Friday, January 31, 2014

Immigration Reform

For those who complain that immigration reform proposals amount to amnesty, there are some points to consider.

The most important is that the current policy amounts to de facto amnesty. They are here in the millions and they are not leaving. The longer immigration reform is held up the more intrenched they will become.

The flow of immigrants coming in from Mexico has slowed to a trickle. There are several reasons for this including increased border security and the relative strength of the Mexican economy to the American one. Regardless, stopping the flow of illegals is not as urgent as it was.

There are to many here to deport. Estimates put the illegal population in the US as between 20 and 30 million. The high end is close to 10% of the population. There is no way that they can be rounded up and deported. Any attempt would be politically impossible because it evokes images of Nazi Germany.

There are societal costs to the current system (non-system?). Some illegal immigrants pay their taxes (possibly using someone else's SSN) but not all do. Many are unlicensed and uninsured drivers. Their illegal status makes them reluctant to call the police which makes them victims of crime.

Something must be done about all of this and it has to include a way for the people already here to stay legally. This is not optional nor is it partisan. There is no alternative. So some compromise has to be worked out.

Deal with it.

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