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Illegal Immigration

November 12, 2010

First in a periodic series called “It’s not that complicated!”

Politicians want us all to believe that the problems facing America today are SO complicated that only complex solutions will do. Oh, and by the way, their party has the only solution. Oh, and by the way, their solution comes straight from Central Casting, er… straight from the national party’s talking points.

Things are not that complicated. Take illegal immigration for example.

Conservatives want you to believe we need to build a long, high border fence and make it illegal for illegals to work in the US. Then things will be fine. We’ll be magically transported to the Good Old Days and we’ll Take Our Country Back.

The Democrats want us to stop asking people for I.D.s everywhere for any reason, spend lots more foreign aid dollars to prop up Mexico’s economy, provide the US immigrant community with lots of free social services… and eventually things will all work out. Probably. We’ll learn to All Just Get Along and we’ll Respect Each Other’s Cultural Differences. That’s if everything goes right. If it doesn’t we’ll throw more money at it.

Each side assures us the other side’s “solution” is actually Armageddon in disguise.  It’s not that complicated:

  • there are too many illegal aliens in the US, and in some places it’s too easy to cross the Mexico-US border illegally;
  • American workers won’t do some jobs, no matter how bad the economy gets; and
  • logistically and financially, we don’t have the resources to deport all the illegal immigrants currently in the US.

Politicians want us to believe that we can only focus on solutions one at a time. Either we choose the Republican hard line or we choose the Democratic wishy-wash. Politicians believe in either/or.

We regular, everyday Americans know that life doesn’t come at you one at a time. That only happens in action hero movies where 20 bad guys patiently wait their turn to get their butt kicked by the hero.

SimpleTalk Reality – illegal immigrants are here anyway and keep coming in, they’re doing jobs Americans don’t want, and we can’t afford to deport them all.

The reality is we have to tackle both sides of the problem at once. Stop illegal border crossings. Decrease the financial incentive to cross the border illegally (or increase the penalty for doing so). Create a plan to assimilate the illegal aliens already in the country. Lather, rinse, repeat. If we’re vigilant for more than 1 election cycle, things will work out.

While we’re at it, we could help balance the budget by assessing each illegal immigrant who wants to stay in the US with a head tax.  Most immigrants come here for the chance at economy prosperity; make ’em pay a fee to get at it.

To pacify conservatives, we’ll make being here illegally a felony subject to immediate deportation with no right of return, and we’ll add your name to a watch list. To pacify liberals: for illegal immigrants who have to pay the StayInAmerica Tax, they can choose to pay it over time through extra payroll deductions.

Politicians like it when Americans are squabbling amongst ourselves – red-state vs. blue-state – because we don’t have energy leftover to realize when they’re bamboozling all of us.

We can quibble over the details, but let’s get the big picture straight on illegal immigration.

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