I don’t know how to tell my republican friends this, but immigration is done. The establishment is going to open the borders, and you can’t do anything about it.
We should’ve seen the writing on the wall, here. The only people opposed to mass immigration into the US are patriots who want to protect our political heritage and protectionists who haven’t understood Adam Smith.
I propose a compromise position that should satisfy everyone but a minority in our country. I call it “open and secure” borders.
This is how it works.
First, we open our borders. We allow anyone to enter our country provided they show us a passport and have gotten proper immunizations and don’t carry infectious diseases or mean us harm. At the borders, we check people’s passports. We review their health status and ask for records showing a clean bill of health. If they have the potential for disease, we put them in quarantine. If they don’t have the right shots, we send them home to get them. We build up a database of people we know are our enemies and check for them at our border. We also ask them to swear an oath or something that they will abide by our laws and that they come here in peace.
Second, we secure our borders. With the checkpoints all open, we build a fence. We secure the fence, and we direct all potential crossers to the checkpoint. If you cross illegally, you get taken to the other side of the checkpoint. If you do it habitually, we put you in prison.
The effects of this policy are pretty obvious. They are not all bad, and some of them are quite good.
Economically, we’ll have a large influx of people willing to work for lower wages than Americans. This is good in that the cost of labor will go down, but bad because a lot of Americans can’t compete internationally. I don’t think Americans are as weak as protectionists say they are, and I really don’t see the problem with Juan living and working in my community. Juan wants to send his paycheck back to Mexico, I’m fine with that, too. It only means Mexico will be buying stuff from America eventually. In short, economic freedom (within moral limits, of course) is the best economic policy known to man. We shouldn’t discriminate against people based on their nation of origin and say they don’t have a right to work on our stretch of dirt simply because they were born in the wrong part of the world.
In short, economically, we’ll be putting up billboards, “Now hiring” and “Open for Business.” The world will come, and they will make the USA the center of the world’s economy.
Socially, we’ll have the problems of poverty, ignorance, and culture. Poverty is solved with hard work, so opening up the marketplace to the poor is the best answer. Ignorance is corrected with proper motivation, and seeing others living the lifestyle of the educated American is plenty of motivation to force your kids to complete high school and get a college education.
Culture is tricky. To be frank, this is the one thing that frightens me. I don’t want America to be “just another country”. There are two aspects of our culture.
One is our domestic / civil culture. It’s how we treat each other in our homes and outside. It’s very important that we teach people that honesty is the best policy, helping others is as important as helping yourself, and the rich have a duty to help the poor. This is a task our churches and such need to focus on. The government shouldn’t participate at all. The other side is our political culture. I do not want to give immigrants the same right to vote that I have, mostly because I do not believe they will respect our political heritage and history. If they had a good political culture in their country, they would not be desperate to come to ours.
The solution to the political culture problem is to tighten up who gets to vote and who gets to be a citizen. This is where I think we *should* be fighting our battle. We should be diligently monitoring elections and scrubbing voting lists. We should be focused like a laser on who we allow to be a citizen and who we don’t. I believe our current system is too lax. Simply knowing how our government works is not enough. We should test whether people understand that voting yourself money will lead to the ruin of the country, and whether they can be easily persuaded by bad political arguments. In fact, I want people to witness that the new citizen will be honest and upright and will take their right to vote seriously. I wish we could do the same for people born here!
I’m not concerned about “bankrupting” our social welfare programs. We’ve tried “starve the beast”. It failed. Let’s try “break the beast”. Socialism fails wherever it is tried. Let’s let it fail.