Cleveland: Keeping Christmas at Home
Ramona: The War on Happy Holidays
Richard Day: Cold in Minnesota, and in the Hearts of Men
Actually, I don't mean brilliant politics here. It may be. But I really mean brilliant ethics. There is no doubt in my mind that people who came to the United States as children, who were raised here and work here and who consider this their culture, not should be allowed to stay.
This is a personal issue for me. I know an 18 year old in this situation. I will, naturally be vague about the details. This person came to the United States at age 2 and graduated from a public high school here. This person is as American as anyone I know, except by accident of birthplace. This person has no emotional connection to Mexico and, if sent back there, would live culturally as a foreigner.
Did this person's parents break U.S. immigration laws? Yes. Do I care? Not really. We don't hold children responsible for the decisions of their parents. Also, I don't think that they should be deported either.
Indeed, I'd go much farther than the president. I would make the child a citizen rather than give them renewable work permits in perpetuity. I would not the child eligible for deportation should they commit a crime. I would extend to them all of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
I understand that this is unfair to those who apply for residency in the U.S. through normal channels. I understand that a line is being jumped. But I do not think that the sanctity of that line is as important as the individual circumstances of this child.
To me, blanket immigration amnesty merely admits that we've been living for years on the labor of these "illegal" fellow citizens and that we have to stop. What about the unemployed people who were born here? The truth is, it makes no difference. The 12 million people living and working illegally in the United States are not going to be deported, en masse. Not only can the government not figure out how to do that, the public would never stand for it. There would be too many individual injustices for the public to face.
Also, I don't see how removing 12 million productive people from the economy will do anything for America's unemployed. This is not going to bring those lost construction jobs back. This is not going to revitalize American manufacturing. We'd be better off keeping these people, putting them on the books, getting them market salaries, expanding our tax base and expanding the aggregate consumer demand that creates jobs in the first place.
But, the line! These people jumped the line! It's true. Sometimes that's how you get ahead in life. I think that these people are very brave. I've veered away from the core issue, though. I don't see how anyone can disagree with Obama's decision regarding minors who accompanied their parents to America. How can you tell those Americans to go back to a home they never knew?