Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sink or Swim Immigration

Those who favor legalizing millions of illegal aliens say one true thing; most Americans ancestors came to America when everyone was welcome.

The problem is that America has changed since those days; changed in ways that make the old immigration model suicidal for America.  The three key ways in which America has changed are:
  •   Many immigrants no longer feel they need to assimilate and accept the key aspects of public life in America; speaking English, the Ten Commandments—as defining morality without necessarily believing in God--, democracy, etc.
  •   Many Americans believe that everyone, including immigrants, have a right to a good, not just bearable, lifestyle at the expense of society even if they could work but don’t.
  •   While America is still a land of opportunity it is no longer as much of a land of opportunity for people with few skills and little or no education as it used to be.

In the past people came to America with the idea that they could keep their culture at home but that they would have to assimilate in public.  No one, as recently as the 1960’s, thought that ballots should be printed in multiple languages or that it was societies obligation to accommodate immigrants. Rather it was the obligation of immigrants to figure out how to fit into society.

America was never a melting pot-- Italian Americans, Polish Americans, and WASPS will always be different—but it was a place where everyone agreed to certain common beliefs; including being loyal to America not wherever they came from.

Sadly too many new would be immigrants, and their liberal enablers, don’t believe that being an American requires agreeing to some common things.  The illegal immigrants who declare that it’s their “right” to come to America and collect welfare for example.

But Jesus was not just describing Hell when He said that a house divided against itself cannot stand. America cannot stand if too many “Americans” first loyalty is either to themselves—“what benefits can I get from the government?”-- or to their country of origin.

Another key difference is that when most American’s ancestors came over it was with the understanding that they would support themselves or, if a dire need arose, they would depend on the freely given donations of friends, extended family, or their church.  No one came to America expecting the government would pay for their food, shelter, and medical care.

Today too many would be immigrants believe that once they manages to physically set foot in America the government has an obligation to take care of them.  Liberals support this because they generally don’t understand where the government gets its money.

The reality is that every welfare dollar spent on immigrants is a dollar taken out of the pockets—directly or indirectly—of hard working Americans. American families have to send their children to cheaper colleges, work more hours, or live in less safe neighborhoods because the money they earned which could have helped make their own lives better is taken by the government. 

We’ve seen the consequences of mixing immigration with welfare.  A hard working immigrant who is pulling his weight in America may bring his elderly parents over and now American families are paying for the health care of people who give nothing to the country. It’s one thing to ask Americans to voluntarily contribute to efficient charities to help immigrants who are in a temporary financial crunch but it’s quite another to tell Americans to give to the bloated Federal bureaucracy, which will then toss a bit to the immigrants, or face jail. Given that taxes are taken under threat of imprisonment they should not be used to make liberals feel good about themselves.

The simple reality is that America can’t put the world on welfare and we have no obligation to let anyone who can sneak across the border get a free ride for life.

The final difference is that in modern America there are not a whole lot of unskilled jobs waiting to be filled. When low skilled immigrants are allowed in they will compete with the poorest of Americans.  It’s interesting that the same liberals who condemn companies for offshoring jobs to the third world have no problem bringing the third world to America; maybe because most liberals need gardeners but don’t need to reduce a businesses expenses in order to turn a profit.

Given the amazingly high unemployment figures for American minorities, Black unemployment is 13.8% because the liberal school system has failed to give poor Blacks the skills they need, bringing in millions of new unskilled immigrants is either racist or totally uncaring.

But immigrants who fit into the old model, they only want a chance to succeed on their own, are a great asset for America.  How do we welcome those who have what it takes to belong here while keeping out the moochers?

The first step in fixing immigration is to stop forcing people who just want to work in America from having to become citizens.  A guest worker program would solve most of the current problems with illegal immigration.  It would allow workers to come to America, earn a fair wage, pay taxes, and not have to hide from the law.  Because the workers aren’t breaking the law they can’t be exploited by unscrupulous employers who want cheap labor. Additionally because the workers have the same expenses—taxes, medical care—as Americans they can’t undercut Americans, especially minorities, by being willing to work for less. Since these guest workers are not citizens there would be no welfare expenses, other than for emergency medical care, associated with them.

A guest worker program has the added benefit of not forcing those who dislike America, but like American money, from having to become citizens and thereby increasing the divisions in America.

We can treat those who wish to become Americans the same way most Americans ancestors were treated; sink or swim.  Neither immigrants nor their families would be entitled to any government benefits—welfare, Obamacare,etc-- for 20 years after they became citizens—potentially with a few very narrow exceptions.

If the immigrant couldn’t cut it he could either rely on private charity, which would be encouraged to help those folks who just needed a helping hand, or they could go back to where they came from—with the US providing a free ticket if necessary. 

For those who broke the law to get to America there needs to be an additional punishment. They can’t vote for at least 15 years after being “legalized”. By then if they’ve supported themselves they can be trusted to vote as Americans not criminals voting to increase their welfare benefits. This is not so cruel given that American felons can never vote.

Our ancestors took great risks to come to America in order to make a better life for themselves and their families.  The sink or swim approach would impose no burden on those who wish to be American citizens today than was born by the ancestors of current American citizens.

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