DK\’s Blog

May 25, 2006

Immigrant US Citizens – Fair for All?

Filed under: Immigration — darrenkelly @ 9:13 pm

If the US Congress is smart, they'll realize that the more immigrants we can get into the US, the better.   These people actually WANT to come to a country where everybody works hard and believes they can make a better life for themselves and their kids.   They also have enough motivation to overcome the fear/sadness/lonliness that comes from abandoning your family and friends to move to new place. 90% of the world can't bring themselves to make such a leap.     I applaud the Senate for having the hutzpah to actually recognize the reality that we need to get these 10 million immigrants into the country in a legal way ASAP – you can't send them back and you can't build a wall.   The economic realities that made 10 million risk their lives to get here are not going away and it doesn't matter what the law is – these people will come.  Period. 

The BIG thing being missed in this debate is that if it is a good idea to grant under-educated fruit pickers, labourers and restaurant workers citizenship, it is and even BETTER idea to do it for univesity-educated business people, economists & scientists.    Currently the visa programs (TN-1, H1-B, etc.) that let these types of folks come into the US do not have a path to citizenship, so the US misses out on the opportunity to have the post productive, value-creating, job-creating, risk-taking people on the planet stay in the country.    Forget the 700 mile wall on the Mexican border, there is already a bigger wall wrapped around the country.    

Here is the real answer – the US should let anyone who shows up into the country.  The more the merrier.  Think about the economic opportunities created by accepting 25 million refugees.  Heck, make it 100 million people.   We have the space.  Sure, there will be a bit of social change associated with such a policy, but change is not good or bad, and people get used to new realities.   We are already eating Burritos and listening to excellent Latin music.   Americans will get to used to it.

Now for a bigger thought –  It is morally repugnant to sit in America on our lawn chairs in our big back yards with our big houses and preach the values of freedom and opportunity and yet, at the same time, not offer other people around the world who share those values the chance to come here and embrace them.   I think this is the ultimate test of America's resolve to bring the ideals of democracy and freedom to the world – which we have a moral responsibility to do so another few billion young people aren't born into a life of raw poverty, mind-numbing religious zealotry or both.  If you think it is tough to send troops around the world and try to plant the seeds of freedom (think Germany, think Japan, think Vietnam, now think Iraq), then think again.  The only reason that America has to do this is that the other option – open our doors to all these people – is that Americans actually prefer killing a few troops and a few people in far off places than actually have the Aballah's, the Singhs, and the Ongeri's move into the neighborhood.   So the next time you see someone who is against the War in Iraq, ask them if they want 100 million immigrants next year.  If they say no, you can tell them to sit back down in their lawn chair and enjoy the nightly bloodshed – the blood is on their hands also.

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