What DO We Do About All Those Illegals? Remember the Alamo!
By: Warner Todd Huston
In much of Europe when Muslims immigrate they rarely become â€œEuropeanâ€ citizens, but stay Muslims who just happened to come to Europe. This isnâ€™t just a cultural bias of the Muslims who would rather congregate amongst those of their own â€œkindâ€, either — though that certainly has something to do with it. It is also one often forced upon them in varying degrees by the laws and customs of the different countries to which they immigrate.
In fact, in many European countries one is not necessarily considered a citizen even if born there. This means that many Muslims who were born in Denmark, for instance, can still be considered â€œimmigrantsâ€ after two and three generations.
This is one of the contributing reasons that Muslims in Europe do not integrate into European society and end up isolated in blocks of poor, angry, disenfranchised communities ripe for exploitation by radical Islamists. And it is taking its toll on Europe as we speak.
In the USA, it is estimated that between 7 and 12 million illegal immigrants have entered the USA, the large bulk of them from Mexico. We all know this is a problem. Even Mexican citizens who have officially become naturalized US citizens agree that it is out of control.
US politicians seem to be stymied as to what to do about it all. The situation is fraught with so much political peril that many just want to put their heads in the sand and wish it would all go away. The problem is also horribly misunderstood by the average citizen many of whom wonder why we cannot just â€œget rid of them allâ€?
Of course our immigration laws are important and must be enforced. But I want to use an example to explain why we are past the simple enforcement of our immigration laws, an example that views it from the other side — Americans invading Mexico.
Remember the Alamo? That war between the Mexican army and US settlers in Texas before it was a state in the Union? Well, that whole fight occurred in 1836 because of an invasion of American settlers into Mexican territory. But it was not a hostile invasion, at lest not at first. It wasnâ€™t an invasion because Mexico invited the American settlers into their Tejas territories.
Mexico wanted to create a buffer zone between the United States of America and their more consolidated territories further south so they actively encouraged Americans to move into their mostly empty Tejas country. They asked them to convert to Catholicism and told them their slaves were not legal there, but Mexican authorities really didnâ€™t waste much pain trying to enforce these immigration laws on their new settlers.
As a result, the Americans who came to Texas did what ever they wanted to do knowingly violating Mexican law. And then, when the Mexican authorities belatedly tried to take control of their Tejas territories, it came to a shooting war. After all, the American settlers had been doing what ever they wanted to do for decades and had come to the assumption that they were being allowed to do so regardless of the law since they had been doing it for so long. At some point the settlers decided their â€œrightsâ€ were being violated by Mexico even though it was Mexican territory upon which they settled.
In the end, Mexico lost everything and was destined to do so from the minute they let their laws fall into disuse and disrespect. Especially when they tried to correct the problem with military force.
Today, we are in a reverse situation as that in 1836 and we could face dire problems just as did Santa Anna and his hapless government.
We have allowed millions of illegal Mexicans to flood across our border, have allowed them to establish lasting ties to this country, have allowed their children to go to schools, have given them jobs, and have even taxed them and placed them into our entitlement programs as if they were legal citizens.
So, at this late a date, how do we turn around and tell them that they need to get out? Do we expect them to just meekly tuck their tails between their legs and go on home despite all they have built here? And what if they resist? Do we round them all up and forcibly ship them home?
Here we come to too many natural born Americanâ€™s silly assumption that we could do just that. Why not? They are illegal; they are breaking the law, right? Letâ€™s just get rid of them!
As I said, the numbers we are talking about seem to be nearly 12 million people. How exactly do we export more people than live in some whole states? It is just impossible. The statistics it would entail, the billions of dollars it would cost, makes such a plan just impossible to effect. And, remember, they are spread out all across the entire country not all conveniently holed up in one easily controlled region.
Some posit that if we just force employers who employ illegal aliens to fire them that they will surely go home, as they would have no jobs here to sustain them. Again, you are talking going after 12 million people! How many immigration officials do you think it would take to comb through the business of every state the country over to eliminate up to 12 million workers? It would take several million more than we have to do that job, Iâ€™d hazard.
Further, since work is always found anyway, what incentive do these people have to go back to Mexico even if we do eliminate their current job? Conditions for immigrants in the US are far better even at their worst than they are in Mexico! Plus, if these people have children, those kids are automatic citizens and will do far better than they could in Mexico. It cannot be ignored that even Mexican parents want their kids to have all the best opportunities and are willing to do with less themselves to achieve that end.
I am sorry, but merely â€œenforcing our lawsâ€ is no solution at all. It is far too late to turn to laws that have practically been ignored for 30 years and act as if they are adequate to deal with the current situation.
We do have some solutions, however.
Amnesty Of A Sort
It isnâ€™t popular and I am loath to offer it, myself. But, we just do not have a choice. These people are here in the millions, they have built lives, had kids and become part of the landscape of the USA. We are stuck with this due to past government inaction, a monumental failure to enforce immigration laws. We have no way to be rid of them. We must, therefore, make them citizens upon application and investigation of their current lives. If they are productive citizens, make them legal. Certainly we should make being illegal a felony, and we should retain the right to ship any undeserving immigrant home, but we just have no physical ability to get rid of them all.
Seal the border. Immigration is an important aspect of the strength of the US. But only with Mexico have we seen an uncontrolled immigration, free of any government stricture. In the past we always had some control over those who arrived at our shores. We must have that control once more so we need to establish a controlled southern border. If we have to build a fence or have stepped up military patrols, then we must do it. But we cannot allow the border to remain as hopelessly porous as we have allowed it to become.
Guest Worker Programs
To solve the need of future Mexicans immigrating coming into the USA we need a viable guest worker program one that tracks and identifies immigrants sufficiently.
We also need to overhaul our naturalization process. I know a young man born in Germany, but was brought here as a 3-year-old boy. Upon reaching 12 years of age he began to file his request to become a naturalized US citizen, as the US is all he ever knew. He finally got his papers when he turned 23. Such a wait is just plain absurd.
I would like to point out that Mexicans in general are exactly the kind of people that make good American citizens. They are Christian, family minded and industrious at work for the most part. Their ethic fits in quite well with traditional American values. The only thing they bring with them here is a distrust of government as the government in Mexico is so hopelessly corrupt. It is a mistrust they wonâ€™t soon lose and will have it redirected toward the US government if we do not handle this situation properly.
So, going back to the Muslim analogy, we do not want to keep our Mexican immigrant community in the role of second-class citizen, forever to be denied all the benefits and duties of a true US citizen, like Europe does to their Muslims. In so doing we risk leaving an underclass, teeming with resentment and ripe for some future Mexican radical ideology to inflame organizing into an enemy within.
We are a country built upon immigration. Successful waves of immigrants are the backbone of our nation. There is no reason to doubt that successful strategy now. And, even though we have allowed this situation to get out of hand, there is no reason we cannot sensibly fix it now.
But we are fast running out of time.