Immigration, Legalities and 'weaselly platitudes'
Mark Steyn ponders immigration, pushed to the forefront today by certain activistas, in "No Easy Answers on Immigration Conundrum":
All developed countries have immigration issues, but few conduct the entire debate as disingenuously as America does: The president himself has contributed a whole barrelful of weaselly platitudes, beginning with his line that "family values don't stop at the Rio Grande." True. They don't stop at the 49th parallel either. Or the Atlantic shore. Or the Pacific. So where do family values stop? At the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you're an American and you marry a Canadian or Belgian or Fijian, the U.S. government can take years to process what's supposed to be a non-discretionary immigration application, in the course of which your spouse will be dependent on various transitional-status forms like "advance parole" that leave her vulnerable to the whims of the many eccentric interpreters of U.S. immigration law at the nation's airports and land borders.
Here's another place where family values stops: The rubble of the World Trade Center. Deena Gilbey is a British subject whose late husband worked on the 84th floor: On the morning of Sept. 11, instead of fleeing, he returned to the building to help evacuate his co-workers. A few days later, Mrs. Gilbey receives a letter from the INS noting that as she's now widowed her immigration status has changed and she's obliged to leave the country along with her two children (both U.S. citizens). Think about that: Having legally admitted to the country the terrorists who killed her husband, the U.S. government's first act on having facilitated his murder is to add insult to grievous injury by serving his widow with a deportation order. Why should illegal Mexicans be the unique beneficiaries of a sentimental blather about "family values" to which U.S. immigration is otherwise notoriously antipathetic?
Read the rest.
Immigration certainly needs an overhaul. But it should be done in a way that creates a level playing field at worst, and at best privileges certain people such as someone marrying a citizen or coming to accept a job.
Perhaps that's one way to clear up the "jobs filled by illegals" canard - start there with streamlining that includes registering people who want to immigrate, pairing them with employers, and tracking/interviewing people to see how the transition is working.
It would be a step acceptable by almost everyone.
CP @ GMC.