply do not have the room for ten billion people.

Phil McKann

JDZ, the lawn cutting and dishwashing are also anachronistic. You clearly either do not live in an area that has been invaded or you willfully refuse to pay attention.

The US could have its fruit picked and grass cut with 1 million. 40 million means they now own the construction, truck driving, and other typically middle-class positions and have actually driven them down into lower-class positions.

My elementary school is now 95% Hispanic and they teach school in Spanish. All the boxes at Home Depot are printed in Spanish. Call your Retirement Fund, your bank, your place of employment, or register to vote, printed equally in Spanish as English. This culture is being completely overwhelmed and the pace is actually quickening, rather than stemming.


Why do these pro-amnesty writers never address the important issues? Will you give them the vote? Will you let them sign up for welfare? Will you give them free health care? I don’t give a damn if they stay and work and have some kind of legal status unless they are MS-13 or something similar. But I’ll be damned if I will voluntarily support them. That is the issue, not whether or not they are going to stay. Any moron can see they are not going anywhere.


They aren’t going anywhere because we are unwilling to do anything about it. Immediate deportation 24 hours or less or they get charged and go to jail. Those children from Central and South America; charter a plane and bring them back 200 or so at a time. Everyone who comes into the country should be fingerprinted and mug photos taken and then can never enter this country again. Begin a visa requirement for anyone wanting to come to this country. Most countries have it and they know when you enter and when you leave and if you don’t leave you are treated like a criminal.

Mike James

Legalize 11 million people who are going to vote Democrat forever after. What could possibly go wrong?

Vernon Speer

I find it incredible that this argument continues. I’m now 72. I grew up in South Texas. As a child, sometime dinner table conversation was about the flood of wetbacks crossing our Texas border and how our little town was being overrun. That’s 72 years ago! My home town is now 97% Mexican, not Hispanic, but Mexican…as is all of south Texas, southern California and most of New Mexico and Arizona. The migrants bring their culture with them. There is no assimilation. There are no doctors, teachers, engineers or skilled craftsmen swimming the Rio, the majority are under educated and unskilled with no means of support or support system…and who knows what else…thousands each day…day after day…year after year. What few unskilled jobs they compete for are jobs that “our” unskilled have filled but are now forced to bid their efforts against this surplus labor force. There are no forest to cut, no fields to plow, no rails to lay…farms are mechanized, factories closed. There are few jobs, yet the border remains open. Why is there talk of amnesty…again? The people promoting amnesty use the term “undocumented” and use the number as 10 million in the US. Of course they are guessing…so can I. I’m guessing there are 10 million “undocumented” in S. Texas alone!! Is the problem so difficult there is no answer? Begin by enforcing the border or the “undocumented” number will continue to swell, then change current laws to reflect some form of sane immigration; require applicants to have the means to support themselves or have jobs waiting, criminalize VISA overstay, limit country quotas, and for God’s sake, eliminate anchor babies and family reunification program. The first thing a “country” does is establish borders…for a reasons…it’s economics, it’s culture, and it’s defense.


Like a Dog with a bone, Mr. Zincavage, like a dog with a bone. SO lets dissect those three arguments:

Law breaking: SO because there are really two sides to the law breaking issue (employers and illegals) we should just give it a mulligan? C’mon. That’s not addressing the issue. That’s ignoring it. What would you say to the immigrant from Taiwan that has stood in line and waited for an available immigration slot? Too bad, you don’t swim as well? How is it Conservative, how is it JUST or fair to those that followed the rules? Put it in terms of jumping the line at Disneyland. If we just sayscrew it, there won’t be a queue…it’ll simply look like anarchy.
Econimic impact: They tackle jobs most Americans won’t. Try to understand this, if you give them amnesty, guess what, they won’t take those jobs either!!! The reason they take them is because the jobs paying $20 an hour actually check their legal status. If they are legal, they have no incentive to cut lawns, pick fruit or do any of the other stuff you insist that they should do. So who’s going to cut your lawn? Well the flood of mexicans that will follow…. because remember, you STILL HAVE NOT GOT CONTROL OF YOUR BORDER.
Threat to American Culture: Assimilation preserves American values… That’s a great platitude, one that we all like to think is true, but the reality is, Hispanic immigrants ARE NOT ASSIMILATING. PERIOD. One only has to live in the Southwest to understand this. You might think that this is some Darwinian process, and to a certain extent it is… But your advocating cultural suicide as a conservative value? How is that Conservative?


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