I believe the current national hysteria over immigration is a diversion. It’s nice emotional issue that will benefit certain politicians while taking the focus off of more important problems. This is nothing new. Making gay marriage an issue before the 2004 federal election ensured that evangelical Christians would come out to vote. Similarly, the months before the election saw many national terror alerts, some even questioned by then director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. We’ve had no terror alerts since the election. Coincidence?
Nothing motivates people like fear, and today politicians are exploiting the fear of Mexicans. Never mind the fact that most undocumented immigrants get here by flying into a US airport, not by running across the border.
What exactly is the crisis that is so big that it justifies bringing out the National Guard? Folks in California and Arizona claim that these immigrants are a burden on their health care and social service systems. This is a problem with all immigration, legal or not, but the real issue here is with the wages, not immigration. If US citizens performed those same jobs earning those same wages, they would be an equal burden on the system. To solve this problem, we need to raise wages.
OK, so immigrants are costing the government money. Offering amnesty and collecting taxes on wages earned by these folks would be a start towards solving the financial side of the problem. The other options presented thus far don’t seem to offer much hope. Some in Congress want to deport all 12 million undocumented immigrants. We’ll need more than just the National Guard to accomplish that. That’s a pretty expensive plan and not very realistic. Similarly, the President’s plan to offer a tiered system of moving immigrants towards citizenship is not going to work if it relies on people volunteering to return to their home countries. They aren’t going anywhere.
Let’s keep in mind that the US is the richest country on earth. Are we really going to militarize our borders and take the national attention away from more pressing issues just to avoid a slight increase in the cost of our health and social services?
Yes, we are. Why? Because it makes a nice, emotional distraction from a war that isn’t going anywhere, detaining people without due process, torture, chemical weapons (ours), the lack of chemical weapons (Iraq’s), illegally spying on Americans, outing CIA agents, ignoring diplomacy, angering our allies, encouraging the growth of terrorism, and destroying the Constitution by overriding the will of Congress.