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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Washington Summer Heat

It has been almost a month since my last post. Needless to say that it has been a hectic and tense past few weeks.

In the past four weeks we have seen the D.C. wars escalate in contempt. From the CIA leak, to the immigration issue, to the NSA's telephone database, to General Hayden's nomination, take your pick and have fun.

The most visibly contemptuos is the immigration issue. This problem is a Catch-22 for the Republican party. They will lose no matter what the outcome is. If the more radical proposal passed by the House in December were to be signed, then the GOP would lose the Hispanic voting block. If a guest worker program and a path to citizenship is established, then the GOP will lose the right wing vote (OK, not lose, but they will stay home in November while the Democrats sweep).

Unfortunately all that you hear is rhetoric coming from the likes of Rep. Tom Tancredo, (R) Colorado and TV personalities such as Lou Dobbs. They have for the most part very valid points, i.e. Dobbs cry for border security. You should secure your borders before you attempt to reform immigration. Nobody argues that. But that doesn't even begin to address all the problems that are involved. It is very easy to criticize. It is much more difficult to propose solutions or ideas to solve the problems. Closing the border will not be effective until the other factors that induce illegal immigration are addressed. These factors include: economic disparity in Mexico, illegal hiring in the U.S., a legal Immigration process that is so broken down it takes up to 12 years or more to receive a visa. These are only factors relating to the flow of illegal aliens. I have not even begun to mention the problems that relate to the illegal work force already here. These include: inflation, underpaid taxes, and the cost of identifying and processing them. These problems are not even discussed by the Tancredos and Dobbses. Before a real solution or compromise is proposed it is imperative that the public be informed COMPLETELY about what effects a complete overhaul of the system will have. Once the public is aware of it all, then find out what they want as a majority.

Among the essential information that must be explained first is the fact that even with increased border security and fences the illegal flow will not stop 100%. As long as Mexico cannot provide jobs that pay enough, Mexicans will attempt to cross to the U.S. over and over, and eventually they will succeed. Mexico must address its poor economic situation and take care of its people. Second, explain what the cost of identifying and apprehending would be, though there is no way to know how much it will cost since even an accurate number of illegal aliens is not known. You can rest assure that it is in the hundreds of billions. We currently have a huge deficit and are hardly in any position to expend hundreds of billions of dollars. Third, the explosion in inflation in practically every aspect of our lives due to the removal of these lower than minimum wage workers (this is an exploitative practice by the employers that pay these folks almost nothing). Fourth, many of these illegal immigrants have been here so long that they have established roots. Some have kids, wives, etc. Would it be morally right to breakup these families?

Explain these issues and others to the public and then gauge what their desire is. Instead of offering up repetitive critiques and antagonizing rhetoric, propose constructive ideas that address the entire problem, not just the part that panders to political survival (Tancredo). Step up to the plate.

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