Sunday, August 9, 2009

Illegal Immigration

I've been a strong advocate for quite some time for a more liberal immigration policy. I understand the concerns about having open borders, and I share some of those concerns. Open borders, as I'll show in a moment from our past history, can be disastrous. What is ironic in the debate is that many of those who are opposed to an open borders policy speak of history in glowing terms when a similar policy led to the near annihilation of a native people and their culture.

I am speaking of course of when white Europeans entered North America to explore new lands. From Columbus on, those European elitists proceeded to enter a land that had no borders (i.e., open borders) except those recognized by the aboriginal people. History shows us that initially the white Europeans were largely welcomed by quite a number of those original Americans. As time went on, however, they became less and less welcome.

We all know the story. White Europeans became Americans who "conceived a nation in liberty," while at the same time transporting huge numbers of Africans to our shores - Africans who had been forcibly removed from their continent by Muslim slave traders, sold to European merchants (who specialized in human cargo), and brought to the Americas to be slaves. Within the first 300 years of European settlement, slavery became the existence of virtually all people of color.

About the same time as American Indians were being imprisoned on reservations, whites were fighting battles to "liberate" huge portions of the Southwest from the Mexican people, who had been the original native people in that geographical region. They had previously been terrorized and then lorded over by the Spaniards and the French, white Europeans who invaded and conquered their land. After Mexico gained independence from those overlords; California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas were stolen from them and made a part of the United States of America. They were pushed back across an imaginary border created by the white Europeans who had come across those formerly open borders with abandon. The control of the land became that of the "illegal immigrants" of that era. The original inhabitants were no longer welcome.

Yet today, whites from across America decry the "illegal immigration" of these Mexican Natives, who sneak across that man-made border, into a land that formerly belonged to them. So-called free market capitalists speak ignorantly of basic economics in claiming that these illegal immigrants are "taking our jobs." Rather than dismantle the failing welfare state, they bemoan the fact that these undocumented workers are receiving government benefits, supposedly only worthy to be received by underprivileged Americans.

These Americans forget the language found on the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your poor…" "Not at my expense," they cry! "Keep the bastards out!" How soon they forget that just a few short generations ago, it was their ancestors that entered the United States hoping for a better life. And while some of these more recent immigrants speak of how our unfair immigration system is keeping their own family members locked out even today; rather than calling for a more liberal entrance policy, they demand that we "protect our borders." Why not liberalize and allow the people of color in, as well as those Europeans who desire to get in but cannot.

I love America. I love what she became after the sordid history of the first several centuries: A country where immigrants could start their own business on the local street corner, selling just about anything they desired and could find a market for. Today, those same people are told that, without a business license and several trees worth of contractual paper, they would not be allowed to practice free enterprise.
We have forgotten where we have come from. We have forgotten who was here first. We need to remember that in spite of some people who immigrate here doing evil, most who come here do good, even if they came illegally. Having lost nearly 50 million Americans to abortion in the past 36 years, we now worry about what an additional 12 million workers will do to our economy. A basic understanding of economics tells us that the more people who participate in an economy, the bigger the pie that is created to be shared. Working people do not take away from the pie, they create a bigger one.

Let's find a way to welcome our Mexican neighbors back to their original homeland. Let's allow them to participate in our economy, and become a blessing to our society. Let's rid our society of the welfare state, with its propensity for fraud, rather than blaming the people who come here looking for work. Let's replace that welfare system with a charitable system that can help provide for the disenfranchised, no matter which side of the border they are from.

Let's remember how we white Americans were welcomed here, and how we stabbed our new neighbors in the back, took their land and sent them to prisons called reservations. Let's instead find ways to rectify these wrongs, as we've done with black Americans. Let us return to the ideals of America, where everyone is created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. If we do that, we would do well.

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