The federal government proposes to crack down on illegal immigration. As I’ve written previously, I agree with the end but not with the proposed means. I don’t believe that we should turn undocumented immigrants into felons or erect huge barriers along the borders. Instead, I believe that we should issue foolproof national ID cards to all citizens and legal residents of this country, require everyone holding or applying for a job to have a card, and severely penalize those who employ workers without cards. If undocumented aliens can’t work here, it seems to me that they won’t stay or come here. Then I believe that we should make all jobs pay well enough in wages and benefits that American citizens and other legal residents will have better reason to take them. If we still have a shortage of workers, then we can establish quotas allowing enough workers to come here from other countries to fill those jobs. As for the undocumented people here already, some means should be provided to allow those among them who are worthy to become documented within a reasonable period of time. This process should include significant but reasonable penalties for their having come here illegally in the first place. And the Constitution should be revised so that only children who are born here to American citizens automatically become American citizens. Furthermore, I believe that this country, private organizations inside and outside this country, and capable individuals should, as a moral imperative, work to try to raise the standard of living in Mexico and Latin America by fostering better education for their citizens and more and better economic opportunities there. That way, not only won’t Hispanic people be unable to work and live here illegally, but they also won’t feel any need to.
Do I believe that these measures are practicable? Of course not. I can’t imagine that enough politicians would ever have the courage to stand up to business lobbies and other pockets of opposition to implement my suggestions or alternative measures powerful enough to actually stop illegal immigration. Thus, I believe that we will continue to have a flood of illegal immigration, a growing underclass of exploited undocumented workers, and enduring disrespect for our immigration laws until this country becomes increasingly overpopulated and economically depressed.
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