Sunday, June 15, 2008

Explaining the amnesty problem

I’m always looking for ways to explain immigration problems. It seems that conventional wisdom these days follows along the lines that the “undocumented” are a problem in our country.

And that we ought to "seal" the border.

And that we haven’t put enough employers in jail for hiring the “undocumented.”

And that we ought to figure out a way to deal with the 12 million people who are here already. Deportation is not an option, they say.

That notion has its roots in the White House itself. Bush is on record as saying NO to any mass deportation because, “That ain’t gonna work.” (He can be so eloquent sometimes.)

So people are willing to admit there is a problem and talk about it. But you have to be careful.

My first rule is this: Do NOT use the word “Amnesty”. It is always better to say “Legalization.” Again, we can thank Bush for that one, though he’s never explained the difference very well.

Now, here’s the analogy. It is a bad idea to give a high school diploma to someone who can’t read or write. Why?
1) It rewards him in spite of the fact that he didn’t do the required work.
2) It cheapens the diploma of everyone who earned one.
3) It sends a message to his younger brothers and sisters at home that they too can get a diploma without doing the work.
4) Someday, somewhere the reason for the diploma requirements will become apparent.

Some will still say that it is impractical to round up 12 million people (don’t tell them that the 12 million number is a very low estimate) and send them home.

I explain that every hostess knows that when the food and booze run out the party will disperse. It is a matter of magnets and deterrents. When you remove the reasons they come here and push back by calling attention to their trespassing, they will go home.

There are early indications that the very miniscule efforts we’ve made in the past year or two are actually paying off. Imagine how many would self-deport if we got serious.

And I always end my discussion asking them what they suggest. Very few are in favor of open borders AKA allowing anyone who wishes to come here to do so. When you explain the current situation and what we’ve tried that hasn’t worked, simply ask them for a better idea.

They usually talk about legalization and you need to press them on the matter. Ask, “What did we do wrong in 1986?” “How would you do it differently?” And the clincher, “How does your idea deter future generations who also want to escape the Third World?”

No comments:

Post a Comment