Damn Foreigner is back, and it’s good to see him among the living (posting?).
His most recent entry was on a topic that is near and dear to his heart: immigration. He’s a smart guy and makes some salient points.
However, I was left wondering what solution he might offer to fix this thorny problem. Should we allow anyone into the U.S. without any regard for who they are, why they’re here, or what our needs might be?
I don’t think that’s what he proposes. But there are some who feel that way.
As a Southern California native, I’ve noticed some things about this area. To put it bluntly, the quality of life is falling due to overpopulation. This is a long term trend that I’ve been watching over a period of decades.
When I fly over Southern California, the city extends as far as the eye can see. From Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, and from Oxnard to Palm Springs. It’s a solid mass of densely populated metropolis that covers 10,000 square miles.
Our resources are limited. The land can only hold so many homes. The roads can only hold so many cars. The schools only so many kids, the land only support so many people. The hospitals, the social infrastructure, they are also limited.
From what I can see, we reached those limits a long time ago. And for better or worse, a significant percentage of Socal’s growing population are illegal immigrants. They are not the only source of population growth, but according to the INS, for every three legal immigrants that enter the U.S., one enters illegally. We take in about 900,000 legal immigrants and another 300,000 illegal ones every year.
This is why I feel that strong border control is necessary.
I am not anti-immigration. I have always said that America’s strength derives from the freedom and diversity of her people. However, for the reasons I stated above (not to mention national security — a porous border is an obvious asset to those who would harm us), we need to control the rate at which immigration takes place.
I also believe that, as a soverign nation, controlling immigration is our right. It does not make us racists, despite what many would have you believe.
It’s ironic that when other countries control their borders tightly, they are not accused of jingoism. To wit, a good friend of mine recently moved to Vancouver to work as an actor. He’s a law abiding citizen with a clean record, but Canada decided he was not necessary for their work force. He was compelled to return to the United States, and he did.
I don’t blame Mexicans with a third world standard of living for seeking out a better life. To be honest with you, if I were in their shoes, I might well be doing the same thing: trying to sneak across the border. On the other hand, I couldn’t honestly fault the United States for trying to keep me from entering the country illegally.
DF noted that some who wish to come to the U.S. don’t have a “line” to stand in. Are we sure this is the reason they cross into the U.S. illegally? As he said, the process of legal entry takes time. There is a certain ease to simply crossing the border rather than dealing with paperwork and delays.
Illegal immigration isn’t just bad for the United States. It can be disastrous for the immigrant. As DF noted, illegals are ripe for exploitation since employers know they cannot seek the legal protections and remedies that the rest of us enjoy, lest they risk detection and deportation.
U.S. immigration law allows for entry into the U.S. via four basic methods: family sponsorship, employment, diversity, and political asylum. There are myriad ways to get into this country legally, but it’s entirely possible that some people simply don’t have a legitimate claim for entry into this country.
For example, Mexico might well be given a low priority on the “diversity” list since so many Mexicans have recently immigrated to the U.S. So many, in fact, that according to the Southern California Association of Governments, Hispanics are no longer a minority group:
The Hispanic population now represents the largest ethnic group (40.57%) in Southern California, followed by White (38.85%), Asian (10.19%) and African American (7.30%).
The bottom line? We cannot take everyone who wants to come here. The demand exceeds our ability to supply, especially here in California where, according to the last census, we took in more aliens than New York, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey combined.