Wednesday, June 13, 2007


I am distressed by the recent troubles with the current Immigration bill.

One one hand we have a Bill, which is imperfect, as all hurried legislation tends to be, and on the other hand, we have a bunch of freaks running around, muttering, and sometimes shouting about the need to round up, imprison, and deport those that are in this country illegally.

Do any of the people in the latter group have any idea how much it costs to imprison someone?

Are any of them prepared to pay the whopping increase (at least 25%) in taxes that will be needed to imprison and deport these people?

In order to round up and incarcerate (preparatory to deportation) this many people, we will need to build at least two, large "immigration prisons" in every state in the union.

Do you know how much it costs to build a prison?

Do you know how much it costs to staff a prison?

Do you have any idea how much it will cost to double the size of the Border Patrol?

Do you have any idea how much it would cost to double the number of ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) agents in this country?

Do you have any idea how much all of this will cost the taxpayer?

I suspect you don't. It will cost a lot of money. Money we don't have... especially with two wars going on.

Do any of you believe that it is moral to break up a family?

Do any of you believe that it wrong that someone is an American if they were born here?

Do any of you have parents or grandparents that were the first American in their families... the first Americans only because they were born here? Maybe we should make you leave, too, eh?

Does anyone else think that it is inhumane, not to mention un-American to deport someone to a country where they might be killed if they return?

Does anyone think that the current debate about illegal immigration is racist? If not, why aren't you screaming about building a fence along the Canadian border? I love our Canadian brothers and sisters, but that doesn't mean there aren't thousands upon tens of thousands of them among us, working illegally, that no one gives a thought to.

What about all of the Irish immigrants? All of those quaint folks with the accents so many Americans love? Perhaps ICE should be doing sweeps in Boston and New York and fill up a 747 and send some of them back to where they are from. Can you imagine the shrieking if we did?

The America that I still believe in can do better than this. We are still the land that the "...tired, ...hungry, and ...poor huddled masses, yearning to breathe free" wish to live in. We can still absorb them. They can still be Americans if they want to be.

We need to work harder at finding the solutions that will allow us to live up to our greatness.

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Paige said...

Brilliant post!
I really do believe that way too many people in this country (not to mention others) react all too often with a knee-jerk motion. "Illegal immigrants? Kick 'em out! Yeah, that's what we have to do!" How about considering what that actually means and what it takes to do something like that. Never mind whether or not it should be done.

As for the Mexican border fence, don't even get me started on that pile of absolute nonsense. Yeah, a fence. That's what it will take to prevent people from coming into this country. Sure. Dream on.

La Sirena said...

Nice post, GF. I argue with people about the illegal immigration issue all of the time. You laid out some good points. I get frustrated because I think that the powers-that-be in this country court use a point and wink strategy w/ illegal immigrants. They point at the illegals as the source of our problems, stirring a lot of people up and using illegal immigration as a smpkescreen to cover our real problems and expenses (you know, blatant cronieism, wars and whatnot), meanwhile allowing illegal immigration to go on -- cheap labor for big business.

There was an excellent episode of PBS's POV last year. It showed the harrowing trip of the journey Norht. If people are willing to put up with that level of danget to get here, things must be really tough back home.

I'll try and find the episode for you.

KarenO said...

And now you got me thinking about the situation with immigrants in my country. I'd love to think its very different, but its not that easy to compare. But then again, there are so many truths in what you said here. Great post!

Lawyer Mama said...

Yes, I do agree. We are Americans by happy accident of birth. We aren't special simply because we were lucky enough to be born here.

I often wonder how those people who are screaming to kick illegal immigrants out would react if it actually happened. Do they have any idea what would happen to our economy?

Anonymous said...

Thought-provoking! And thank you for pointing out so eloquently what I've been yelling at the television pundits for months now..."Round 'em up and kick 'em out? And exactly how would the logistics of that work? Trains, like during the Holocaust?" I'm in Houston, and as you can imagine that whole issue is pretty heated down here.

WordsRock said...

Our family had an animated discussion about this very thing the other night.

No one had an answer for the illegal immigrant's lack of respect for our country's laws. I don't believe rounding them up and kicking them out is a valid solution. But I also don't believe that all folks who enter our country illegally should be welcomed with open arms. We are, after all, a nation of laws.

It's a true conundrum. At least for me.

cathouse teri said...

I have a migraine and when I showed up here, that music made me want to shoot myself in the head.

Gunfighter said...

The problem, as I see it, is one that has solutions that will take years, perhaps decades to straighten out... the problem with this is that many of our politicians use this as a wedge issue and campaign with it.

The problem there is that, when impassioned, too many people look for "quick fix" solutions... which almost never work.

Gunfighter said...

Oh, and Teri.... reading my blog can sometimes have that effect.

You have been warned!

BlackLiterature said...

This is written by a Californiam that now lives n the east coast.

Is it racist?? Ummm.... Yes.

I find it amazing that people are so concerned about our border with Mexico yet care little about our Canadian border. While living in So Cal, I knew people that came here as students or nannys and stayed once their Visa expired. Somehow this was never an issue for them or their employers once they decided to let their legal status lapse.

Somehow we view the issue as a Mexican/South American issue. But there are people here from all over the world illegaly. Some blend in and never have an issue. Others become the target for all our ills.

I stil say it comes down to business. People would not be here if they coud not find employment. If the nation truly has issues with illegal immigration, why not start closer to the root of the problem. Employment.

cathouse teri said...

Ha ha. I thought I was as myspace for a second there! When I click on my kids' or my nieces' myspace pages there is always music there to assault me!

Lene said...

Great post! Something to give my brain a jump start! Thanks =)

I am with you on all counts. I do not people really think about the true consequences of such a huge action.

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

It's very simple ... all we need to do is enforce our current Federal Immigration laws ...

that's it.

Stop the magnet.

Punish greedy employers/corporations that hire illegals ... taking construction jobs etc... from American workers...

take away the free social benefits that we Americans pay for.

(you already know my feeling about illegals getting free healthcare while we middle class don't qualify)

Protect our gosh darn borders first,
and build that fence that was approved last year.

That is my opinion. I know I'm in a liberal forum here.

I think we should take the 2 and a half trillion dollars it will cost to take on illegals and pay for our long suffering healthcare system and education system.

I don't know about there.. but our education system here is 47th or 49th in the nation. We didn't even make the top 1000 in high schools.

Gunfighter said...

It isn't simple, Terri. Not at all. The people who say it is simple haven't dont their math.

More later... I have a tournament to go to.

Gunfighter said...

Punish the greedy employers... We should. The reason that we don't is that large employers spend lots of money on political donations. Politicians don't bite the hands that feed them. Ever.

Stop The Magnet. Can you stop being a magnet when you have a country where there is employment and a not very repressive government? This country was a magnet to most of our grandparents... unless your ancestors were already here for millenia when the first white people showed up. If it was attractive to your ancestors, why not to others? Were your ancestors special?

Two and a half trillion dollars to "take on illegals?" Please cite the source of that number, as it is ambiguous. Frankly, Terri, I am surprised to hear you, a FOX-News-Purplke Kool-aid Republican, even consider using any government money for health care... I thought all of youfolks thought that big government should stay out of healthcare.

Protect our borders first. I agree. Protect the borders... It's going to cost a lot of money. Will you whine about the costs involved? If we are in the middle of two wars, and all that Republicans can talk about is abortion, school prayer, terrorism, and cutting taxes, where do you thinkg the money to pay for better border security is going to come from? Education? Healthcare? Defense? Nothing is free. I guess we'll have to pay higher taxes to do it. Who is going to propose that?

Enforcing current laws. They are being enforced. I see it every day... and I mean EVERY day. The issue is that there just isn't enough space to house every illegal alien that gets arrested, which leads to stupid things like "catch and release" Are you prepared to pay the price to build the two immigration prisons per state that will be needed to house and process all od those who will be arrested and precessd for deportation?

Our border with Canada is nearly three thousand miles long... should we buld a fence there, too? Or is the fence just to keep out the brown people... you know, the ones that talk funny, eh?

If the educational system in Nevada is so poor... I suggest that you make an effort to support pro-public education candidtates in your state-wide elections... Education systems aren't poor because of the people who go to your schools... they are poor because of the level of parental involvement in the schools.

Those parents in your state had better get off of their asses.

As for this being a liberal forum... I don't know where you got tht idea... what makes you think that my politics are particularly liberal? Or is it because I don't think gay people are going to hell. That must be it.

I'm all for many of the things you mentioned... I just don't think you have done your math.