Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Lonely libertarian's Immigrant Solution

The following thought occurred to me the other day as I considered the historical similarities between the current immigration debate, and the debate of years past. Some of the story remains the same, whether it's Germans, the Irish, the Chinese, Jews, Italians, or Mexicans. In reality, despite what the law and order crowd may say, there is little that separates the illegal Mexican immigrants today from the immigrants of years past. As in the past, no real thoughts are being paid to laws or borders, only to mythical (and truthful) notion that America is the land of opportunity.

At the turn of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of immigrants poured into the country by way of Ellis Island. They hopped on boats back home in Europe with hopes and dreams of making better lives for their families and their children. They paid no attention to immigration laws and policy. And by and large, we let those immigrants in, and we are a better nation today for it.

What we need today is an Ellis Island on the Mexican Border. We have no such processing center today, and to all those concerned with both public health and national security issues, such a center would be a perfect solution to the real immigration problems of today. A modern day Ellis Island (maybe we could stick it in the middle of the desert and call it "Immigrant Oasis") would provide a mechanism for immigrants to cross the Mexican border legally, and would return some semblance of control over immigration to the government without building a wall, and without deploying troops.

The other part of the solution is the limitation of public assistance. We can't afford to bring the rest of the world to our standard of living, and offering the full array of social services to all immigrants would strain our budget beyond the breaking point. The question becomes, do we really care about helping people, or are we more concerned in keeping out standards of living that don't match our own high standards. Opportunities for work and higher wages help people- shutting our eyes and shutting our gates to the poverty of the rest of the world helps no one.

3 Comments:

Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

It's true that there are similarities between the Mexican immigrants today and immigrants of the past but one simple fact remains; America is not the same country as it was over a century ago. When immigrants flocked from over seas back in the 1800s, the nation was still growing. There were jobs to be had and the nation's borders were expanding. We cannot say the same about the America we live in. America may be the home of the free and the land of oppurtunity, but that doesn't mean that anyone and everyone should be able to waltz right in, not anymore at least. The country is established now, and therefore the standards we once had must be rewritten. Send us your tired, poor and huddled masses you say? I say send 'em back.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Dieguistico! said...

Why an american businessman would pay a higher wage to an american worker if he could pay a lower wage to an mexican worker?
Why the goverment would decide what the people does whith his money?

9:53 PM  
Blogger A Fan For All Seasons said...

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
-Theodore Roosevelt - 1907

3:10 PM  

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