It seems that today is a good day to blog about illegal immigration. Reading this piece about undocumented college students (linked to by Caliboy) and then reading Nate‘s thoughts on the subject, it seemed like I should try articulating my opinion.
My opinion is this: Entering the US illegally is breaking the law. Granting permission to illegal immigrants with some kind of guest worker program is an insult to all those who went to the trouble to follow the rules.
However, the children of illegal immigrants shouldn’t be lumped in, I think. The kids described in the LA Times article had no say in whether they were brought here and many of them wouldn’t be able to leave if they wanted to, and they’re trying to be productive members of society. I like the idea of granting conditional status to undocumented kids who graduate high school and giving a green card to the ones who then graduate college or serve in the military. (Although I think there ought to be a couple more options, what with how dangerous the military is nowadays. Maybe some other form of community service?) I hope that bill makes it through and becomes law.
Clearly, of course, there is a huge problem with illegal immigration, as the protests today may well show. But that doesn’t mean we should give all illegals a pass to be here. They broke the law. Period. They could’ve stayed in their home countries and tried to improve things there but instead they came here illegally. Immigration needs to be reformed, sure, and I think that deporting illegals is a good idea, but I also think we need to take away the incentive – people who hire illegals need to be cracked down on a lot harder. That’s the place to go. If word gets out that jobs in the US aren’t so easy to get, maybe the rish of illegal entries will slow a bit. Sure, it will make things here more expensive, but that’s what they should cost. Anything that’s currently cheaper than it should be due to illegal immigration is basically passing a savings on to us at the expense of the workers, who are grossly underpaid.
Maybe the solution is to find a way to make it okay to have menial jobs again? Cleaning, harvesting, and other gigs like that which so often go to illegals need to be jobs a citizen can have without feeling bad about that.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say all this, being a white, highly-educated, American citizen. I realize I’m speaking from a position of privilege. But like Nate says, you shouldn’t be trying to change the law because the people getting in trouble for breaking it are complaining. You have to show the injustice of it, and frankly, I don’t think immigration law as it stands is all that unjust to people who choose to come here illegally.

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