Sunday, March 26, 2006

Emotional Immigration Debate

Thousands of people took to the streets in the US over the weekend to protest the proposed Immmigration bill(s) that will be debated in Congress this week.

Bloggers like Powerline and Mickey Kaus believe that the size of the protests will actually lead to a more aggressive attempt to get the legislation passed.

A few proffered opinions on immigration:

1. There is a profound national security aspect to this debate; the ability to move personnel who would do us harm, weapons, or material in support of terrorism across our porous borders is an issue that should have been addressed right after September 11, if not earlier.

2. If continued unchecked at the current rates, illegal immigration over the long term could have an impact on the quality of life here in America for many Americans, particularly in cities and areas that absorb a large population of people who contribute marginally to the tax base yet require increasingly strained social services (medical, education, etc). My guess is that this particular problem is at its worst in the Southwest United States.

3. The democrats are speaking out strongly against this type of legislation, but I can't believe ALL democrats believe hardline immigration reform is a bad deal; after all, I doubt that many illegal migrant workers pay any union dues.

4. This issue is too important to the socioeconomic future of the United States to be framed as a racist/ethnocentric rant. The reason that people should care about this issue is not because they are afraid of changes in the character of their neighborhood; they should care about it because their economic infrastructure can only handle so many people, and that infrastructure grows incrementally. If allowed to continue unchecked, there are entire regions of the United States that would be on the precipice of total collapse.

So yes, people are in the streets and are shouting about illegal immigration; hopefully people will be talking about the issue intelligently come monday.

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