Watching Hardball's ninth anniversary show with Chris Matthew as I type this. Pat Buchanan and some Republican I've never heard of just got done talking over one another about illegal immigration.
I never thought I would find myself agreeing with the likes of Pat Buchanan, a true bigot who sickens me on many levels, but I do so on this particular issue.
Buchanan is advocating enforcing existing anti-illegal immigration laws and going after employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens with fines and jail time. I couldn't agree more.
This may sound surprising coming from a flaming liberal such as myself, but is it too much to ask that our own government honor the hard work and sacrifices of millions of legal immigrants to this country by doing everything in the realm of legality to ensure our laws are enforced and illegal invaders repelled?
It's like this; this country was built by immigrants, people who came to America legally to work legally and to legally become citizens of the United States. I'm talking about the Slavs, the Irish, the Chinese and other Asian nationals, Eastern and Western Europeans, Middle Eastern, African, and yes even Central and South Americans.
All of whom came here to start life anew legally. They came, assimilated into the culture and learned the language, at least their children did. That's what my great-grandparents did. And it's what millions of Americans' great-grandparents, grandparents and contemporaries did and continue to do. Why should we spit on their memory and the work of today's legal immigrants by offering amnesty and guest-worker status to foreign invaders?
I am not trying to denigrate the desperation that drives millions of Central and South Americans to risk their lives trying to cross the desert along our Southern borders and across the Gulf of Mexico. I can only imagine how shitty life must be for them in their own countries--rife with political corruption, oppression, drugs, death and crime. That's what happens in impoverished nations and it is only natural to want to escape it by any means necessary.
But we can't just allow people to come into our country breaking our laws and taking jobs that ought to go to American citizens both natural-born and naturalized, and people who have come here legally to become citizens.
George W. Bush is supposed to be enforcing the laws currently on the books to keep out illegal aliens. But he won't do it, because it's a growing source of cheap labor for his base--major corporations. Congress should force Bush to enforce our laws, but it won't because it too is beholden to corporate interests that want cheap labor they don't have to pay wages we Americans expect and demand under the law.
I agree with Buchanan, we need to go after those businesses that knowingly hire illegals and make high-profile examples of them. Try, convict and sentence them; force CEOs to pay heavy personal fines, and seek prison sentences for those who repeatedly refuse to comply with the law. And if some corporate asshole decides to try and punish his American workers with layoffs after being fined for employing illegals, then toss him in jail and throw away the key.
Sure, we may end up paying a tiny bit extra at the checkout counter at Wal-Mart. But it needs to be done, because Americans are losing their jobs to invaders and their facilitators who have no respect for our laws.
Once businesses realize we are serious about the issue, that they have something major to lose for hiring illegals, then I think you'll see illegal immigration level off and eventually decline. Once those invaders realize they're not going to get jobs here because their reason for coming here illegally has gone, they'll be forced to clean up their own nations and improve the conditions therein or else go somewhere else looking for work. And we can help them reform their own countries if need be, so they don't feel the need to break our laws and invade our country.
I do disagree with Buchanan on one point; I don't think building a wall will work because the desert kills thousands of illegals daily and so does the sea--Elian Gonzales's mother and every other stupid motherfucker that crowded onto that leaky boat in 2000 are good examples. People desperate enough to risk death to come here will find a way into the country. Only by cutting off their incentive to come here illegally will stem the tide. And in the meantime, we can take a serious second look at the restrictiveness of our immigration laws and--perhaps--reform them.
I know some people will think me horribly racist for saying all this. If you, dear reader, are one of those people then I have only one thing to say: fuck you.