THE ANSWER TO THE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION PROBLEM (Commentary, Sept 24, 2010)

On last week’s show, I had on columnist and author DB Grady. He’s always a great guest and a lot of fun to talk to.

 I also had a listener call in, Aja, and the three of us had a very interesting chat about illegal immigration, its root causes, the human aspect of the problem, and what can really be done about it.

During this chat, I think I had an epiphany on this issue.

It’s not about troops on the border. It’s not about more helicopters and ICE agents and Border patrol. All of those things might help.

Well, except for troops on the border. That’s a bad idea for more reasons than I have time to discuss right now.

Anyway, last week, during the discussion, it hit me in a way that perhaps it never had before that we can slow illegal immigration to almost nothing by simply enforcing the laws we have.

But that’s not the epiphany.

The main thing we as Americans have to do is just stop hiring them, and they’ll stop coming.

But that’s not the epiphany, either. Here’s the epiphany:

Illegal immigration is not a real crisis. It’s mostly a manufactured crisis, and has been for years. Even decades. And it’s the Conservatives’ fault.

Well no, that’s not exactly right. The Democrats have been enablers. In most cases their hearts are in the right place,  but they’ve failed to speak out and call it like it is. They’ve failed to push the issue.

I sometimes think that the Democratic Party symbol is more properly a jellyfish than a donkey, until such time as vertebrates show up once more among Democrats, and become standard issue among Democrats when dealing with the Rightwing.

But the enablers aren’t the perpetrators.

It’s the Republican Party, the Conservatives, the Libertarians and the Tea partiers. THEY’RE the reason that we have so much illegal immigration into this country.

About now, your jaw may have dropped. Your head may be shaking. You might be thinking I’m nuts and what have I been smoking.

You may be asking, “Those guys…?” – who for convenience sake I’m going to refer to as the C-T-P-L-GOP for Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians and GOP – “…the CTPLGOP are where I attach the blame for most of our illegal immigration?”

Yup, but you have to follow my logic on this before you get me the white coat.

The CTPLGOP is always preaching incentives. Incentives for business, incentives for saving, incentives to live a healthier life, incentives to obey the law, incentives for hiring … Aaaaahhh. Incentives for hi-i-i-i-r-i-i-i-ing.

Well, what greater incentive is there for illegal immigrants to immigrate, if not for jobs and money they can’t get in their own countries?

The CTPLGOP is always the Law & Order group. Obey the law! Zero tolerance! Build more prisons if you have to!

So by that logic, anyone who doesn’t obey the law should be prosecuted. No exceptions, right?

The CTPLGOP is always asking for more agents for ICE — Immigration and Customs Enforcement — so that more illegals can be rounded up and deported.

Well, here’s where it starts to get interesting… Because you see, when the illegals are busted, the bosses should be busted, too. After all, who hired them? Who created the job incentives that brought the illegals to this country?

How often can employers plead ignorance and good faith efforts in avoiding the hiring of illegals, especially when it’s usually a large group and not just 1 or 2? How many times does an employer have to get busted before they can be seriously investigated for a pattern of illegal behavior? Shouldn’t “3 strikes” apply to businesses, too?

And then there are the agribusinesses, the yard care companies and landscape companies, the slaughter houses and food processors… They all stay in business by hiring large numbers of illegal immigrants.

Where does all this bring us? What do most of the perpetrators of illegal hiring practices tend to have in common?

It is my belief that most of these perps are voters for, and supporters of,  Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians and Republicans. And – most importantly – these perps are major campaign contributors to these groups

So here’s the other part of my epiphany. If we REALLY want to dramatically reduce illegal immigration, all we need to do is get the people who complain about illegal immigration to demand enforcement of existing laws on law-breaking employers. We just need to enforce the laws we have on the books.

We can start to do that by putting the blame where it belongs. The Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians and Republicans have to be embarrassed enough to come out into the open and demand enforcement on employers. And trust me, that takes a LOT of embarrassment, because many of these folks have no sense of shame.

Enforcement of the existing laws and zero tolerance for illegal hiring. Proportionate and escalating fines for repeat offenders, and ultimately jail and prison time for chronic scofflaws.

Make them responsible. Don’t let these hypocrites hide behind their demands for more border guards and troops and ICE and Border Patrol Agents.

Of course the problem with this approach for the CTPLGOP is that they would be demanding a crackdown on the very people and companies which support them.

Oops!

Illegal immigrants are breaking the law. That’s a fact. But so are illegal employers. The law should be applied equally to all.

Isn’t that always a mantra of the Conservatives, Tea Partiers, Libertarians and GOP? Make them put their policies where their mouths are.

Most of these offenders are their constituents. Let’s continually remind voters of that in November if they REALLY want something done about illegal immigration.

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About ThinkWingRadio

Mike Honig is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He moved to Houston in September of 1977 and has been there ever since. Mike's interests are politics, history, science, science fiction (and reading generally), technology, and almost anything else. Mike has knowledge and experience in many diverse fields, sometimes from having worked in them, and sometimes from extensive reading or discussion about them. Mike's general knowledge makes him a favorite partner in Trivial Pursuit. He likes to say that about most things, he knows enough to be dangerous. Humility is a work-in-progress.

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