“Bring me your tired, your poor ...”
(Fortnight: Day 06)
So begins the poem by Emma Lazarus that reads on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. The lady with the torch welcomes all those who would come to her shores.
That is to say, by the approved channels. There are millions of undocumented immigrants who do NOT got through those channels. Many are responsible for a disproportionate amount of violent crime. Many are a drain on the system because, while they do not pay taxes, they are able to avail themselves of public services, which includes sending their children to public schools. On the other hand, this writer has known of undocumented aliens who not only pay taxes -- it can be done if you have a taxpayer ID, like a business, and not a Social Security number -- but who hold down full time jobs to pay those taxes, and even have valid driver's licenses.
They're not here to cause trouble; they're here because the lady in the harbor (see above) beckoned them to our shores. Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin (née Maglalang), with whom this writer agrees on most things, suggests that if you believe your neighbor is undocumented, you should report them. She fails to mention that you have to be able to PROVE it, which is damn near impossible, otherwise you can get in more trouble than them.
Ever think of that, Michelle? Besides, nobody likes a snitch! Pahiya!
The Catechism of the Catholic Church upholds the right of a sovereign nation to protect and secure its own borders, so all this bleeding heart nonsense about giving illegals a pass is just that. But with between eleven and thirteen million of them, it's going to be difficult to get things under control anytime soon.
And you know what? We've missed the real problem here, which is not with too much illegal immigration, but with not enough legal immigration.
"Native" Americans have always complained about the onslaught of "foreigners" to our shores. The Irish, the Italians, the Poles, the Chinese, the Salvadorans -- the list goes on, from one generation to the next. We have to reopen Ellis Island, and/or create more of them. Sal will tell you (and I know this because she has told me) that it takes years for people in the Philippines just to get a visa here. And that's a country that we treated like crap, and they still love us. And immigrants will keep coming, over or under the wire, not only taking the jobs that "real" Americans don't want -- yes, Virginia, there are jobs in this economy that are beneath some Americans, including this one -- but creating new consumer demand, which in turn creates more jobs. (And more tax revenue, if only we could keep track of them, which you can only do ...)
If you knew what a bunch of Vietnamese businessmen did with an abandoned shopping center in Falls Church, Virginia -- I mean, they came here on overcrowded boats, you big dummies! -- you would know what is possible through a comprehensive immigration reform that comprehended opening doors instead of closing them. But it won't be if we don't let them in.
Make it easier for them, or they make it harder for you. What's it gonna be, America?