Illegal Immigration

In recent news, some senators are proposing some immigration reforms, which may include some form of amnesty for current illegal immigrants. This post is partially a response to some commentary I’ve read so therefore it is a two part series. The first part will paint the picture of an illegal immigrant’s life choices and put it in perspective. The second will outline why I think

So, imagine a situation where you can move to a new city and provide a life for your family orders of magnitudes better than your current situation. Your job pays better. Your neighborhood is safer. Your food is better quality. Your kid’s schools are better. Your home is nicer. Everything is better. The only difference is you have to cross state lines, i.e. Kentucky to Oklahoma. But Oklahoma doesn’t want you. They put up fences to keep you out. Even if you have skills in high demand in Oklahoma, it doesn’t matter. To make matters worse, Oklahoma pays lip service to wanting you to enter its boundaries. They say, “just get in line” or “wait your turn”. But time is money, money is your future, and even more so your kids’ future. You’d gladly pay a year’s salary to get to Oklahoma, because you know you can make it back in 3 months once you get inside. But, they won’t take it. Then you realize, that for a crime equivalent to a speeding ticket, you can sneak into Oklahoma. You wouldn’t be hurting anyone. Its a petty civil violation anyways, so why not? Hell, you’ll probably speed on the highway to get to Oklahoma anyways, so it really doesn’t matter.

Redraw the line as the Mexican border and magnify the poor living conditions in Kentucky 100x and magnify the great living conditions in Oklahoma 100x and you have illegal immigration. If you break the law and enter illegally, you don’t have to worry about your kids attending a school where the librarian is raped,  murdered, and hung from a freeway overpass by local drug lord to keep the community in check. You get opportunities that were only silly dreams, at the cost of a speeding ticket. You hurt nobody. You work hard, you’d pay taxes if you could. By all measures except one, you’d make an outstanding U.S. citizen. You find me a U. S. citizen that wouldn’t make the same decision for his or her family. Remember that the next time you hear someone demonizing illegal immigration. You are no better than them, you just got lucky and were born on the right side of an imaginary line.

Now, irrespective of the blight of the illegal immigrant, immigration reform will have some sort of amnesty in it. If it doesn’t, the reform is probably not worth enacting anyways because it would address the real problem. The real problem of immigration is that it is too hard to immigrate legally. As points out, immigration is a ridiculous set of hurdles, regulations, red tape, and bureaucracy.

Now, for the moment, lets assume that immigration is properly reformed. To assume that the millions of people here would leave for 10 years to immigrate back is just ridiculous. That’s like saying that all of the blacks in jail for sit-ins should remain in jail even after Jim Crow laws were abolished. Liberty should always be retro-active. Its just common sense. The easy thing to do is grant permanent residency to anyone who can pass a background check, much like the background checks the FBI forces all gun purchasers to submit. Pass the test, get a green card. Pay taxes. Work hard. Make a better life for your family. Its that simple.

What thoughts do you have on the subject? Philosophy only please – there is no room for politics here.



4 responses to “Illegal Immigration”

  1. I think your analogy of Kentucky to Oklahoma is spot on, and yes, real reform has to address the systematic failures in our immigration plan. No fence is tall enough to stop someone with enough drive. In fact, I really think more immigrants work harder at bettering their families lives than many americans do.

    When was the last time I risked death, deportation, sheriff joe round ups, and the scowl of a minivan driving mom thinking im gonna steal something; just so i could make minimum wage and live in a safe neighborhood and have clean drinking water? That all took curage, balls and I think thats something we should want in this country.

    America was built on the hussel of hard working immigrants. Why stop now?

  2. Thanks for post Matt. I think you have an interesting perspective as well, since you recently immigrated your children. Adoption is by far the fastest way to immigrate to the United States.

  3. Even with orphan visas, the hoops we had to jump through still took about 18 months – 2 years. The immigration office is run much like the DMV. Most the staff have no better career choice / drive, and dont really care to be there. Each “client” is just an inconvenience between smoke breaks and water cooler chit chat.

    There are a few exceptions, and the lady who helped us finish our paperwork literally picked us out of the waiting room crowd because the kids were cute.

  4. You make some great points regarding the ebb and flow of border traffic and the economic and social dynamics managed through government rather than a freer market and what it produces. I would only add that the ‘Drug War’ has created the unintended consequence as alcohol did in the 1920s-early thirties of distorting markets here in the states for high risk ventures on both sides of the border. The byproduct has not only been additional violence and vice that typically are the result of government intervention into markets but also an unwarranted popular loathing of immigrants, and as you mention early in your article who for the most part are hardworking, family oriented Mexicans and other nationalities that want to pursue their natural rights as do you and I.

    When you study the history of federal naturalization and immigration law, you find out very quickly that it was motivated by class bias and job security. From the Naturalization Act of 1790 where the law was to limit to ‘free white persons’ or the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 where the spread of heroin and syphilis was blamed on the Orient and ‘Operation Wetback’ in 1954 which sought to return millions of Mexicans from southwestern states who were ‘stealing’ US citizen’s jobs, there’s a checkered past when it comes to immigration. But the rule of thumb as it applies to economics or social occurrence, the freer the market the more efficiently capital and people are allocated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *