Original post made by Sue Kemp on Mar 23, 2007
I read Mr. Levy's article on immigration with great interest. It's such a knotty problem! I had a discussion with a good friend very recently and his only focus was on the word illegal. Nothing else matters to him. Not even when I told him I had read in the paper that west-coast agriculture was short 300,000 workers this past year, and that some crops rotted in the fields or on the trees and vines because there weren't enough workers to pick them at the time they were ready to harvest.
What can I say, I'm a Bush despiser, but I think the president's plan for the "undocumenteds" was as good a one as we're likely to get. A guest worker program, and a path to citizenship, even though an extremely lengthy and expensive path, are good ideas. Making criminals out of illegal immigrants is not economically intelligent, not to mention that it shows a total lack of compassion.
One last thing, because I resonated with the family problem Mr. Levy mentioned. I have been paying for tennis lessons for a 13-year-old who was born in the US. He lives with his stepfather, who is legal, and his mother, who I am not sure is legal. And there are four little siblings who were born here. The parents are great, hard-working people, giving their kids wonderful values, as well as tremendous opportunities because they are here. I don't want to break up that family!
I hope that the Congress can find a way to deal with this issue in a realistic and non-punitive way.
on Mar 24, 2007 at 1:29 am
Sorry, but my compassion ended long ago as I watched thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens flood across the border, bringing with them drugs, gangs, and crime. Poor people who have no intention of learning english, no intention of assimilating, and who will be a permanent underclass continually placing downward pressure on wages. These people and their families belong in Mexico, and their government should be taking care of them. Many think they're still in Mexico, even though they're here. Any guest worker program put forward by this government is a sham, and an amnesty for lawbreakers. Our gutless government will not control the border. And, this is just the tip of the iceberg - if Bush has his way, we'll be looking at tens of millions more, added to our already overburdened healthcare and education systems. I'm not interested in living in a third world country (which is not outside the realm of possibility for the good old USA at the rate we're going) - if that makes me incompassionate - so be it. Unfortunately, Palo Alto sees little of the effects of illegal immigration - try living in a border city, or take a trip down to LA.
on Mar 24, 2007 at 8:23 am
I agree with both. I am willing to work out a plan for those who have been here for more than some number of years, ( 2? 4?) with no legal entanglements or use of public resources, to become citizens.
But only after we make our border completely non-porous. No more illegal crossing of the border. Period. Shut it down completely, first, so that we don't let more people through.
And, while we are at it, make our immigration laws a little looser, so that people who want to work here who are not engineers can immigrate. It would be simple. Give visas to come work,only to those with no criminal background or those NOT pregnant, require "probation" of x-years, with checking in every month to track you, and if you get in trouble, abuse our system, or skip a check-in anytime before you are a citizen,..out you go, and you can't come back. And any family you have created while here. Period.
In exchange, you get the protection of our worker laws so you aren't exploited, and the chance to prove that you should be allowed to get on the path to citizenship.
Incentive is everything. Bring back some of the price of failure and the reward of success.
on Mar 24, 2007 at 6:00 pm
Amen, Draw - There is a scene in 1984 where the police explain to Winston why they have laws that are impossible to not break, because that gives them a tool to control the people. Since people pay coyotes several thousand bucks, they should be able to post a bond to cover their trip home in case things don't work out. No job guaranteed, just a hunting license.