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IMMIGRATION & GOVERNMENT ? AN ODDITY
Here is what I wish someone who knows the immigration issue better than I do would explain.
I worked in government for many years. As even those who have not worked in government know, the general order of things is inertia, and that the urgent overwhelms the important.
Immigration “reform,” however, seems to violate this dynamic. I don’t mean border security – that’s obviously urgent and important, and should overcome inertia because there’s a growing crisis down at the southern border. I’m talking here about the status of illegals.
Why is there such angst to deal with this? Illegal aliens come into our country knowing they are illegal. Why should I care about regularizing their status? I can see the (substantial) downside of it, in terms of encouraging more illegal immigration and all the social problems that attend that. But what is the upside that I should care about that supposedly outweighs the downside? To be blunt, I don’t care about the struggles they face. I didn’t ask them to come, I haven’t asked them to stay, and they came knowing what the deal was, so I have a hard time listening to the drivel about how they’re getting screwed.
When I was a kid, I used to buy the $1 upper deck seats at Shea and then try to sneak down and grab an unoccupied $4 field-level box seat. When the usher inevitably came to shoo me away, I didn’t protest. I was doing something I shouldn’t have, and I ran the risk knowing that I might get sent back to the cheap seats or even kicked out of the ballpark – the latter being almost unheard of. (In fact, the reason so many urchins did what I was doing was because the ONLY sanction was to be sent back to the seat you would have had anyway.)
If we secured the border, ended visa fraud, and prosecuted employers who hire illegals, that would make coming and staying here much less inviting. Many illegals would leave, so the problem would be more manageable. Why do we need to do anything more than that at this point? Why can’t we just do those things and take another look at this in five years? The usual Washington solution – see, e.g., Iran, tax reform, social security reform, entitlement reform, election fraud, border security, etc., etc., etc. – is to kick the can down the road. Why not with this where it actually makes sense to do that?
I just don’t get why the status of illegals is a priority for our government to deal with given (a) the zillion more important things there are to deal with, and (b) our toleration for manageable crime problems in other (to me, at least, more serious) contexts.
Here’s to gridlock!