Saturday, May 12, 2007

Immigration Reform Again

Yes, it's that time of year again. The trees are in full bloom, summer is coming soon, and Washington politicians are attempting once again to find an immigration solution that will satisfy everyone (from corporate business owners who want cheap, exploitable labor to pro-immigrant rights activists to isolationist xenophobes).

Said the President today (as he said last year as well)-
President Bush, promoting bipartisan immigration talks as they reach a critical stage, said Saturday that Republicans and Democrats are building consensus that could produce a bill this year.

"I am optimistic we can pass a comprehensive immigration bill and get this problem solved for the American people this year," Bush said in his weekly radio address...

Yep. A half-assed political 'compromise' will surely solve our immigration problems forever.

Personally, I support sane enforcement of border and immigration laws-- and that especially means cracking down on businesses who exploit immigrant workers, moreso than punishing the exploited themselves-- while taking steps to encourage legal immigration (raising quotas for granting citizenship to pending immigrants, setting up immigrants with social workers to help them integrate, etc). A guest-worker program is exploitative in nature, so that'd be out for me. We don't need a wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am immigration policy. The earned-citizenship path for those already here is appealing to me (because, sorry, we allowed/encouraged these people to come here, so deporting them now is pure hypocrisy), while also sealing the gaps in the system to keep this problem from resurfacing every 10 or 20 years.

The goal here should be to solve the existing problems, not to demonize immigration.

Of course, true long-lasting reform-- it doesn't have to be exactly what I suggest, but any policy that's more than just a paper tiger-- would upset factions in every one of the groups I mentioned at the beginning, and so we will never get it.

See you next May, everyone.

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