It’s not strictly fair. I responded to Chris’s previous comments before, but his arguments are representative of that school of thought, and this comment just came in and provokes rejoinder.
[L]ets 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.
Actually, I have responded to the law-and-order and the (Michelle Malkin) standing-in-line arguments repeatedly and at length. See the malum-in-se versus malum-prohibitum discussion in some earlier posts.
Our immigration laws do not, in fact, embody any real principle of Natural Law or American political philosophy. Neither do they reflect any kind of substantive consensus resulting from a national debate. They are mere semi-random regulations evolved over time from earlier regulatory schemes modified by reflexive kinds of political compromise within the legislature.
Our immigration regs are ill-conceived. They fail to reflect our traditions, our values, or to respond to our economic needs, and they get produced by occult political processes remote from the views of real American voters on either side of the issue.
Breaking these kinds of rules is a victimless crime. If some Mexican laborer crosses the border, comes here and goes out and picks strawberries for Farmer Jones, he is not doing anybody any harm at all. I’ll happily go along with you guys on the other side in supporting deportation of illegal immigrants who do commit crimes or who try signing up for welfare.
As to standing-in-line, we have currently a dysfunctional system. There is no line for the poor Mexican who wants a better life to stand in. The quotas have no room for him at all. Michelle Malkin is a pretty girl and she is a ferocious little fighter for the conservative side. I’m happy that she came to America, but personally I don’t care a plug nickel how she did it. Michelle’s filling out the proper forms and standing in the proper lines benefited me not in the slightest. On the other hand, I have frequently benefited from affordable labor services from Hispanic gentlemen who did my yard work in California, repaired the roof on my Virginia house, painted my lawn furniture, and bussed my table and washed my dishes in restaurants all over America.
Economic 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.
That’s an inventive argument. I think legalizing the status of illegal immigrants will very likely gradually move them out of the off-the-books black market economy and eventually make nearly all of them formally-employed tax-payers, but I don’t think that that means they will suddenly be displacing people with better skills, grander educational credentials, and more extensive indigenous connections. The process of upward mobility only in rare cases favors the first generation arrivee. The general rule is that the second or the third generation become fully assimilated and moves up and out of the immigrant neighborhood and the laboring classes. When they do, decades down the road, yes, we will be needing more immigrants. Trading citizenship and a better life for one’s descendants by doing the rotten jobs at low pay has always been the American way.
And you are never going to have control of thousands and thousands of miles of sea coast and wilderness border without paying some immense army to stand there 24-hours-a-day. It will never be economically feasible to really control the border.
The way to control the border with respect to illegal immigration is to arrange to have our labor needs met domestically by allowing enough legal immigration to meet them.
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?
As I’ve jocularly noted, a few conspicuous cases of non-assimilation (the Amish) go back to colonial times and work out tolerably enough when they do.
The American Southwest is a peculiar case, and one not affecting most of us (who don’t live there) directly. The Mexicans, one is obliged to note, were actually there first. There have always been Spanish-speaking Mexican communities in the Southwest. You also have some Indians, living on reservations and not completely assimilating. It’s that kind of stuff, beyond the cactuses, gila monsters, and rattlesnakes, that gives your part of the country its special regional flavor, its local color. Take away the cactuses, the Indians, and the Mexicans, and Tucson could be Harrisburg.
The truth is that we have a long record of successfully digesting and assimilating all sorts of exotic undesirables, including types who make today’s Mexicans seem harmless. I believe the Mexicans and other Hispanics will assimilate. It’s true that in LA and other urban barrios, you are going to have politically poisonous radicals and gangsters. All waves of immigration inevitably include a certain percentage of drunks, whores, political agitators, and criminals. They used to publish Socialist newspapers in Polish and Lithuanian back where I grew up during the immigration era. The grandchildren of their readers cannot read Polish or Lithuanian, don’t live there anymore, and commonly vote Republican.
Today’s Hispanic immigrants typically work hard, save their money, and live lives of sacrifice to better their family’s future. I feel quite certain that they feel about taxes and welfare exactly the way I do. People who work hard and have family values are natural born Republican voters. We just need to make it clear that there are lots of Republicans, like myself, who sympathize with their efforts and who admire their sacrifices. If they could be persuaded that not all Republicans hate their guts, we could get plenty of their votes.
You want an end to lawlessness? Get rid of the number system. Go back to the law of 1906. Erect Ellis Airport and Bus Station. Anybody capable of self-support, and not a criminal, diseased, or Islamic, or otherwise subscribing to a noxious ideology favoring war against Capitalism and/or Western society should be free to come there, stand in line, fill out the forms, get examined by a doctor, and enter the US provisionally. After several years of satisfactory residence, he can start applying for naturalization.