Immigration Reform

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.

  13 comments for “Immigration Reform

  1. Jon
    March 30, 2006 at 9:43 am

    The quality of life in SoCal is going down the tubes. Only the weather can still be called “fantastic”. Time to cash out and head to greener pastures?

  2. GC
    March 30, 2006 at 5:25 pm

    Wow. I just realized that my last two “PIREPS” started with the word “Wow.”

  3. Ron
    March 30, 2006 at 10:56 pm

    GC: Perhaps I should rename my site “WOW Factor”? Nah, I’d probably get sued by the Fear Factor folks.*

    Jon: Cash out and head where? I like places such as Seattle, Montana, etc. but they can be as expensive as Socal, especially if you want to be near museums, opera, and the like. Besides, the weather is a big factor when you’re a pilot. I can’t imagine trying to work as an aerobatic flight instructor in the pacific northwest. You plannin on skipping town?


    * This comment is neither endorsed nor related to Fear Factor, it’s affiliates, assigns, or heirs. Please don’t sue me.

  4. Sam
    April 2, 2006 at 4:53 am

    Seattle is getting expensive, but still not to SoCal levels, particularly if you live a ways from downtown. And living a ways from downtown isn’t like moving to Lancaster is SoCal…it’s generally being closer to the foothills of the Cascades, with attendant skiing, hiking, camping, fishing. IF you don’t mind a rainy winter, the summers cannot be beat, and overall quality of life is superb in the PNW.

    Seattle has quite a lot of aviation activity, I KNOW a tailwheel instructor could find plenty of work, and an aerobatics instructor probably as well.

    *This comment sponsored by Seattle Chamber of Commerce

  5. Chris
    April 4, 2006 at 7:13 am

    I am also a SoCal native and I have been saying for years that the state filled up in 1980 and every person since then has added to the overcapacity. The quality of life here is headed toward third world levels. I am just waiting for some kid to offer me chiclets and a ceramic burro at the stoplight. (A variety of fruits and flowers is already available at any intersection in most of SoCal.)

    The LA Times Magazine had an article a couple of years ago where they asked polititians, including our senators, how much growth was enough (as opposed to the usual “managing” growth discussion) and no one had any answers. Our country will be 500 million in our lifetimes and one billion for our children at current rates, with 75% of population growth due to immigration. Do we want our children to live crowded together as the Chinese do now? There are choices to be made and no one is even asking the questions.

    The other thing as aviators is that our airports are being destroyed due to the population pressure driving real estate to incredible values. Who would leave 100 acres open if they could possibly put up houses or another home depot (like Rialto airport).

  6. Fred
    April 6, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    You always know when a gubernatorial election year in California or Congressional elections are nearing. The politicians are playing the same old shell game, and the stupid sheeple are falling for it again as usual. Distract the ignorant masses by putting immigration or gay marriage in the news, while your other hand is picking their pockets or otherwise screwing them over. Don’t keep falling for this crap every time. The winners are not going to do anything about immigration after election.

  7. Sam
    April 9, 2006 at 1:27 pm

    Um…is Rialto Airport closing!? Haven’t flown GA in SoCal in a while, had no idea…

  8. Ron
    April 9, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    Yes. Sad to say, Rialto Airport is history.

  9. Frank
    April 12, 2006 at 11:30 am

    Hey ron i hear the distress in your words! I too am a SoCal native and is for my parents I got so sick to my stomach with all that’s happening there i had to leave! literally so i wouldn’t have a heart attack the stress level is terrible! and as for all the people moving into SoCal they make me sick they have turned something beautiful into garbage and the mexicans they are CANCER!! ( IT SPREADS FAST )

  10. Ron
    April 12, 2006 at 12:52 pm

    Frank, I understand where you’re coming from, but Mexicans are not a cancer. They are people looking for a better life. As I said, I don’t blame them for seeking that out. If I was Mexican, I’d probably be trying to get into the U.S. too.

    I just have a problem with those who feel the United States does not have a right to control its borders or enforce its laws. Uncontrolled, illegal immigration is bad for parties on both sides.

  11. Frank
    April 20, 2006 at 8:58 am

    Hey Ron, maybe that was the wrong thing to say. But when do you say no! at what point do you stop doing things for people, it’s like anything else human nature will always want more. I can’t even afford health insurance because illegals are syphoning every resource and it directly affects myself and millions others. Sorry close the gate!!!!

  12. harrier
    May 20, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    I live in the state north of you, norcal, and I see something a bit different and much more hidden. The asian/indian/ and russian illegals. It is not a race based thing, it is not an excuse for bigotry, though I understand how hard it is to seperate someone from Mexico with an illegal immigrant with no respect for local law and customs when you are live near a border. The illegals here cause the same problems, driving without insurance and causing damage they can’t pay for, accepting jobs that no legal would take because it breaks our labor laws (and that isn’t good for ANYONE). Those who support the current system (if there are any) support slavery. The ability to bring in people in boats and cars and work them for below minimum wage with no rights.

    When I thought of expatting last election day (and the one before that) 😉 I looked into european immigration laws (Such as France, Germany, Italy). As you say about your friend in Canada, you ain’t getting in unless you provide something the country needs. If they need engineers and you are one, you will likely get in. If you are a pilot and they don’t need any, good luck. I see nothing wrong with this. It is not their obligation to house us and we are not entitled to living anywhere we want. Darwinism is no longer individual but society based, and a the health of a society depends on its infrastructure. We have a right to control the health of our society as best as we can. Just one of those methods is border control. (Many others are being ignored, too).

  13. harrier
    May 20, 2006 at 1:07 pm

    I wish I could write english 🙁 Maybe I should be shipped back to my home country, Utah. I gotta learn to proofread this stuff.

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