With the passage and subsequent signing of the immigration bill in Arizona, the subject of immigration reform has exploded back onto the national stage, although it’s likely that the subject will quickly be swept aside by more recent news events. A few observations are in order:
- None of the discussion has even touched on the real issue here – the need to manage our population to a sustainable level, whatever that level may be. (Most experts agree that we’re already well beyond that point.) Obviously, no such plan would have any chance of success as long as people continue to enter the country illegally in significant numbers.
- Those here illegally should have a path to citizenship, but that path has to begin in their home countries, where they should go to the end of the line, behind those who have been following the rules.
- With legal immigration contributing more than one million people per year to U.S. population growth, it’s impossible for the U.S. to move toward a sustainable population without dramatically curtailing legal immigration to the point where it matches the rate of emigration.
- Although those opposed to the new Arizona legislation are getting all of the press, there is a large contingent of the Hispanic population there that supports it. With an enormous Hispanic population, Arizona could not have passed this legislation without their support. Clearly, the majority of Hispanics are responsible citizens who are just as concerned about the effects of illegal immigration as other Americans. But there is a very vocal minority who place their racial identity ahead of the welfare of their country. And let’s not forget the contingent who oppose such legislation because they profit from the exploitation of slave labor and human trafficking.
- There is nothing unconstitutional about the Arizona law as written. The police must have good reason to suspect that a person is illegal before asking for identification. This doesn’t mean racial profiling. Is the person unable to speak English? Do they run for no apparent reason when police approach? Are they driving a vehicle that’s unregistered? No driver’s license? And let’s not forget that the problem of illegal immigration goes well beyond Hispanic immigrants to include Asians, Africans, Middle Easterners, eastern Europeans, etc. There are plenty of all of these in every state in the union, including Arizona.
- Obama’s reaction to passage of this legislation was hardly a rallying cry for immigration reform, referring to “irresponsibility by others” without mentioning Arizona by name. He went on to call for “fixing America’s broken immigration system” without any mention of anything that could be construed as amnesty for those here illegally. I’ve said before and I continue to believe that Obama is smart enough not to let his agenda of dealing with far more important issues like the economy, energy policy and global warming get sidetracked by the amnesty issue. Better to deal with it by quietly and slowly improving border security and, in concert with the states, by turning up the heat on illegal immigrants, gradually forcing them out of the country. If dealt with in that way, it’s a problem that will gradually take care of itself. No need to pick a big fight in Congress on an issue that the vast majority of Americans oppose (amnesty for illegals).
- If Obama were to fight for some kind of immigration reform that included amnesty for illegals, how could anyone take him seriously from that point on when he speaks of being concerned for working Americans? How could we take him seriously when he speaks of the need for energy independence when he adds 11 million energy consumers to our ranks? How could we take efforts to reduce carbon emissions seriously when he adds 11 million carbon emitters? Mass immigration is a cause whose time is past. It’s time to get serious about the problems wrought by an exploding population.
- Supporters of amnesty for illegals should be careful what they wish for. When Bush attempted to fulfill a campaign pledge to tackle the issue, he soon discovered that any progress was impossible without first securing the border and enforcing the existing laws. This lead to the biggest crackdown on illegal immigration in decades. Obama has already proven himself a pragmatist, adopting many of the same approaches begun by the Bush administration in dealing with Wall Street, Iraq and Afghanistan. He’ll run into the same opposition to immigration reform encountered by Bush and the same rationale still exists – our border is still not secure and the problem of illegal immigration still hasn’t been addressed. The result might very well be a resumption of the crackdown. Let’s hope.
Congratulations to all of the good people of Arizona – its citizens, legislators and governor – for having the courage to act in the best interest of their state and the country, instead of being held hostage by special interests.