Monday, May 01, 2006

My Two Cents On Immigration

I don't often post on current issues. Partly this is because I don't feel terribly strongly that there is a right and a wrong side to many issues. But it disturbs me when I hear people say that we have to keep the status quo on immigration because without the illegal immigrants, various industries (food, garment, etc.) would not be able to produce their goods cheaply enough.

I seem to recall the antebellum South saying the same thing about slave labor. Enter the cotton gin.

It says a lot about people, that they would claim to support hardworking immigrants who would immigrate legally if they could only figure out how, and also support a system whereby they are continually oppressed and condemned to a quasi-American sub-life.

Personally, I think the entire system needs to be totally redesigned from bottom to top, in such a way that people can do their own immigration paperwork without having to hire a lawyer. I also think that, sadly, what we'll get is an ineffective patchwork quilt of half measures, fig leaves that only conceal what they ought to support.

If I were empress (vote for me for empress!) I would have an application of no more than five pages for Guest Worker status, and Guest Worker status would be a sort of lease with an option to buy at the end of three to five years. If you decide to stay and become a citizen, your Guest Worker years would count toward your naturalization, and if you decide to leave, you can't come back for a year. You fill out your paperwork, get a background check, and you're in. You don't get any welfare, though, unless you're a citizen. Something like that. I obviously don't have all the details worked out; this is because it's not my job to do so, it's my job to keep Sonshine and Bagel from knocking over all the garbage cans in the house.