Thursday, December 15, 2005

Secure Borders

I don’t agree with Barack Obama on very many issues, but immigration reform is one area that we see eye-to-eye on.  At least, I think so.  Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what a politician is really trying to say.

When Congress last addressed this issue comprehensively in 1986, there were approximately four million illegal immigrants living here. Today, it is estimated there are more than 11 million. We are a generous and welcoming people, but those who enter our country illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of law. And because we live in an age where terrorists are challenging our borders, we simply cannot allow people to pour into the U.S. undetected, undocumented and unchecked. Americans are right to demand better border security and better enforcement of the immigration laws.
To begin with, the agencies charged with border security require new technology, new facilities and more people to stop, process and deport illegal immigrants. But while security might start at our borders, it doesn't end there. Millions of illegal immigrants live and work here without our knowing their identity or background. That's why we need a guest-worker program to replace the flood of illegals with a regulated stream of legals who enter the U.S. after checks and with access to labor rights. This would enhance our security, raise wages and improve working conditions for all Americans.
You can’t stop the flood of immigrants by making it illegal to immigrate.  Only by making it easier for people that have a legitimate interest in coming to America can you ensure that the tide of illegal crossings are eased.  If the guest worker program includes little or no quotas on immigration – I am all for it.

I also have no inherent issue with securing the borders.  Once it is easy for people that want to come to the US to work the only people crossing the borders illegally are those with ill intent.  I’m not even sure that extra money for this endeavor is necessary though.  If illegal crossings decrease it should become easier to detect illegal crossings.

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