Here are some thoughts on immigration. I still have not saved the world or solved any problems, but it is just my thoughts:
When I first started teaching down on the border, I can remember a law being passed in Texas that we had to teach illegal immigrants – they had a right to an education. I remember thinking, "Wait a minute! If they are illegal and we know it, why are they still here?" It did not make much sense to me then and still does not, but it does not really bother me much either. I figured that if a kid wanted an education, I would give it to him. If a kid does not want an education, I think he should be cut loose. But no, we force them to attend class and disrupt the students wanting an education, watering down our curriculums so that they can pass…Oops! That is my education soapbox. Hmm, maybe if we kicked out the kids who were not interested in getting an education, took away their welfare and unemployment, there would be enough workers for the low-level jobs, and we would not need the immigrants. Gosh, if we could just force them to work like we force them to go to school, it would kill two birds with one stone – improves the education system and does away with our need for illegal aliens in the work force. I bet it would do wonders for our welfare system too.
So what about the illegal alien who is here, working, productive in the community, and not a leach on society? I feel toward these people much as I do for the illegal alien who wants an education – they don’t bother me. I know a few people who fit this description – actually, I have never asked for their green card so I don’t know if the are illegal or not. I do know how hard they work, how pleasant they are, and how loyal they are. These people are not leaches on society. They are not on welfare. Probably, they even have taxes held out of their paychecks, and yet do not receive any benefits of our social security system or other freeloader programs. They may not have a driver’s license or insurance only because they cannot get those things for fear of being sent back to Mexico. It just seems there could be better laws for these people to be here contributing to our workforce. If they are not working, not productive, or being criminals (other than just being here), and a menace to society, they need to go. Too bad we cannot get rid of our own citizens who fit that description. No, instead we feed them and clothe them and pay them not to work. We force education on them with silly laws about staying in school even though you have serious criminal records…Oops! Wrong soapbox again.
Having lived on the Texas-Mexico border, I can tell you that it is difficult to tell the illegal aliens from the US citizens. Just because someone does not speak English or "English as a first language" does not make him illegal. By the way, English is not the official language of the USA. So yes, our government does spend money to print documents, voting ballots, and such in other languages. Many of my Mexican students worked harder at learning English than my legal students did. The legals have been here for generations, they know the system, and they know they can get along without learning English (there is that other soapbox again).
I also know that much has changed since I lived down on the border. There does need to be tighter control on the border. It has always been way too easy for people to enter the US. For the safety of all Americans this needs to be dealt with now. Who knows who is coming in to our country? Border gangs are a big problem. Property is stolen or destroyed, and there has been many kidnappings along the border (sounds like terrorism). It seems to me that we should be way more concerned with our southern neighbors than we have been. We should have lots more control rather than throwing money at problems that are not improving. Why we send our men to fight across the ocean when our own backyard is in trouble, I don’t understand. When living on the border, I often thought that for a big powerful country like the USA, we sure did not have much pull South of the Border. Why is that?
My husband said a few things that were interesting. He said the immigration problems reminded him of Prohibition days – that we had created an illegal market causing lots of riff-raff and other problems in our country. He also used the word "order" several times while speaking of the immigration problem. That makes sense. We need order brought to our borders. Existing laws need to be enforced. Property and people need to be protected. People who want to work and be good citizens should be able to do so. Also reading back through my thoughts, it seems that our welfare system and our education system are bigger problems than immigration. We got a lot to fix.