April 25, 2010

Dear government, fix your broken policies.

There’s been a lot of talk recently concerning the immigration law that was put into place in Arizona. It is repeatedly referred to as an “Anti-Immigrant” law. The frustrating thing concerning this title is that the law is not opposed to immigration. Immigration actually lowers the cost of production. It is beneficial for producers as well as consumers. Immigration has an overall net benefit to society.

What this law opposes is illegal immigration. The laws for immigration are put into place for various reasons. I understand why individuals would want to immigrate to the United States, but do it legally. If someone goes to another country, it is expected that they abide by the laws of that land. Should they choose not to, they should pay some consequence. If I speed 10 miles over the speed limit, I expect to get pulled over, and deal with the consequences of my actions. That being said, if the mere existence of someone in this country is illegal, they should pay the consequence, if caught.

This law provides a way for law enforcement to exercise their authority in ensuring that those who reside in this country have properly obtained privilege to do so. If you don’t like it, go through the process to become a citizen, and pay taxes just like every other citizen in this country. Don’t be mad because your free ticket to live in the United States has expired. Feel fortunate enough that you have had the opportunity to live the quality of life the U.S. offers, and let that be the motivation to do what it takes to become a citizen.

That being said, I do understand the drive for these individuals to take advantage of the opportunity that has previously been presented to them. I am fortunate enough to have been born in this wonderful nation. I also understand it has many flaws. One flaw being the ridiculous process of obtaining citizenship. The process takes entirely too long. In my opinion, it shouldn’t take longer than six months. In many cases, it takes well over ten years. I do not believe it is right to expect someone to wait 10 years to obtain citizenship, when someone else can just walk across a border.

The government knows the economic and political advantages of legalizing illegal immigrants. That is why there has been recent talk of offering amnesty, which would just be a band-aid approach to solving the issue. I don’t believe this is the right answer. In another ten years, we are going to have the same problem. I do think that the current process is broken. Hopefully, the enacting of this law in Arizona will prompt the Federal government to take steps in the right direction, targeting employers of illegal immigrants and not profile individuals, and fix the process that they are responsible for creating.

1 comment:

Larry Eubanks said...

I've not read the Arizona statute, but it seems to me the statute essentially says that Arizona will not allow "sanctuary cities." The idea of a "sanctuary city" is that local government, even when it discovers through legitimate means that a person is apparently in the country illegally, refuses to enforce a federal statute.

It seems to me the status quo in the country today is that the federal government is making weak efforts at best to enforce a federal statute, and many state and local governments are refusing too enforce the same federal statute. Perhaps a good topic for analysis is what are the implications of governments choosing not to enforce statutes? Does such government action bode well or ill for progress and prosperity in the future?