The purpose of Immigration Policy: for the benefit of the country; not the immigrant. We have allowed the discussion on immigration to be hijacked.
The main discussion that currently takes place on illegal immigration is morally – do we have the authority to “root up families, drag them from their homes, and kick them out?” Illegal Immigration is not a moral discussion. It is one of national security. If Republican and Conservatives continue to hedge their bets in the moral realm, this debate will continue to be ugly at best. Instead, we need only look to history and past voices to demonstrate the seriousness of this issue. We cannot allow the Democrat party, of all entities, to claim the moral high ground.
The Purpose Of Immigration Policy
I am always impressed with the magnitude of theory and thought of our predecessors. They do not receive enough credit in our education system. The founding principles of this country still ring true today. Today let us explore the wisdom of some of our greatest thinkers.
Born in other countries, yet believing you could be happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they should do, your right to join us in society, conforming, as I doubt not you will do, to our established rules. That these rules shall be as equal as prudential considerations will admit, will certainly be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular. – Thomas Jefferson letter to Hugh White, May 2nd, 1801
The rule of law.
If we continue to make exceptions for illegal immigrants regardless of circumstance we will be doomed. We cannot admit every single individual who simply views America as a better opportunity than their homeland. We would admit a lot of individuals were this to be the case. Instead, our rule of law must be embraced by all of those who seek to enter. There is a legal process in which we admit individuals into this land. Those who disregard this process straight from the get-go are to be returned to the land in which they hail.
For substantive purposes the deportation of illegal immigrants need not be a violent and a heinous sight. Require employment standards. Promote photo ID laws. Permit our law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of those in suspicion as deemed appropriate or necessary by the officer. Common sense practices like this would ensure an environment that would be unsustainable for an illegal immigrant to survive. They would essentially deport themselves back to their homeland and attempt later to enter legally.
“The policy or advantage of [immigration] taking place in a body (I mean the settling of them in a body) may be much questioned; for, by so doing, they retain the language, habits, and principles (good or bad) which they bring with them. Whereas by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, and laws: in a word, soon become one people.” – George Washington letter to Vice-President John Adams – November 15, 1794
Assimilation is a big sticking point.
Our society is supposed to be a melting pot, not a kale, spinach, avocado, tomato, bacon tossed salad where there are entirely different ingredients separate from one another. Liberals and progressives fail to grasp the culture aspect of immigration. They mistake assimilation as bigotry and racism. “We the People” do not necessarily care if immigrants want to speak Spanish or Chinese at home, but don’t make the rest of society have to conform to it on the phone while we are waiting to speak to customer support. We cannot survive a mixture of cultures that do not dissolve into one. If the over-tolerance continues, we cease to become one nation. We would be nothing more than pockets of cultures simply living in one area.
We should commit to a complete respite of immigration while our current situation of non-assimilation resolves itself. This is not mean. This is not cruel. It is both necessary and just.
Strangers are welcome because there is room enough for them all, and therefore the old Inhabitants are not jealous of them; the Laws protect them sufficiently so that they have no need of the Patronage of great Men; and every one will enjoy securely the Profits of his Industry. But if he does not bring a Fortune with him, he must work and be industrious to live. – Benjamin Franklin February, 1784
Benjamin Franklin accurately speaks about how the immigrant is to fit into the American culture and society. He or she above all things must provide for themselves. If immigrants illegal or otherwise, rely on the government and other’s tax money to survive, they will not contribute to this country. They will actually take away from it. The citizenry would be worse off if this becomes the norm. I argue that is what is currently happening. Some bullet points from the 2015 report from the Center of Immigration Studies:
- An estimated 49 percent of households headed by legal immigrants used one or more welfare programs in 2012. This is compared to 30 percent of households headed by natives.
- Households headed by legal immigrants have higher use rates than native households overall and for cash programs (14 percent vs. 10 percent), food programs (36 percent vs. 22 percent), and Medicaid (39 percent vs. 23 percent). Use of housing programs is similar.
- The overwhelming majority of illegal immigrants have modest levels of education; therefore, the high use of welfare associated with less-educated legal immigrants indicates that legalization would likely increase welfare costs, particularly for cash and housing programs.
These points demonstrate that our immigration issue is not merely restricted to illegal immigrants.
If we remain steadfast and focus on the theories and principles discussed in this article, we gain the advantage in the immigration debate. If we allow the opposition to control discussion and deflect the conversation to issues such as morality, breaking apart families, the savior schema, etc. it will be an unnecessarily hard uphill battle.
We have a duty to one another, the existing citizenry, to create an environment that is beneficial and safe for all of us. We cannot sacrifice the rights of the current population for those who break the law as their first act upon setting foot in this country.
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