Observations On The Illegal Immigration Ethics Train Wreck, The Ugliest Of Them All

Illegal-Immigration

Nobody, literally nobody, has managed to stay off this Ethics Train Wreck by now. The over-flowing passenger list includes…

Democrats, who cynically want to encourage law-breaking to tilt the nation’s demographics toward what they think will be a permanent electoral advantage

Law enforcement, which has ducked its duty to keep our borders secure

Big business, which wants to preserve an underground economy that provides cheap and frightened labor that allows it to pay unconscionably low wages;

Conservatives, whose refusal to consider any path to citizenship for the millions we have already allowed to stay here by our non-enforcement of our own laws is irresponsible in the absence of any other realistic plan (mass deportation being too repulsive to contemplate);

Democrats, who have foolishly heralded policies, like the Dream Acts, that  provide an incentive for illegal immigration;

U.S. citizens who happily accept the benefits of services provided by illegals while claiming to oppose the process that allowed them to tend their gardens and care for their children

Hispanic-Americans, who have chosen heritage over country by continuing to support continued law breaking by relatives, friends, and others with whom they may share a language or a country of origin;

Congress, which as been lazy and cowardly and avoided its responsibility for decades;

The Justice Department, which has fought to prevent states from taking action to stem the illegal tide that is overwhelming their social services;

Illegal immigration advocates, who have deliberately clouded the issue by calling anyone who doesn’t advocate open borders (that is, sovereign suicide) as racist, and have used deceitful euphemisms to confound immigration, which the U.S. public unanimously supports and has done so for a century, and illegal immigration, which it has not and should not;

The mainstream news media, which has aided and abetted this confusion, supported the race-baiters, encouraged the deceptive use of euphemisms like “comprehensive immigration reform” (which means, “let’s stop enforcing immigration laws”) and outright deception, like calling “illegal immigration” “immigration, ”  while consistently misrepresented the issue as a humanitarian problem rather than a matter of sovereignty, law enforcement and common sense;

The illegals themselves.

The American public, which despite overwhelmingly opposing “amnesty,” whatever it thinks that is, remains inattentive, feckless and ignorant regarding the issue.

Have I left anyone out? Sure I have: President Obama, who has booked a luxury berth on this train.

I’m not going to rehash his embarrassing botch of the child-invasion at the border, or how his handling of this completely avoidable crisis has given a green light to about a third of South America that they can defy U.S sovereignty with impunity and benefit from it. His current bungling–there will be something new tomorrow–is the cynical, feckless, cowardly handling of his promise/pledge/threat to deal with “immigration reform” by executive fiat if Congress didn’t do as he commanded. This is President Obama’s unique and incompetent approach to negotiation with Congress, a core Presidential skill that he lacks utterly. First, you will recall that Obama said that he couldn’t unilaterally grant a path to citizenship, telling Univision in 2011,

“With respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case. There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.”
And if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it! Period!  What Obama says obviously doesn’t matter, which is why he has no international credibility and why the U.S. has become a pathetic joke to ISIS and Vladamir Putin, but I digress.
He then decided that he could act unilaterally though executive order, and used this threat as a “red line,” which, naturally, since what Obama says  doesn’t matter (did I already say that?), had no effect on Congress whatsoever. (To save you the trouble of searching, I have written that at this point granting a path to citizenship for the illegals we have stupidly and negligently allowed to take root here is unavoidable, and the most ethical of unethical options). He promised illegal immigrant activists that he would act “this summer.” Now, Obama has announced that he is still as good as his word, but this act of humanity and courage must wait until after elections.
How despicable, cynical and cowardly. Todd Gaziano of the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation nailed it, saying, “I’m torn as to whether it is a greater or lesser affront to rule of law principles that the President indicates that he will take unilateral executive action on immigration but only announce what action after the fall election. If he had respect for the democratic process and he has no intention of changing his executive actions, then he should obviously announce what they are and let congressional candidates disclose whether they support such policies and think they are lawful.”
Of course. This President has always believed in ducking accountability. Since this decision cannot (I don’t think) be blamed on George W. Bush, it would be fair and appropriate for the President to go ahead and do what he has repeatedly said was “the right thing” (though it may not be the legal thing), and accept the verdict of the public, the courts and history. Instead, he has offered this epic insult to the intelligence and attention span of Americans by presuming that even having promised what he will do, that will not prompt disapproval until he actually does it, and as long as he does it after the public has missed its opportunity to participate in its government the only way it can, by expressing disapprove at the polls, he and his party can avoid the consequences.
Yechhh.
Not only that, but Obama is obfuscating about his reasons for the delay, contradicting the explanation given by the White House, whose sources told the New York Times,
As Election Day drew closer, nervous Democratic senators in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina told White House officials that Mr. Obama’s actions could cost them victory. Those conversations culminated in the decision to delay immigration action.
Yet this morning, on “Meet the Press,” Obama had a different explanation, telling new “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd that the postponement was not a nakedly political tactic to protect imperiled  Democrats in the months before  midterm elections…you know, as opposed to what the White House had been admitting all week:
“What I’m saying is that I’m going to act because it’s the right thing for the country. But it’s going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we’ve done on unaccompanied children, and why it’s necessary.” 
Interesting. I wonder if the President ever considered using some of that golf time and all those fundraising appearances to help the public “understand,” so he could meet his own promised deadline. Naaah.
 To summarize, then, President Obama has managed the impressive feat of  avoiding leadership, clarity, integrity, honesty and accountability, all while openly insulting the American public’s ability to pay attention, infuriating allies, disgusting critics, and destroying trust, as well as trying to game the democratic process.
 The news most ignored by the Obama-protecting networks and cable news outlets was that a new Gallup poll showed 38% of the public approving of Obama’s performance as President.  That is just amazing. What wouldn’t that 38% approve of?
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Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at jamproethics@verizon.net.
[Once again, WordPress would not allow me to space sentences and paragraphs properly. If anyone knows why this happens or how to stop it, I will be grateful. It occurs every 50 posts or so. I apologize for the inconvenience.]

 

 

 

59 thoughts on “Observations On The Illegal Immigration Ethics Train Wreck, The Ugliest Of Them All

  1. Can we go over why mass deportation is repulsive in an ethical or legal sense? I dont see how the arguments that justify deportation of small groups doesn’t scale to larger groups. Off hand the only objections I can think of are those that involve feel-speak (conscious and shameless substitution of emotional reasoning for logical reasoning) and those hardly matter from an ethical or legal perspective.

    • It’s called the Ick Factor Times 100, plus obvious impossibility.

      The United States of American, no matter what the provocation, cannot ship away 11 million people, because the U.S. must never look like Nazi Germany in any way, and that will. That is what it would look like, plus all the endless sob stories about children caught between a life in the USA and losing their folks. Plus..It’s. Not. Happening. Ever.

      Impossible solutions are not ethical options. They are unethical, because they interfere with real solutions.

      • Let’s not forget that there are those that have been here for 20,30, even 40 years. Many came here at a young age, brought here by their parents. They’re here because of choices that others made, not their own. This is the only life they’ve known. They’re essentially stateless people if we cast them out.

        I’m pretty conservative on immigration. The whole thing makes me rather angry. But unfortunately, the time to have dealt with those that have been here for decades occurred decades ago.

          • Because their children are born in America and are thereby citizens, the only people that would be part of that underclass would also by definition only be people that broke the law. So the underclass wouldn’t be permanent, it would be situational.

            And I’m not sure I should have an opinion, being on the outside, and in a country that really doesn’t have illegal immigration on a scale comparable to what you’re dealing with, but I’ll try.

            If you have people who you accept among yourselves, who own property, hold jobs, and pay taxes, and are planning to either pardon or not prosecute them, then maybe you should let them vote.

  2. Regarding deportations… I figure a couple of things:

    – To those who say “we can’t do it”. I say, why not? A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Who says we can’t deport most of these people? We won both world wars, built the interstate highway system, and put men on the moon. The claim “it can’t be done” is made by those who WANT those people here for the reasons you give… Why give give those people what they want? Moreover, if you make it “hot” many of them may simply self deport.

    – How about we pay them to leave? Give the announcement that anyone here illegally who reports in within 90 days gets a thousand in cash and a free plane ticket anywhere they want to go (if they return they get a nice prison sentence). Sounds like a win all around.

    – How about those who have been here for 20, 30, 40 years? I figure at some point statute of limitations becomes practical. How about this… here less than 7 years… bye bye! 7-10 years, evaluated on a case by case basis; here more than 10 years you get citizenship. Tax laws work in this manner.

    – Lets remove their welfare benefits. Enforce the “public charge” limitation which has been the law all along, as far as I know. Nobody has a right to come here and live off us, and there is no way we can support all of the worlds poor. Give them a grand and kick them out.

    • Your figuring is flawed:

      1. – To those who say “we can’t do it”. I say, why not? A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. Who says we can’t deport most of these people? We won both world wars, built the interstate highway system, and put men on the moon. The claim “it can’t be done” is made by those who WANT those people here for the reasons you give… Why give give those people what they want? Moreover, if you make it “hot” many of them may simply self deport.

      What a dogs breakfast THAT was. a) I explained why not. It looks like Nazi Germany, and to a great extent it IS like Nazi Germany. CAN’T in this case means “CAN’T politically or without looking like totalitarian, un-American assholes.” b) Yes, we put a man on the moon. That was POSITIVE. Ripping kids from the arms of millions of mothers isn’t. c) Can you read? I don’t want illegals here, because they don’t deserve to be here, but I’m the one saying we have to bite the bullet and give them a path to citizenship, because there are too many. A lot too many. And it’s our fault. d) I have no problem with self-deporting. If I could wave a wand, I’d say that no non-citizen without legal authority can work here or send their kids to school or rent a place to live. The courts have blocked that path. Try to keep up. I thought this paragraph was about forcible deportation? What kind of arguing is that? “Sure you can deport them by law if you want to, for example, you can make them deport themselves!” Apples and oranges. When someone pulls a bait and switch like that, I’m tempted to stop reading.

      2.– How about we pay them to leave? Give the announcement that anyone here illegally who reports in within 90 days gets a thousand in cash and a free plane ticket anywhere they want to go (if they return they get a nice prison sentence). Sounds like a win all around.

      1. Uh, so you think we should give illegals a CASH incentive to come here, do you? After how many times coming across do they stop getting a stipend? How much money would make YOU leave the country? Ridiculous suggestion.

      3.– How about those who have been here for 20, 30, 40 years? I figure at some point statute of limitations becomes practical. How about this… here less than 7 years… bye bye! 7-10 years, evaluated on a case by case basis; here more than 10 years you get citizenship. Tax laws work in this manner.

      You don’t know what you are talking about. You can’t pass laws that arbitrarily make the same conduct illegal for some and not for others. This would probably violate ex post facto laws prohibitions, but its unconstitutional for other reasons too…and, of course, it’s politically impossible. Hey, why not give them all big wings so they can fly south for the winter, then catch them in big netes when they try to come back?

      4.– Lets remove their welfare benefits. Enforce the “public charge” limitation which has been the law all along, as far as I know. Nobody has a right to come here and live off us, and there is no way we can support all of the worlds poor. Give them a grand and kick them out.

      They don’t get federal assistance now, things like medical care and schools have been granted by the courts, and the states that give them assistance have made that choice. Again, you’re in fantasy land.

      • I’m not sure it makes us look like Nazi Germany any more than we have been willing to do in the past when facing national crises…

        If Roosevelt’s propaganda machine hadn’t glossed over many of his actions during WW2, those actions would have been far less palatable than it was to a typical pre-war American of the time.

        And yes, it is a national crisis. The vast majority of these illegals will NOT absorb and will NOT assimilate as we could reliably expect from previous mass waves of immigration. Mexicans are NOT severed from their home culture like other immigrants are, they still maintain economic, cultural, and NATIONAL loyalties. This makes immigration from there a special case.

        My libertarian opinion of this, first of all, is, if they are willing to work for less and pipeline it all back to Mexico, so what? Let’s let them and not make them hide in the shadows. Let them work in the open as non-citizens and funnel money back to the old country. IT CAN ONLY DO MEXICO GOOD – and God knows they need it. What? They are willing to accept a lower standard of living to try to make life better for their follow on generation? Quit crying Americans, we used to be willing to do that too, when necessary. On the flip side, the States need to turn off the magnet. If they are willing to come work here for less, make them come work here for less and quit subsidizing them.

        But my international strategy opinion of this is that we can’t just let a huge swathe of lawbreakers (quite frankly termed – invaders) suddenly be rewarded with full blown citizenship. The competition for North America didn’t end in 1848, merely put on pause, with the USA in the decided advantage position sitting on the Heartland with Borderlands extended well into the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts. But population and the movement thereof is king and we’re losing that solidly.

        Until we create a system that COMPELS assimilation and Americanization while simultaneously turning off the “bad” magnets of lifestyle subsidization and other programs and keeping the “good” magnets of political and economic freedom and equality under the law, I can’t support any type of amnesty. I can only support a likely-to-be-lambasted hybrid system of legal-non-citizenship-with-no-subsidies, call it Friends-With-No-Benefits…

          • I don’t disagree with deportation on ethical grounds, necessarily, because the illegals have put themselves there, and must now suffer the consequences of their own behavior. I do, however, question the logistics needed to find and deport 11 million aliens. Not sure it is do-able.

        • 1. A path to citizenship does not mean automatic citizenship, and should not.
          2. There is no reason to believe that Mexicans assimilate any less than any other ethnic group. They are hard working, entrepreneurial, and socially conservative.
          3. Your first paragraph is a blatant #22, you know. And even the internment of the Japanese was not on the same scale as deporting 11 million illegals..boxcars, perhaps? Short of gassing them, I don’t see how we could do a better Nazi impression.

          • 1. Don’t we already have one of those handy “paths to citizenship” laying around here somewhere?

            2. No need to inform me about their work ethic and values. I work alongside about 50 of them. They are hard working, they are family men, they are resourceful, they also, to a tee and in a pinch, would pick Mexico over USA if the dichotomy manifested.

            3. Ick Factor. I merely pointed out, when it came to making hard decisions to solve national crises, we didn’t let appearances bother us before. I don’t think I support mass deportation, I just don’t think the Nazi analogy matters unless we accept that emotionalism is how we make decisions now.

            • #2) The issue is how we can compel better assimilation, because they ARE whether you deny it or not, a special immigrant group, being so close to their origin. That does present a much different set of circumstances to overcome.

            • 1. What are you referring to, in the case of a 20 year outlaw, for example?
              2. That same assumption underlied the internment. It was wrong and unfair. I’m not convinced this is any different.
              3. Appearances matter, that’s all. If appearances are impossible to reconcile with national values, all the explaining and parsing in the world won’t matter. I could imagine a law that made illegal immigration a capital crime, but having the US kill 11 million offenders all at once, ick or not, would be disastrous.

              • 1) They can’t apply as though they just showed up?

                2) Perhaps it isn’t different. I think it is — vastly. The cultural core of Japan is 10 times further from the USA than the cultural core of Mexico is from the USA AND separated by a vast ocean, not a tiny trickle of water oft dry. Those of Japanese descent formed a small contingent of the greater community and were surveyed and determined to be incredibly loyal as most were citizens. But we aren’t talking about citizens here in the illegal immigrant discussion, nor are we talking about a tiny contingent of immigrants either. Proximity to sources of loyalty combined with sheer numbers make this an entirely special case.

                3) Appearance arguments, in this case, go both ways, it’s just what is trendy at the moment that gives way *ahem* emotional argument *ahem*. Giving amnesty appears a lot like the amnesty we gave in the 80s, much good it did. Giving amnesty appears a lot like the amnesty the Romans gave the Huns, much good that did. Population is King. What particular polity a given Population is loyal to will decide the future. It is as simple as that.

                I give no credence to amnesty before any measurable effort is made to turn off the magnet and remove those who really need to be removed. Nope, sorry, nada, too bad.

                On the other hand, if we want to accept the Free Market at work, we’d allow them to live here and work for whatever wages they want to work for completely in the open. We wouldn’t artificially hamper our commerce and community with minimum wage laws (which despite their best intentions only create an upward spiral that WILL NEVER solve the “problem”). Who are you to decide that someone else’s value proposition is “Greed”?

                • Regarding 3)—of course. The amnesty in the 80’s only made sense if the laws were strictly enforced thereafter. They can be, too. I don’t care if we plant mines, have randomly determined, daily changing areas where border jumpers are shot, whatever works. Sanctions on Mexico are part of it. Enforce the law, make crossing illegally so dangerous that nobody tries it.

                  Shooting pre-warned, law breaking families still looks better than deporting 11 million. A good job for the Ferguson police force.

  3. The absolute simplest fact is this…there are 12 million illegals here…how do you find them? And in order to deport them, you must first find them. That’s the way it is. Good luck.

  4. … Hispanic-Americans, who have chosen heritage over country …

    Now, I can quite understand how you might disagree with that position, and also how you might find all the other positions you condemn unethical, but how do you find this one unethical as opposed to merely a different prioritisation? I seem to recall that it was E.M.Forster who said that, if he ever had to choose between his country and his friend, he hoped he would have the courage to betray his country.

    This isn’t hypothetical. Many similar dilemmas really have arisen in the past, e.g. Roman civil government really did believe that Christian refusal to venerate the Roman religion both threatened divine retribution and risked public loss of confidence in the powers that were – yet many Christians still prioritised their faith anyway. One cannot argue “it’s different” without showing a criterion that patriots of either age could both comprehend and apply.

    … immigration, which the U.S. public unanimously supports and has done so for a century, and illegal immigration, which it has not and should not;

    I also seem to recall that the U.S. Declaration of Independence has a passage advocating illegal immigration, and that that document was quite popular in certain quarters or became such. Again, there are hurdles to arguing that that was different.

    • Sure I can argue it. Citizens take an oath. Citizens who will take their country of origin’s side, in a war, for example, or who advocate policies that benefit friends and family while harming their country are what we call “traitors.” It’s a tough choice. From the nation’s perspective, and we are talking national policy, then it is unethical. From their own perspective, they may think otherwise, but the choice flunks rational ethical analysis. I’ve talked about this before in the context of the action movie “we shoot your kid if you don’t give us what we need to destroy the world” choice. The hero always saves the kid. The hero is unethical, and an idiot.

    • I’m going to assume that this is the passage to which you are referring:

      He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

      Frankly, I fail to see how this is referring to ILLEGAL immigration as it is defined today, specifically, to crossing any border of this country from another country, without benefit of governmental sanction. In actual fact, the King was PREVENTING immigration, legal or otherwise, and thereby adversely affecting the growth of the colonies. Must I assume that historical documents are not your forte?

  5. If we stop providing public benefits to those who are here illegally, many will self deport. As for those who were brought here by parents, we can figure something out but if a person came here on their own illegally, they should not be allowed to stay. I agree that many are responsible, especially through apathy.

    • I suspect that if we make them “legal” just short of full Citizenship, and they have to pay full taxes (OK a minority of them do pay taxes), and bear all the financial and other burdens of a Green Card Holder, many of them will leave voluntarily. A large majority of them are involved in the underground economy, paid under the table by small and large companies, and live dozens to a home, just to send money South. That will dry up as they have to actually pay the freight to be here. If some are successful and want to stay, then God Bless Them, and let them go through the Citizenship Process. As for the rest – we. owe. them. nothing.

  6. I keep hearing about the need for “comprehensive immigration reform”. My understanding of the need for reform is that something is broken or is otherwise unfair to one group or another. Reform should never take place to a policy that tilts a currently level field in the direction of a specific group. No elected leader has laid out why reform is needed and what areas are unfair or not working in the best interest of the American people – other than to deal with the undocumented immigrants currently here illegally. Thus, I have no reason to believe that we must have “comprehensive immigration reform”. If you simply want to make something not illegal, all that is needed is to rescind all the rules that make it illegal. If elected leaders want open borders and more citizens they should be able to say so unequivocally without euphemisms that create an illusion of serving the best interests of all.

    In my opinion, to solve the problem of the 12 million who are here by virtue of any reason other than the legal process we cannot simply focus on the two extremes (mass deportation or pathway to citizenship). The conundrum that we face is the impracticality of mass deportations and the legal and ethical conflict of giving one ethnic/racial group special immigration privileges over those that follow the rules. Changing the legal process to obtain citizenship for one group and not anyone in the world seeking to reside here would not be in keeping with the notion of equal protection under the law. As we will not simply throw our borders wide open to all comers it stands to reason that we cannot not make special exceptions. We should ask ourselves would those that advocate for immigration reform be willing to give Europeans, Chinese, South East Asians, Africans and any other ethnic group the same advocacy on this topic. If not, they should have no standing in the matter.

    Jack outlined the various groups who have jumped on the ethics train wreck and why they did so. If we evaluate the problem using some very simple assumptions and parameters we can develop a reasonable solution that will move us closer to resolving some of the social problems that impact the current citizenry and the (undocumented, illegal) immigrant.

    I think that it is fair to say that the current group is not creating an undue economic problem that we are unwilling to let continue. Therefore, allowing them (the current 12 million) to remain will not wreck our economy. Secondly, no political or social advocacy group should benefit in any from the decisions made. Thirdly, we must adhere to a policy that views the separation of the family was a direct result of individual choice of the immigrant and that the United States has no moral or ethical duty to reunify them in the United States. Furthermore, we must accept the fact that we have a pathway to citizenship now – at issue is dealing with those that want to take a shortcut. It seems to me that by focusing on each core group’s issues we can reconcile this problem.

    If we start with the most pressing issue facing the undocumented, that being them having to hide in the shadows, which allows the unscrupulous from exploiting their situation, because of fear of deportation then it stands to reason that by creating a narrow (say 30-60 day) window of opportunity for granting permanent legal status for those who are currently undocumented to become documented would eliminate that fear and potential exploitation by the less ethical businessperson or the gangs in the street. (aside: this solves the “finding them” issue put forth by Dragin_Dragon)

    During that period have the current group register with INS to obtain a “special” legal status card while simultaneously temporarily stepping up border enforcement barring all entry during the enrollment period. Yes there is an economic consequence to us all by barring all entry but it is temporary. Sometimes you just have to stop doing something that you want to get to your ultimate goal; kind of like saving for a new home – you have to defer consumption to save enough to get something better.

    Giving a permanent “Green Card” for lack of a better word, does not confer voting rights to the immigrant – legal or illegal. Those who choose not to apply for legal status during this special period would be subject to immediate deportation if found later as well as those found to be overstaying their visa or sneaking in the future. The caveat to this, or consequence to the registrant, is that those who register to become permanent through this means will be ineligible for citizenship unless they return to their home country and follow the existing legal pathway.

    Ethically, there should be no permanent bar to citizenship provided the individual follows the current legal process, or whatever process is in place at the time. This eliminates this block from being exploited for political gain. It gives Republicans and Democrats no special advantage for advancing or opposing arguments for them to remain. It is not amnesty because the consequence of registering means no citizenship opportunity and failing to register with INS is immediate deportation when identified later.

    For those who were born elsewhere and brought here as children decades ago they are citizens of the country of origin so they are not stateless. For them, the same pathway for full citizenship exists as any other immigrant as does an ability to stay without the possibility of voting rights. It should also be pointed out that they never took any steps to become citizens when they reached the age of majority. They must accept the fact the decisions of their parents and later, their own have created the situation they are in. It is not the responsibility of the American people to resolve that problem for them. Many Americans have issues as a result of poor parental decisions. If they were born her they already are citizens so the plan outlined above will not force the disunification of the family except by virtue of their non-citizen relative’s choice not to register under that plan.

    By definition amnesty means no consequences. The current idea that someone should pay a fine to be granted legal status and a quicker path to citizenship is subject to abuse and uneven treatment. Only those that have the financial means will be able to pay so the migrant farmer or low skilled service worker making subsistence wages cannot afford to pay the fine will remain undocumented. Such a plan solves very nothing because those with means are better able to navigate the immigration process now. I reference the story in Jack’s Ethics Hero column the other day about the impact of financing small town governments using fines as justification for not using fines as a prerequisite to gaining legal status to illustrate how abuse can easily take hold.

    The only good solution is a workable solution that does not confer unilateral benefits to one at the expense of the citizenry or another that seeks to become a citizen and reside in the U.S. Mass deportations would come at a huge cost to find and expel them and would undermine certain elements of the economy that we all must acknowledge we rely upon and enjoy. History tells us that blanket amnesty will only serve to protract the problem of the undocumented in the U.S. as it will signal that only the desire to get here, a willingness to hide, and a bit of patience is needed to enjoy the rights and advantages of becoming an American citizen. Neither of these is a workable solution.

    • But those here illegally for so long have to pay some penalty for an extended violation of the law. Law enforcement has had its hands tied by the politicians, including the Justice Department, so they are the least culpable…

      Conservatives’ objections to citizenship are, if you think about it, the least objectionable. I have no problem with permanent residency but citizenship has become a deal-breaker for two reasons:
      1. Those who seek to alter the demographic balance for an electoral advantage will succeed if they get citizenship.
      2. There has to be some lasting penalty for knowingly violating immigration law for the long term. I think permanent forfeiture of the chance to obtain American citizenship is the best option here, and MAY mollify conservatives enough to swallow a deal IF they get the border enforcement they want.

      That said, even if that doesn’t happen, the Democrats and media have played the race card so much that they may get what they seek – albeit over a longer timeframe.

      • 2. Encourage them to come here illegally with irresponsible official rhetoric and intentional non-enforcement, while extolling their motives as “love,” but then punish them after 40 years? Please. Estoppel applies. They shouldn’t be made instant citizens, but if you let squatters stay on your property long enough, they get some rights.
        1. Withholding citizenship because you are afraid how the new citizens will vote is unethical in the extreme…I would say, disgusting. And unAmerican. My thoughts on this are here, and I stand by them.

        • 1. If the illegals get citizenship, then the Democrats – who you pointed out in the original post have sought to alter demographics to ensure an electoral advantage – achieve their objective. At a minimum, stopping them from achieving said objective is ethical. For the GOP to capitulate is suicide. No rational person or organization chooses that.

          2. I agree – they get some rights… but citizenship? They don’t get deported, they can work here, that is enough to satisfy estoppel.

          • Citizenship is not a partisan issue, IM. I can’t believe you are seriously arguing that whether someone is worthy of citizenship should hinge on how you think they will vote. This was the logic of trying to keep blacks from voting after the Civil War. The motives of Democrats is 100% irrelevant. Either a group is deserving of citizenship, or not—partisan leanings are not part of the equation.

            • Citizenship is not a partisan issue, IM. I can’t believe you are seriously arguing that whether someone is worthy of citizenship should hinge on how you think they will vote. This was the logic of trying to keep blacks from voting after the Civil War. The motives of Democrats is 100% irrelevant. Either a group is deserving of citizenship, or not—partisan leanings are not part of the equation.

              Actually, it is perfectly reasonable to keep people from becoming citizens based upon how they are likely to vote. There is no fundamental human right to be an American citizen. We ought not extend our citizenship to those fundamentally opposed to our values.

                • Unless a large swathe of people feel that Democrats and Leftists in general have jumped ship on American Values and that they only see this voter block as another group of easily deceived, easily manipulated voters to keep them in power and keep careening the country to disaster…

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