Sunday, June 17, 2007

The American Pricetag of Citizenship

How can anyone with a grain of sense in their head think that a proposed immigration law that effectively grants amnesty for illegal immigrants based on a five thousand dollar entree fee makes any sense? Okay, you give us five thousand bucks, then go back home for a year, and we will re-admit you legally. Are our lawmakers all nuts? Are they that far removed from reality as to think this would ever work?

When I hear our president praise this as landmark legislation for immigration, I finally must admit to myself: "He must be stupid." I voted for Bush, both times, and I am a registered Democrat. I know this administration has been plagued with many a bone-headed move, but this is just so outrageous to me, so egregious and frustrating, that it is almost laughable.

I say almost laughable, because it is not funny at all. This is a very serious issue, and it involves millions of potential new citizens; tens of millions if one extrapolates into the future. Since when has it been considered remotely acceptable to put a price tag on citizenship? On the large, illegal immigrants come here to get a better life, chasing the hope of riches and an all-inclusive society. A large number of these people are illegal because they don't want to wait for the long process of legal entry. This proposed new legislation, directed primarily at illegals from Mexico, hasn't a glimmer of a hope of solving the illegal issues. An illegal already here and working, is not very likely to be willing to cough up five grand and then go home for a year. It's ridiculous.

What would make sense, is legislation to increase across the border temporary workers. That part of the legislation is good and fair and should be enacted immediately. The illegals are a more difficult issue, especially those who have become established here and have proven themselves to be law-abiding participants in our society. It is difficult to decide how to make them legal. This really needs a lot more thought, but since they did break the law and enter illegally, asking them to pay a fee might not be an unfair thing to do. Maybe it could be paid over a long period as an extra tax against their wages. Many options could be palatable in asking for what constitutes a fine. But to ask them to voluntarily come forward, pay, and then go home for awhile is ridiculous.

Far worse, are the implications of what admission to our country is going to take in the future. Already, Europeans have to pay a non-refundable 100 dollar application fee for visas to come here. Why not just say okay, there is a large admission price if you want to come here. Throw a sign across the Statue of Liberty proclaiming it.

Perhaps what is more obvious than immigration reform is that we need change in our government. We need qualified people who think, statesmen that serve the betterment of our society and not self-serving, narrow-minded, partisans who seek only their own betterment and re-election. Until such stupidity is singled out and the perpetrators are publicly ostracized, we will continue to see such ridiculous legislation that carries no hope of bettering the country.

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