Archive | June 2013

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

This is my first non-spiritual blog entry so please be kind.

I am the great grandson of immigrants. My great grandfather immigrated to the United States in 1919. He brought his wife with him from Lithuania and they settled in the South Shore of Massachusetts. He bought a farm (with what money???, I have no idea) my great grandfather worked the farm in the evenings and he and his wife worked full-time (days) in shoe factories when they used to make shoes in Massachusetts. (There was once a time when Brockton Massachusetts was the Shoe Capital of the World.) He had no skills (could not work any job outside the farm unless the job was well formed.) He had very little literacy. He was self-educated. But making shoes, growing crops, and raising livestock did create wealth.

That was then and this is now.

Our current crop of undocumented workers (or if you prefer, illegal immigrants) come here with the same skills, literacy, and education that my great grandfather had. Problem is, this isn’t 1919. It might be the industrial age in China but here in the United States, we are in the information age. There aren’t as many well paying, well formed, labor jobs for your uneducated, unskilled, illiterate, (albeit hard-working) immigrant. And they aren’t going to find that much land that they can afford to buy for farming. And cleaning pools, mowing lawns, cleaning houses, trimming hedges, flipping burgers, and nannying children does not create wealth.

In short, this doesn’t work. So why are we doing this to ourselves? Is this just politics?

I started thinking about that and then I starting asking other questions. How does Canada handle immigration? Well, you basically have to have needed skills or money or you can forget it What about Australia? You’ll need a background check and a bachelors degree.

So what gives? Why would these other first world nations put so many barriers up to prevent immigration? Why don’t they just grant amnesty to all their illegals the way we appear to be doing? (As I’m sure, they have them just like the United States.) Why make it so difficult? Are they just being…. (dare I say it) …racist?

Or perhaps, they are being smart?

Why would a first world nation (with massive social safety nets and subsidies) simply choose to give citizenship (and all the benefits that entails) to people who (although very hard-working) simply lack the skills and education to create any wealth? I mean does anyone actually believe that these 11,000,000 undocumented workers, is there any real chance that this could be a net-positive economic boost for the United States of America? And if not, why would we do this?

This isn’t 1919. We don’t have those shoe factories in Brockton anymore.