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Immigration reform: A modest proposal

Recently, I've written a couple of pieces that touch upon the topic of illegal immigration. One commenter, "areaman," has repeatedly taken issue with the concerns addressed here, sympathizing with the illegals and denouncing their detractors.

Areaman could've taken the opportunity to suggest just how he wants to change the system, but he was too busy feeling bad for the migrants and blaming the people who hire them. Since he didn't actually put forth a plan for reforming immigration policy, I figured I would so we'd have a starting point.

Now, I've collected these ideas from a variety of sources, including my own imagination, but I don't think anyone has put them all together before:

1) Change the immigration quotas.
There's obviously a demand for increased immigration, so let's do something about that.
Let's just double all immigration quotas, across the board -- students, tourists, residents, and general workers. And just for areaman, we'll quadruple the quotas for migrant workers. We'll also invest in streamlining the screening process, making it quicker to weed out the undesirables and easier for acceptable immigrants to get in.

But this comes at a price, and it's an expensive one.

1) Illegal aliens are deported to their country of origin within 72 hours of apprehension.

2) Political asylum seekers must actively seek out and apply for asylum. They must apply within five days of entering the country, and at a point no more than ten miles from a point of entry. Further, they must seek out asylum, not ask for it after being apprehended. Any claims filed outside the above circumstances will be summarily denied, and the claimants deported.

3) With the greatly-eased immigration policy, the remainder of the border will be fortified, patrolled vigorously, and mined. Anyone attempting to enter the country otherwise will be presumed to be a terrorist, smuggler, or other undesirable and shot on sight. Survivors may be shot again.

4) Any and all costs incurred by illegal aliens shall be the responsibility of their native country. That amount shall be withdrawn from the foreign aid said country receives from the United States.

5) Employers who hire illegal aliens or allow illegal aliens to work on their premises (even as subcontractors) shall be fined no less than $25,000 per worker per day.

6) All institutions that receive public funding (especially schools and hospitals) shall be required to report any illegal aliens to immigration authorities.

7) Any legislator who proposes offering discounted tuition to illegal aliens at state-run institutions of higher learning shall be flogged.

8) The first time an illegal alien is caught and deported, they shall be banned from legally entering the United States for three years. Second-time offenders will serve a year in prison, then be deported and banned for three years. Repeat offenses will result in one year being added to each number.

9) Immigrants shall be forbidden to receive more than $2,000 in public assistance within the first three years of their residence in the United States.

OK, there's my proposal. It's based on balancing our duty to humanity, our duty to establish and define and defend our own borders, and our obligation to defend our own best interests..

Your take?



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Comments (34)

7 and 9 violate Federalist ... (Below threshold)

7 and 9 violate Federalist principles.

And number 3 is simply asking for outcry.

Sounds good to me.... (Below threshold)

Sounds good to me.

(2.) would require a holdin... (Below threshold)

(2.) would require a holding facility or otherwise monitored/taxpayer funded intermim housing provided to those asylum seekers while they wait out their process; otherwise, we'd have what we currently have, which is just turning people loose in the country with a request to reappear on a certain date, which many never do (reappear but simply remain in the country illegally afterward).

I agree with the suggestions, however, as to being effective solutions/discouragements for illegal immigration to the U.S., but it's also easy to see why it's such a problem to prevent, even to monitor.

Which is exactly what illegal immigrants rely on.

Sympathy for illegal immigration and those who employ illegal immigrants is just another way of saying you're part of the problem.

Let's all drive to Mexico, Central America elsewhere and/or South America, show up at a center of any town, ask for stipends, jobs, housing helps and healthcare. See what happens.

ALSO (a suggestion to be in... (Below threshold)

ALSO (a suggestion to be included in the list there), there needs to be brought about an end or great limitations placed upon the creation of "asylum" zones in the country.

Many major cities (all of liberal majorities) have declared "asylum" zones concurrent with their city/county limits such that it makes it "illegal" to even ask anyone as to their citizenship. You can't even ask an illegal immigrant if they're here illegally, nor ask them to substantiate their citizenship when hiring/considering hiring illegal immigrants, without penalty of "violating the local (asylum) law(s)".

Which is WHY there are networks that foster and maintain and assist illegal immigration.

Those involved are the city of Los Angeles, and I think, even, the county (not sure but I do know that city and county law enforcement are limited as to what they can and cannot identify about someone and citizenship is among those denied to them) (there are greater points involved here, but I've paraphrased the problems).

Brilliant. It stands up the... (Below threshold)

Brilliant. It stands up there with the Gettysburg Address.

Hoist 'em with their own pe... (Below threshold)

Hoist 'em with their own petards, I say. (Frag them with their own IED's) If they want asylum, reopen all the old State Mental Asylums and house them there. If they immigrate for jobs, lets open some "labor law free" zones where they can work for a quarter an hour with no Federal Regulations (perhaps we could set up an agreement with some of the more progressive Native American nations and let them start a new money making venture instead of casinos). And make it legal to hire "illegals" and not obey any labor laws only in those zones. Anyone else violating the law is impaled along the border of their or their employees' entry.

Ooops. My Great great great great great grandfather slipped into the country from Sweden via England without proper papers. Maybe I should be flogged and then deported back there too.

Seriously, other than the capital punishment levied on site that you recommend, I'm with you Jay. As long as it isn't retroactive to 1787.

Makes sense. A reasonable ... (Below threshold)

Makes sense. A reasonable solution involves increasing the right kind of legal immigration as well as serious enforcement against illegal immigration.

I really like #4. Things w... (Below threshold)

I really like #4. Things would be a lot nicer if the Mexican government was part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Money is always a good way to motivate.

Actually many of those are ... (Below threshold)

Actually many of those are much too reasonable for the given title.

Yeah, I agree as to the Mex... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I agree as to the Mexican government. Unfortunately, they describe the U.S. as "working against Mexico instead of workign with Mexico" whenever the issue of illlegal immigration is possed to various Mexican spokespersons.

Which tells me that Mexico isn't the unrelated player in the problem that they try to make themselves as being...and that Mexico's official stance is to endorse illegal immigration, perceiving steps to curb that as being "working against Mexico."

Mexico's responsibility end... (Below threshold)

Mexico's responsibility ends at it's borders. I know nobody wants to understand that, but very few nations of this planet block it's people from leaving, and that includes the good old U.S. of A. A few nations do limit their people from leaving, North Korea, Cuba, and China come to mind and I wouldn't want any of those 3 on my border. America doesn't ask Americans what their intentions are when they leave, Mexico doesn't ask Mexicans either. Neither one cares if you are going sightseeing or looking for work, but they both ask people who are entering. I'm not for illegal immigration, I think we need to really build up the INS to the point where they are able to stop it, but thinking that Mexico is accountable for something that no other free nation on the planet is held accountable for is wrong. Mexico's responsibility is to protect it's borders and jobs, America looks at it exactly the same way.

One of the big reasons that... (Below threshold)

One of the big reasons that Mexico feels we are "working against Mexico" when we try to address illegal immigration is this country, is the money.

Now class, how many gringo dollars made their way to Mexico last year?

Can you say, "Over 16 Billion?"

This was an increase from the previous year of over 20%. There are estimates that this years "revenue" may surpass what Mexico makes on oil imports.

Is it any wonder the Mexican Government doesn't lift a finger to stop this?

Areaman could've taken t... (Below threshold)

Areaman could've taken the opportunity to suggest just how he wants to change the system, but he was too busy feeling bad for the migrants and blaming the people who hire them.

Actually I kept pointing out the fact that as long as there is incentive, people will come. Thats my main point. Changing our immigration means that we have to make the risks of getting here illegally outweigh the possible benefits. Doing it legally has to be the better economic choice.

As far as your plan...

Interesting idea to double all immigration quotas. You think people would go for that? As far as migrant workers, I have to admit that I like the idea of a seasonal pass...but better than the old Bracero program which had all sorts of problems. Alot. But the flow of people has to be regulated.

So anyone who is just looking to work has to be registered, and tracked, and people who hire have to check those papers. Make it free to register, so that people wont go around it. Provide incentives like connections with jobs or places to live.

From the people that I know, alot of them want to go back home every year, but the extortion at the border in Mexico, and difficulties getting back past INS, often keeps them here all year.

As far as the punitive measures...

1) Sounds good.

2) Good enough

3) Dont know about the mines and the shooting people on the spot bit. But you're probably being funny, or at least I hope so. That kind of goes against our whole legal system. A better guarded and more fortified border would be good though.

4) I like it. Make the countries pay attention. What about incentives for curbing immigration, like increasing aid to countries that address the problem and try to keep people there? Or maybe investments in some of the biggest problem countries?

5) Rough, but maybe the only way. Thats alot of businesses you're talking about there. How would you handle companies that have illegals on staff right now??? How would they make the transition? You could probably give them a grace period in order to document all their workers, to comply.

6) What are the penalties of they dont do it?

7) Okay. No iron maidens? lol

8) Okay.

9) Okay.

-Ryan (aka areaman)

Nice,Our politicia... (Below threshold)


Our politicians are just giving us lip service and pretty soon, we are going to have disabled access to help those less fortunate across the border. Just think of all of the disabled Mexicans that are prevented from crossing our border.

Don't believe me? Just wait, the lunacy is still in its infancy.

It's also against the const... (Below threshold)

It's also against the constitution of Mexico to make a law requiring exit permits. Just like our laws, there's no such thing. I found a list of countries that did require them, don't know how up to date it is, but it was Cuba, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, And it listed the Soviet Union, East Germany, and a lot of nations that were old Soviet Bloc members. In other words, countries that put up fences to keep it's people in. Free nations don't take away it's people's right to come and go as they please.

bullwinkle - I don... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle -

I don't expect Mexico to actively try to prevent people from leaving the country. However, to say that they don't encourage it is laughable.

You think providing directions for illegal immigrants means nothing? Yes, I've heard all that crap before about how they're just trying to help their citizens be safe...what do you think would happen if the US put out travel advisories for avoiding the UK's weapons laws? That could conceivably be considered a safety issue: Americans protecting themselves from overconfident English criminals.

The way Step 1 works curre... (Below threshold)

The way Step 1 works currently, is completely messed up. So doubling the quota isn't going to double the rate at which Mexican officials handle the paperwork sent to them by the INS.

To fix, add 'Red Card' as a class below 'Green Card'. At any entry point you can be fingerprinted, submit DNA, get a picture taken, $1000, and whatever documentation you've got. Two weeks later, you can have a Red Card unless the screening fails.

1) If the FBI/CIA can't figure out from fingerprints/DNA in less than 2 weeks if this is someone we want to keep out, then tell us how much computing power it will take. Because relying on Mexican officials to as part of the screening process isn't going to help. "Say, is Joe a good Mexican? -> Of course Senor."

2) The picture ID 'Red Card' is good for 3 months, and has a timecoded bar code on it. A new one will be mailed to the address you've given INS.

3) A system must be provided for employers to get near-instant feedback on falsified SS#s/Green/Red Cards.

4) Co-opt the _employers_ to get people here currently Red Cards. "Hey, you're all going to be deported unless you pay the fine, and get one of these cards..." Tie this directly into business tax relief. Fine deductible from future income. INS might not be able to get businesses to cower, but the IRS does.

Since the immigration quota is much higher, you can flat out tell Mexico "Look, we _will_ take those you consider undesirables. But we will NOT take them at random non-crossing places. These are now live fire zones. We'll be doing 100 Apache flights a day. Cross at the freaking crossings."

If we're back on the comic ... (Below threshold)

If we're back on the comic books again I'll say it again. If the people that need a comic book are taking your job you just might not be applying yourself. The people using them aren't likely to find work, or even find a city. If you need a book to tell you the desert is hot and dry you are in pretty sad shape. Those books are a joke down here. Kinda like those warning books that tell you not to iron your clothes while wearing them. making them out to be some kind of an evil plot is ridiculous. Of course the government down here isn't going to discourage it's people from working anywhere they can get it, any more than the U.S. government discourages Americans from working overseas. Most of the people that live in my home town in Texas either worked overseas in the oil fields of the Middle East, Russia, North Africa or South America or wanted to, the money was great. I worked overseas and wasn't any more welcome than illegals are in the U.S. The typical pay was 10x or more what they paid local workers. At least 3/4 of the workers in Saudi Artabia are Texans. We take some of their highest paying jobs and take the money back to the states. Mexico doesn't want to lose that or restrict their people any more than the U.S. does and it's not their responsibility to do it. The U.S. needs to handle it's own border security and people need to stop thinking it's Mexico's job. It isn't and they wouldn't do it even if it was. Relying on any other nation to keep it's people out of the U.S. is just plain silly, and thinking that somehow Mexico is going to do it for us is worse than silly. Free nations don't restrict their people from leaving. Name me one free nation that does, bet you can't.

Step 1 is alright, our immi... (Below threshold)

Step 1 is alright, our immigration quotas are unrealistic and unhealthy and need to be changed. There's really no good reason not to change them. The reason they're set so low currently is due to fear of foreigners and fear of foreigners "stealing" jobs. Both of which are groundless and despicable sentiments.

Your remedies for fixing the problems associated for changing the immigration quotas are almost all exactly wrong. Your recommendations would put a lot of effort into creating temporary, partial fixes to the symptons of the problem rather than fix the actual problem itself. For example, how can you avoid the problem of immigrants coming to America and living off the public dole? Simple, do not have a public dole for anyone, citizens or not, there's no good reason for people who can work to be paid not to work. Luckily, the American system isn't too bad in this regard, in Europe this is a problem of catastrophic proportions, whereas here immigrants tend to contribute to the economy rather than take away (though there are some who peddle anti-foreigner bs that claims otherwise). If you look at the other issues, security, etc, those could all be vastly improved by saner immigration and drug policies, the combination of which would deflate the cross-border illegal trade and transport industry like nobody's business, and reduce it to a level where ordinary crime fighting resources could handle it.

The remainder of your "cures" are excessively authoritarian in flavor and are not the sort of thing I'd like to see our government doing.

You can't increase the quot... (Below threshold)

You can't increase the quotas until the law is upheld. Increasing the quotas beforehand will just allow more illegal aliens to be classified as "legal" which will allow the current way things are handled to remain in place.Politicias will simply point to the numebrs and say "see it's decreased!" when in actuality they haven't done anything except change some numbers on a paper without increasing enforcement or compliance.

In '86 an amnesty was passed, it did nothing to decrease the illegal aliens crossing the border in the long run because the law wasn't enforced.

We need enforcement of the current laws and THEN we can discuss real reform. If it takes passing harsher penalties so be it, but the laws must be upheld first.

I agree with Digger. WE al... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I agree with Digger. WE all too often put the cart before the horse. Let a president mention "amnesty" or some word that sounds like it, and people start bolting for the border. You have to secure the border then change the policy on who gets to come in.

Part of the problem with illegal immigration is that it is a win/win for the illegal immigrants and the people who want to hire them. Studies show that in areas with large concentrations of illegal workers, the wages across the board are deppressed for that area. Illegal immigration hurts anyone who wants to work.

#3 is a bit too much I think-I wouldn't want to put landmines anywhere. Shooting on sight is a bit much. But fully securing the border sounds good.

Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing legal immigration made easier, and cheaper for anyone who wants to come here and work, but in exchange for making the legal immigration easier, they need to have a zero tolerance policy on illegal immigration. I like your idea of preventing legal immigration for 3 years after an illegal caught, although I think you have too many chances built in.

I definitely think that the punishment for hiring illegals knowingly should be a lot more painful. Right now it is just a slap on the wrist to these companies, and the punishment should be a real deterrant.

And I think the Fed's should tell any state that wants to give medicaid etc to illegals that they will not receive any federal funds for medicaid. I bet the states would drop their coverage of illegals like a hotcake. Sure it sounds mean and cruel, but receiving medical care etc is only one more incentive to come.

Also, Mexico does do a lot to encourage illegal immigration, and they turn a blind eye to the various drug running enterprises.

I agree with Just Me and ha... (Below threshold)

I agree with Just Me and have expressed that sentiment on prior threads. We can have no talk of reform before actually enforcing the laws already on the books. Why is it that no politician wants to make this an issue. How can local politicians be able to instruct their policemen not to ask if someone is a legal citizen and not to inform the INS when an illegal is found? It is ridiculous to think that we will start enforcing immigration laws after we pass some sort of reform. Why should I believe that all of the sudden this issue will be taken seriously?

by the way Jay Tea, I like ... (Below threshold)

by the way Jay Tea, I like the proposal with the exception of increased quotas and of course line item #3 which is just stupid (and hopefully an attempt at humor on your part). I think the laws should be stricter and prosecution more swift when it comes to illegal immigration.

It really isn't about Mexic... (Below threshold)

It really isn't about Mexico. It's about the United States. We have the right and the power to defend our borders, and since 9/11 we also have a tangible imperative.

So long as our national leaders show more sympathy for foreign nationals who trample our laws -- and for foreign governments who threaten to sue when we try to enforce our laws -- the danger of another major terrorist attack within our borders remains fundamentally unaddressed.

Imagration reform no mor... (Below threshold)

Imagration reform no more illegal imagration no amesty for illegal imagrints no more biligual anything no more fooling around lets build a wall and fill in the tunnels

I can see why you're against "biligual" education...you're still battling with English.

bullwinkle - I don't give a... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle - I don't give a damn who's using them or if they're sucessful in getting immigrants across who take jobs, or if they're sucessful in getting anyone across for that matter. The fact that the Mexican government puts them out is indicitative that they are supportive of their citizens breaking other nations' laws - not just blind to it or rightly not caring all that much, but supportive.

Here's some things as I see... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Here's some things as I see it: First, we need to draw a distinction between legal and illegal immigration. Legal immigration we should generally regard as good. It does create certain problems in certain instances, but these are all solvable. (For one, when immigrants concentrate in a certain area, it tends to create a burden on the local government to solve, with its own money, what is essentially a national problem. This could be combatted by, for instance, offering priority to applications who relocate to areas away from the high-concentration area.)

Illegal immigration we have to regard as bad. Why? Several reasons:

(1) It acts as a conduit for cross-border crime, such as drug running. It also gives the other government involved a handy way to dispose of its own criminals. Consider the Marial boatlift of the early '80s: As soon as Castro realized what was happening, the first thing he did was empty out his jails and put them all on boats. Now, some of these were political prisoners, but a great many were dangerous thugs who would have been imprisoned in any society. The result was the infamous Miami 1988-82 "cocaine cowboy" wars that killed South Florida's economy for years afterward.

(2) It creates the potential for a great humanitarian tradegy. Suppose one of these "coyotes" has a wreck one day, and his beat-to-hell truck catches fire and the 50 illegals jammed on board all burn to death? Not only will be a pointless loss of life, but all of the human rights organizations will raise hell about it... and guess who they will blame? Not the criminals responsible. Not the Mexican government. One guess.

(3) Open borders, in this day and age, are open invitations to terrorism. Sorry folks, but that's the way it is. Even if 99.99% of all the illegals are just basically honest people in search of a better life, it only takes a handful of al-Q operatives mixed in to create absolute chaos. And even among the Mexicans, not everyone who crosses does so with good intentions.

I am fully prepared to admit that part of the problem is that our immigration system is a complete mess. The per-nation quotas that exist have no basis in reality. (I've read that the quota for immigrants from Ireland is far higher than the actual number of Irish that apply, and remains so due to the influence of Teddy Kennedy, even though those slots could be better used applied to another nation's quota.) The process is painfully slow (it can take 1-2 years for a Mexican hopeful to get a visa, even if they have a sponsor already), and the decision-making process is fairly random.

Therefore, I think we must have a two-pronged approach. First, seal the border. Do whatever it takes; I don't care. Pass the word around in Mexico that anyone who tries to cross sub rosa will be (unless they are in a Mexican army uniform) be regarded as illegal combatants under the Geneva conventions and sent straight away to Gitmo. Assuming they survive that long.

But second, reform the immigration system. Work out reasonable quotas that more or less correspond to demand, recognizing that there isn't much demand from citizens of, say, Denmark to immigrate to the U.S. Balance the slots out. Next, offer incentives to those who are more likely to assimilate sooner. That means priority for anyone who already speaks some English. Priority for anyone who already has a job offer. Priority for those that have some education. And eliminate the stupid green-card lottery. Within the priority system, make it first come, first served. The system should strive to issue visas as quickly as possible (say 30 days) to the extent possible without compromising security and background checking. That part must be maintained. The U.S. will not become a dumping ground for Mexico's jails. And no government benefits for illegals. None at all, at any level of government. BTW, I don't see a federalism problem here; immigration is clearly a federal matter, and nothing in Amendments 9 or 10 grants state or local governments the right to subvert federal law. Local governments can no more legally create "amnesty areas" for illegal immigrants than they can for people who commit mail fraud.

Oh, and there is one politically ugly issue that will have to be addressed: the minimum wage. Let's face it, the businesses who hire illegals do so because it's a lot cheaper. They can pay them sub-minimum wage, with no benefits. If businesses were required to pay illegals minimum wage with full benefits, the incentive would dry up, and the jobs would either be automated or just disappear. So, what will have to happen is some changes to minimum wage laws. Certain business sectors, those that require large amounts of unskilled manual labor, will have to be permitted to offer a sub-minimum wage to make it worth their while economically. The stick for these businesses should be strict enforcement of immigration laws, with steep fines and jail sentences for those that violate these laws. The carrot is the ability to be above-board, recruit in Mexico legally, and still turn a profit. (And, they must be exempt from anti-discrimination suits for demanding proof of citizenship or legal entry from applicants.)

Well J, as you ask for "you... (Below threshold)

Well J, as you ask for "your take," on dealing with immigration that is exactly what I'm going to do.

I call it simply, Punjis for Peace."

Raina, by all means, don't ... (Below threshold)

Raina, by all means, don't get mad at your own government for not seeing that our laws are enforced, get mad at another government for not enforcing them for us. Forget the fact that no free nation restricts it's citizens right to leave at will. I'm wrong and McGeehee is too, it's not America's job to protect it's borders and it's not an American problem, it's all Mexico's fault. We all know that we can depend on Mexican politicians to do the right thing and break their own laws to see that our's are followed, after all, their laws mean nothing to them. While we're at it lets ask Iran to guard our nuclear weapons and ask the French to regulate cleanliness and personal hygiene. We can turn our human rights issues over to the Sudanese and outsource national defense to North Korea. In no time at all we'd have no worries....

1: Doubling quotas might no... (Below threshold)

1: Doubling quotas might not even be enough. We need every Asian and Eastern European we can possibly get!

3: Just recognizing the property and 2nd amendment rights of private US citizens who live along the border would probably be just about as effective, cheaper, and desireable for other obvious reasons.

#5 seems kind of unfair and mean to me. I mean, we punish bussinesses 1,000 ways for daring to employ people above the board, then blame them for employing people otherwise. It'd be a just policy if it were coupled with a return to full capitalism, but then it wouldn't be neccessary.

7: "Hanged by the neck until he is dead" sounds better than "flogged" to me.

Bullwinkle: "Not enforcing them for us" is a misrepresentation of what the Mexican government is doing. It is positively encouraging violations.

That's like saying our gove... (Below threshold)

That's like saying our government is encouraging homosexual activity by telling gays to use condoms to avoid getting aids or they advocating that we all stay home and get drunk by telling us if we drink don't drive, if you drive don't drink. If you want to know what really encourages illegal immigration it's the amnesty plans and our government's refusal to put enough INS agents on the borders. Whether you are of the opinion that they are encouraging it or not, and that's all it is, your opinion, the point is that it's never been Mexico's duty to uphold any laws other than Mexican laws. One of those responsibilities is to inform it's citizens that IF they do decide to cross the border and don't know any better that they need to carry water. I remind my son to wear his seatbelt, I'm not encouraging him to speed, I know he's going to but I'd just as soon not see him die from it. Mexico stands to gain more by keeping it's more capable workers in Mexico, earning wages that are taxed by Mexico. Do you truly think they would actively encourage anything that would have their citizens paying taxes to the U.S. rather than the Mexican government?

bullwinkle...I understand a... (Below threshold)

bullwinkle...I understand and did a while ago as to that point you have made, are making (that it's foolish to expect Mexico to do anything about illegal immigration in(to) the United States by people from Mexico).

I agree but I missed on this thread where anyone was expressing an expectation or suggestion/complaint that Mexico should do that.

I DO read (and agree with) people expressing frustration at the Mexican government's inability and now refusal to engage with the U.S. about this problem... and how they could do that would be by encouraging Mexicans to stay in Mexico, by encouraging the concept that illegal immigration is wrong for the country where they're trespassing (is "a bad thing" as to the character of those who engage in it), establish greater economic incentives (I don't know what those would be, however, but I am also not a Mexican nor a member of their government) to remain in their own country.

For instance, it's not something that most Americans grow up admiring: emigration to, say, the U.K. or Norway or Japan by hiding out in shipping cartons and then attempting to live in those/any other areas by illegal means, by using illegal/false documentation. It's just not something that anyone would consider to be honorable behavior in the U.S. and yet it's commonly encouraged and even thought well about in Mexico (that people who go elsewhere are somehow heroic, even when their actions involved illegal means).

There's no appreciation in Mexico by many there, culturally, about the laws of the U.S. At least not by those who engage in illegal immigration and then profit from it. All those people who remain in Mexico and enjoy all those dollars sent through the mail to them from El Norte display lauds to those sending the dollars and yet never seem to even notice that what they're doing is(their full economic circle is) supporting a system of illegality.

Instead, the process is encouraged, receives social support, all that, in Mexico. The government doesn't speak out against illegal immigration and yet even encourages people to modify the terms used by reprimanding the expressions, "illegal aliens" and "illegal immigration" and instead wants to replace those expressions with "migrant workers" and such.

So, although, yes, the government, any government, cannot take measures to keep their citizens IN their own country, they can do something to keep their citizens from committing crimes in other countries. Which is what the Mexican government does not do.

I think that's the frustrating issue, that the Mexican government fools no one and actually encourages illegal immigration. Not the keeping of citizens inside their own country, but by refusing to speak out about the problem to their own people, by actually encouraging illegal behavior in another country (ours, the U.S.).

Cuba and Brazil and many ot... (Below threshold)

Cuba and Brazil and many other country governments in South America do likewise. Many from Cuba send back huge dollar amounts and don't even like the U.S., yet continue to live here because of their dedication to the money machine process for the family back home, considering that honorable, as do the folks (and the governments) back home.

It's great that people are helping their families but HOW is the issue. It's culturally ridiculed to hesitate their support processes by abiding by U.S. immigration laws and instead, the motivation is the end-all: their ends justify their means and their means are illegal and the means, although illegal, aren't important.

That is a very pervasive attitude throughout South and Central America, as to getting to the U.S. and getting what they want and need however possible. To include legal immigration in that process is regarded as a serous setback, a gross inconvenience, and so it's disregarded (legal immigration is).

Yes, VISAs take a while. YES, the legal immigration process is lengthy, there's a line, you have to stand in the line and wait your turn. However, huge numbers of people refuse to do that and bypass that line, that legal process and the very cultures support that.

I agree with others here and that is that our borders have to controlled and well regulated first, however. Control the borders effectively and then make changes to our immigration processes as can be made, should be made, although I am not at all sure that the country has a pressing need for more immigration.

But other countries don't display an appreciation for our laws. That's the irritant and also quite insulting, given that so many want to move here from everywhere else. Last time I applied for an official license, I had to fill out an application, stand in line to deliver it, undergo an examination and screening process and then wait for the license with hope of timely receipt at the decision of others.

That's the process for immigration, also, and yet so many just assume they'll bypass the process because they can. And their home cultures encourage the bypass.

Mexico actually encourages the bypass by not intervening in the cultural and economic conditions present. Same with Brazil, Columbia, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, China, the Middle East....too many cultures regard our U.S. immigration laws a complete joke and although the U.S. can't force a change in those perceptions (initially), we can and should be forcing a change to how those attitudes arrive here and in what numbers.

Those in this country who are employing illegal immigrants should be punished and adequately to ensure that they stop doing so...first line measure would work wonders here, combined with no aid to illegal immigrants. That means, no aid. No school enrollment for non citizens, non residents (because that's another problem in border areas, residents of Mexico send their children across our border every day for 'free' U.S. education, meals, assistance, healthcare and later, housing.

I live in California and wo... (Below threshold)

I live in California and work with many mexicans at my job. I like them for the most part but to be honest only the ILLEGALS are willing to do those crap jobs, the legals ones would most likly own a farm and hire the illegals as they know how to work the system. I would be many of the legals are harboring illegals all the time.
I like the idea personally of posting a message to the Mexican gorvernment that if people pass thru specific areas they could possibly shot on sight. THis would really put a stop to a lot of it I think.
The whole problem I see is that they come over by the truck loads, get on public assistance, are allow to vote no questions asked and vote to make it easier to get MORE assistance then send their money back to mexico and live in houses so crammed with people that it would be a health risk to be crowded that badly.
We could easily cut off their economics if they don't try to fix the issue on their sides.
Hell if they want in teh US that badly why don't we just make mexico the 51st state and take it over. That why they can be citizens and we could make sure that their currupt ways disappear down there.
I am not sure how to counter the ones already here however. If the president had any balls he'd give all illegal immagrants 30 days to apply for a visa, they should be marked with some sort of tracking devise, micro chip maybe and they would not be allowed to vote that is one thing.
I have heard that if we were to cross illegally into Mexico they ban you from getting a visa to Mexico permanently and if caught twice it's 10 years in prison down there. We have heard the horror stories of those prisons.
They got it too easy and there are many making small fortunes off Illegals here in California. Welfare fraud is one of the biggest issues.
hope we can get this resolved and I vote yes we need to lock down the borders with armed soliders if need be.






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