The details of the “immigration reform bill” moving through Congress like a water buffalo through a snake are less important than the fact that some action is being taken regarding a problem that has been cynically, incompetently, dishonestly and negligently allowed to fester since the last illegal immigrant accommodation law was passed in 1986. This is one of the rare cases in which doing almost anything is more responsible than doing nothing, and that is the beginning and the end of the list of the bill’s virtues. This is an ugly ethics train wreck in which there are no heroes, only dunces and villains. There may be a worse one, but at the moment, I can’t think of it.
The 11,000,000 or more illegal aliens in this country have to be given some way to attain citizenship and get out of the shadows. That is an unavoidable, pragmatic reality, the best of a stinking pile of unethical options. All the rationalizations for doing this are unethical, except one: they are here, we allowed them to get here and allowed them to stay, and now we are out of choices. It’s our fault, which is to say our incompetent, irresponsible government’s, and now we have to swallow hard and accept the consequences.
The consequences are that millions of people who cheated to get here, don’t deserve to be here, and shouldn’t be rewarded for breaking the law, will become a progressively more damaging social problem if they are not given the opportunity to assimilate so we have toi give them that opportunity. Anyone who argues otherwise is either dumb or dreaming. Of course the United States of American can’t deport millions of people, tearing families and communities apart. Of course. It’s far too late for that. Should every single one of them, as an individual case, have been deported, if they had been duly apprehended? Again, of course. That is not, however, the situation we face.
Meanwhile, all the players in this ghastly drama have disgraced themselves and betrayed the nation…
- Democrats, who cynically over-look and facilitate illegal immigration because they like the electoral demographics it promises, and the country be damned.
- Republicans, who have resisted all attempts to address an obvious problem that they contributed to by putting their fingers in their ears and humming, and who now, as a final bow to cowardice and zero integrity, want to embrace rewarding illegal immigration simply because they think it will win them votes.
- Progressives, who argue for open borders, requiring the United States to become a welfare benefactor of the citizens of every corrupt and inept third world nation, risking economic and cultural ruination, and who tar any effort to enforce immigration laws as “racist.”
- Conservatives, who have opposed “on principle” what they call “amnesty,” but what is really “the only remaining alternative,” all while never making any realistic proposals of their own. (“Build a big fence” is not a realistic proposal.)
- Conservative talk radio, which killed efforts under the Bush Administration for a bi-partisan border enforcement and path to citizenship bill by playing the “amnesty” card.
- The private sector and corporate interests, which carefully nurtured neglect of immigration enforcement to provide a stream of cheap labor and exploitable workers.
- Consumers, who were willing to accept the breaching of our boarders to keep prices low through unscrupulously low wages.
- Wealthy Americans who happily hired illegal aliens as landscapers, household help and nannies, enjoying their low fees and pretending that there was no basis for suspicion.
- The Obama Administration, which has blocked or tried to block legitimate efforts by various states to withhold services from illegal residents who shouldn’t be receiving them.
- The U.S. Senate, which appears to be ready to pass, once again, legislation that few of its supporters have actually read.
- Tea party opponents to the measure in the House, who continue to argue for absurd conditions to be attached to any illegal immigrant measure, such as the requirement that rehabilitating illegals learn English. Economic and social success in America requires learning English; if that isn’t incentive enough, unenforceable laws won’t help. How would an “English police” operate, I wonder?
- Supporters of the various “dream acts,” which create an incentive for desperate aliens to break laws to bring their families to the United States
- Hispanic advocacy groups, who choose loyalty to their heritage over the best interests of their country, by advocating waiver of the rule of law and abdication of the duty of a nation to protect its borders.
- The mainstream media, which has habitually distorted the issues, ethical and otherwise, and portrayed the opposition to illegal immigration as opposition to immigration, and has represented insistence on law enforcement as proof of cruelty and racism.
- Real racists and xenophobes, like Pat Buchanan, who add their bigoted voices to the fair and legitimate protests, tainting their credibility.
- Mexico, a corrupt, incompetent nation that continues to squander its human and other resources, resulting in inexcusable levels of poverty, and relies on the U.S.’s incompetence and greed to provide an escape route to its suffering citizens, making Mexico’s problem ours.
- The illegal immigrants themselves.
I don’t see anyone to admire, or respect in that list.
Nonetheless, a nation cannot allow millions of people to live within its boarders as scofflaws. If we can’t eject them, and we can’t, then we have to accept them, and devise a way to bring them out of the shadows….even if it means, and make no mistake, it does mean, rewarding illegal conduct, and creating a fresh incentive for more of it. It’s nothing to be proud of, and anyone who dares to represent it as such is a scoundrel and a liar. The illegal immigration mess has only one, small, benefit. It stands as the best example I know to illustrate the terrible consequences of weak and unprincipled leadership.