There is still a lot of hoopla and sound and fury concerning the issue of illegal immigration. But there is a fundamental problem with the whole debate on all sides. They are on target in that the issue is important, but they are all fighting the wrong battle.
First off, walls don’t work folks. A wall didn’t keep the Mongols from conquoring China. A wall didn’t keep the Picts from invading Roman Britain. A wall didn’t stop people from fleeing Eastern Europe. A wall didn’t stop the sectarian violence in Derry and Belfast. They make for nice symbolic gestures, and can generate some jobs, but ultimately they don’t work. Like the old adage, build a better mouse trap, get a smarter mouse.
As far as deporations go, forget it. We are not about to put ourselves into the same category as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot by forcibly removing some 12 million people from this country. It’s not going to happen. Even putting the moral/ethical aspect aside, it’s just too impractical. The amount of money, manpower, time, would be such a significant drain as to be prohibitive. It would detract from far more important matters where law enforcement and our intelligenc assets should be focused on.
No, the real battle is not being fought. In fact, it may have already been lost. Sure, we can have a wall, but it will only be 50% effective as long as Mexico refuses to secure their side of it. And unless we turn that same wall into a “death zone,” like existed in East Germany (specifically East Berlin), it will hardly be much of a deterrent. BUt the real reason why illegal immigration has flourished as it has is for one simple reason. No need to assimilate.
We have become so obessed with “diversity,” and “multiculturalism,” that we have nearly lost sight of what unifies us as a nation. I’m all in favor of having “diversity,” and respecting and honoring our cultural and ethnic pasts. BUT, we have gone so far overboard on promoting this, that we have only ended up creating a nation of cultural pockets. Even with in single cities, the old barrios and neighborhoods have become entrenched, permanent institutions almost.
In the “hey day” of US growth through immigration, these neighborhoods served a vital purpose. Immigrants from where ever would come to this country, and initially move to where the things and people were familiar. They would then move on, out from these Little Italy’s and such, and to other places. These comunities served as a stepping stone to assimilation. They provided a non-governmental way of bringing these new arrivals into the American mainstream. This was where they learned English, how to conduct business, learned the politics, learned their new neighbors. But no more. Now it’s an end point, and not the launching point for a new life.
Today, these neighborhoods are little more than colonies from foreign nations. We have entrenched “respect for their native cultures” so deeply, that there is little or no reason for the immigrants to assimilate into the larger US society. There is no pressure for them to move out and on, to become part of the greater whole that is the United States. We have such social welfare programs that there is no need for these people to leave the conclaves to find work. We provide them with translators to vote or go apply for government programs, so they have no need to learn English. We have effectively told our law enforcement people that they have to act differently than usual in these areas, to “respect their culture,” allowing them to effectively circumvent some laws.
This has, in effect, created “safe zones” for illegals. They can hide in these areas, and don’t stand out. They in fact “hide in plain sight” as there is no way to distinguish them from legitimate residents. Employers can’t immediately tell if someone is questionable or not. Nor can law enforcement or any civil servant.
So what’s to be done? I guess this is where my conservative credentials get revoked, as I think there should be a path to citizenship for those already here, and who do not have a criminal history. But this alone is not enough. Yes, it will alleviate some stresses on our systems, yet there would be more needed. We need to put the pressure to assimilate back on. We need to finally establish a National Language (English), which will be mandatory for all government documents and forms. We need to stop providing translators ad infinatum. We need to stop having a living platform in terms of social welfare, and return it to the helping hand it was supposed to be. We need to encourage, even enforce, the things that should unify us, and stop with the “diversity” that has essentially divided us. And employers who knowingly and willingly hire illegals should be penalized severely. Some companies encourage and facilitate this sort of thing, even going so far as to import illegal labor, and this must be stopped cold.
If we do this, and I highly doubt it will ever get past all the well funded special interests, it will have a profound effect. It will make those who come here illegally more apparent, more visible. They won’t be able to hide among the populace as easily. Employers, Law Enforcement and others will be able to better identify potential illegals, and earlier. This would truly make it harder for an illegal to come to this country and just belnd in. It would be much more of a discouragement to this sort of activity than a wall.
It seems that at least one person in Washington gets this. Sure, this comes from a solicitation for a campaign contribution, but still. So here’s a kudos to Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), as well as his message:
My name is Jim Inhofe and I am the Senior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma.
Do you agree with me that English should be the official language of the United States?
For years now, it’s been a lonely fight in Washington to make English our nation’s official language. I have sponsored legislation in the Congress to make it official only to have it blocked by special interest groups and Democrat Senators. In fact many of my opponents on this issue try to claim that those who support official English are “bigots” or “anti-immigrant.” The fact is, recent polls show that 84% of all Americans — including 71% of Hispanics — support official English.
It is just commonsense.
If you moved to a foreign country – say Germany or Italy – wouldn’t you realize you needed to learn German or Italian in order to fully assimilate into that society?
I’m sure you wouldn’t demand that those governments be required to provide services in English just because you decided to move there. As you can imagine that plain logic makes my opponents pretty mad.
A direct consequence of my efforts to make English our official language is that the liberals in Washington don’t like me much. Which means only one thing: I must be doing SOMETHING RIGHT! As the most conservative member of the United States Senate (as ranked by the American Conservative Union) and a proud sponsor of this legislation, I am the left-wing’s worst nightmare.
For Oklahomans and for Americans nationwide, I work every day toward keeping our taxes low, controlling spending, cracking down on illegal immigration, and making our nation more secure.
Because of my actions and beliefs, I am being targeted
(the solicitation was removed, if you’re interested in that, I can provide it)