Column - It is time for realistic immigration reform in the US
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 23:05
The issue of immigration is one that has stirred much controversy, especially in recent years.
Some make the argument that America is a land of immigrants, and to chastise anyone for pursuing a better life for their families is wrong and hypocritical, which is true.
Others claim America simply cannot house "the tired, poor huddled masses" any longer. There isn’t enough room, and jobs are scarce, which is an argument that is also true.
But the ultimate truth is there are 11.5 million illegal aliens in the United States, according to Reuters. Because of this, there is an unbelievable amount of tax dollars not being paid by illegal aliens as well as the billions of dollars spent on social programs aimed toward tax-paying Americans that are used by many illegal aliens, such as public schools, welfare and housing programs.
It is not fair to honest U.S. citizens to allow any illegal aliens to receive benefits that are provided for and paid by our taxpayers.
But we should not round them up like animals and send them back from whence they came.
The most logical and realistic solution would be to entice the immigrants who are already here to come forward and become citizens. They are already here; why not let them pay taxes?
It is not efficient to find and deport every illegal alien in our country, especially when they are entering as quickly as they are being sent out.
Resources should be used to block every inch of the U.S. border to stop further illegal immigration, but not to harass those already here and to increase racial bigotry and hatred, as other immigration policies have previously done.
In 2010, the state of Arizona passed an anti-immigration bill that required all aliens to carry documentation stating they were in the state legally and also gave authorities the power to search anyone who is a potential illegal immigrant.
The legislation proved to be controversial because many were fearful of civil rights violations. Just because the majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic doesn’t mean that the majority of Hispanic-Americans are illegal immigrants.
And to question someone’s citizenship on the basis of his or her ethnicity is a clear civil rights violation.
While the Arizona law does have good intentions, it should not be an example to follow.
Treating illegal immigrants like animals will not encourage them to attempt the process of citizenship. It will only encourage bigotry and will keep the illegal immigrants in the shadows.
The U.S. would benefit much more by granting amnesty to current illegal immigrants, which would increase tax revenue, and concentrating on securing our borders.
It is hard to believe with all of the technology and resources of the United States we can not stop unwanted trespassers from crossing our borders.
One of the aspects of the Arizona law that is effective is the punishment of employers who hire illegal workers. This doesn’t violate anyone’s civil rights and will deter illegal immigrants from entering our country.
Illegal aliens in our country must be working somewhere, so there are others, not just the immigrants themselves, to blame.
If they entered our country and couldn’t find a job, they would not come in the first place.
But the cold fact is many of the illegal aliens are here to stay.
Government officials can search and deport as many as they can find, but all that would do is spend a lot of tax dollars with little return.
Alabama governor Robert Bentley has recently made an effort to improve his state’s controversial immigration legislation, but has only made changes that will help business owners who unintentionally hire illegal help.
His proposed improvements do not change the legislation’s aim of racial profiling.
It seems legislation such as the ones in Arizona and Alabama are more effective at banning Hispanics in general than they are at banning illegal immigrants.
While most don’t want to admit it, there isn’t much we can do about the millions who are here illegally.
Let’s come up with a viable solution to the immigration debate that doesn’t spread bigotry and hate and that actually increases tax revenue. Allowing illegal aliens who are already here to become citizens would do just that.