Wednesday, June 01, 2005

In My World... Immigration

In my last “In My World” post I declared what would happen if I were elected emperor senator. One of my readers (now that I have them) asked my thoughts on border control. Funny you should ask…

The borders over here are as porous as, well, they’re pretty freaking porous. It seems like people just come and go willy-nilly between Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Iran, and Saudi. (The Kuwaitis seem to monitor their northern border pretty well, for some reason.) So that gives us a steady flow of people coming into this country with cash to pay other people to attack us. They also bring “true believers” to drive VBIEDs into us, and other generally nasty things.

Porous borders are bad. Migrant workers are good. Now, before I go pissing off everyone about NAFTA and such, I spent some time growing up in California. Not too many Anglos out there picking lettuce. (Actually, the choice crop was artichokes, but you get the picture.) Most of the people who did this backbreaking (hey, mom used to force us to go with her in the summer and pick strawberries/blueberries/beans/peas/corn/whatever was in season—its backbreaking) work were Mexicans. I never bothered to ask for a green card, but I imagine there weren’t any out there.

I think that there is merit to the argument that they do the labor that nobody else wants to do. And I think they should be allowed to come here and work. And Pay taxes. And work toward becoming citizens, if they should choose too. I’m all about those poor, tired, huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. Not the freeloaders. You want access to social services, cough up the greenbacks. You want your kids to go to school, fine. Pay property and school taxes. This boat is the USS America, and nobody who is able to pay rides for free.

So: Legal Immigrants good. Come. Work. Live. Melt in our big pot or be a diverse part of our community. (But don’t expect us to change the way we live/worship/govern because of how they did things in the old country; you left for a reason, remember?)

Illegal immigrants bad. We have to lock down our borders to tightly controlled access points. Minefields, Machine guns, Old-Soviet Era border patrols, rednecks with rifles, whatever it takes. By any means necessary. Freedoms guaranteed within the US constitution end at the border, don’t ya know. Just show up at the airport in Damascus with a name like Silverberg and see if you are not subjected to unreasonable search and seizure. Or try to keep and bear arms in England. Rights are not granted by governments, they are kept from the authority of government. But they are only protected by that government. (It’s the same catch-22 as a soldier watching a US flag getting burned.) If you leave the protection of the gummint, then your rights are subject to review. If you are caught here illegally, the punishment is RF Tagging, a jail term (in a labor co-op), and return to your motherland, or any other foreign country of our choosing (better not get picked up on Rwanda day.) Second offense: remember the RF tag? It esplodes when you cross the border the second time. First timers also lose any chance of earning citizenship; after all, the first thing they did here was break the law.

Student and other Visas: RF Tags apply here too. You get one with the Visa. If you aren’t gone (or get it reset when the visa is renewed) it esplodes. Sorry about that, but if you aren’t going to follow the rules….

(At this point, is anyone unclear on my views of capital punishment?)

Worse than illegal immigrants is the idea of terrorists and other undesirables (Buddhists) slipping across our borders undetected (I swear, if this goes on much longer, we’ll have so many people roaming the desert in orange robes calling each other grasshopper and speaking like Indians on ’60s westerns that it will seem like we’re living in the Yankeetown section of Bejing. If you are caught in the country illegally, and you are a terrorist, we drop a bomb on your hometown. Specifically, on your house.

But what to do? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? How about this: What do you have to contribute? Airline Pilot? Sorry. Got Plenty. Doctor? Did you go to school in the West? No? Sorry, take your spells and voodoo elsewhere. Teacher? Go back home, your country needs you. This is a tricky question, of course, and I outline it with absurd examples. But there is really no point in admitting people to a citizen program if they are completely unskilled. That’s what we have migrant workers for.

Simple Questions (A “No” answer will result in automatic rejection from consideration) 1. Do you speak English? 2. Do you smell funny? 3. Are you completely willing to accept that other people do not share your views or your god? 4. Do you solemnly swear (or affirm) that You will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that You will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that You will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over You, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help You God?"

Okay, the last one is the oath of enlistment in the US Armed Forces. Now, I don’t for a minute advocate giving every person coming across the border a uniform and rifle and teaching them to kill, but service in say, a Foreign Legion might prove, after a period of time, that they are more than willing to give everything for the country that will give them so much in return.

There has to be a vetting process. You have to be able to prove, more than anything else, that you are loyal to the principles that founded the nation. Not just that you understand them, but that you are loyal to them. I don’t know what kind of test that would be, and I am open to the belief that I don’t have all the answers, but I am willing to listen to ideas. If only more of our representatives could spit out that last sentence with some semblance of earnestness.

Many people have migrated here legally. (My last name isn’t exactly Running Bear.) They have become productive members of society who know more about our government, what it is supposed to do (and not allowed to do) than most of our natural born citizens. (Which is a big fault of public education—but that’s for another day.) I welcome those with something to contribute to the society. The idea is simple: TANSTAAFL, you have to earn your way.


MKL said...

I like the minefields and Foreign Legion ideas. I get tired of the "put the Guard on the borders" crowd like Bill O'Reilly. Nobody questions them about the actual logistics of it. Which Guard unit getting ready to deploy in OIF/OEF, or already deployed, or just back from deployment is suppose to sit on the border for 6 months or a year too?!? Good luck with retention in those units...

Mom said...

So: Legal Immigrants good. Come. Work. Live. Melt in our big pot or be a diverse part of our community. (But don’t expect us to change the way we live/worship/govern because of how they did things in the old country; you left for a reason, remember?)


Barb said...

Chuck - This is perfect! Having lived in SoCal myself, I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through. I loved your statement "Porous borders bad...". Reminds me of the simplicity of "Tree pretty, Fire bad" - if you've ever watched BtVS.

Peter said...

You got my vote.

Holly - A Soldiers' Angel said...

I agree, and you gave me a few giggles. You mentioned SoCal, and migrant workers. I guess there and Texas is where you would expect them to be...isn't it what you think of first?

Well in the great state of Minnesota (the only state that voted Mondale for President in the 80's) I live in a small town that seems to be 50% Mexican workers. They drive up here every summer for seasonal work and leave in winter. Just like a border town we have entire stores in spanish, translators at the name it. If you can speak spanish here you are guaranteed a higher paying job.

Anyways - just wanted to spread the creative thinking - it's not just our southern states and borders....they come to the deep freeze in the north too.

Pawpaw said...

I like the RF Tag idea. It solves a lot of problems. So much so that I blogged it, shamelessly linking to you.

Go see it at

Anonymous said...

Can I get an AMEN!
My grandparents all came from the old country(Hungary) and the first thing they did was learn the language and teach their kids that they were AMERICANS now.
Notice, no hyphen.
There were no free lunches back then and all the kids were expected to contribute to the family, otherwise someone didnt eat.
I visited Mexico and saw some of the villages, and I don't blame anybody for wanting to leave. but we are enabling the naughty ones to take advantage of our services and opportunities.
How about a work camp for illegals caught? Say, picking artichokes? Work off the money you owe for unpaid taxes?