Immigration and America

December 2018: I read this essay and added commentary for Editor's Break 117 of the EVC podcast.

These United States of America were built entirely by immigrants and their descendants. Every non-native American citizen owes, in some respect, the blessing that is his life here to his immigrant ancestors. Because of this, it is surprising to me to see so many Americans take the stand they do against those wanting so much to partake of America's goodness that they risk their lives to obtain it. While I don't believe that anybody has the right to disobey our immigration laws and expect to get off scot-free, I recognize that illegally immigrating into this country is not a felony, rather a misdemeanor. As such, I here outline what I believe to be the best way to handle the current immigration problem in four phases:

Phase One – National Security

I believe that national security is the most important function of the federal government. And in my opinion, secure borders, north, south, east, and west, are vital to protecting ourselves and our sovereignty. The first phase in handling the current immigration problem is securing the border. This should be done by any number of effective ways from increasing the number of border patrol agents to building a border wall to video surveillance with illegal migrant apprehension. I support all of these so long as they are done humanely. I also believe this must be accomplished before moving on to phases two and three. Failure to secure the border will show similar results to the immigration reform in the eighties, an increase in illegal immigration.

Phase Two – Illegal Immigrants in America

Like it or not the 12-20 million illegal immigrants living in America are parts of our society. They, those that work hard, the super-majority in my opinion, are also economic assets to this country. I believe it would do great damage to our economy if policies were put into place to seek out and deport these millions of illegal immigrants. Measures should be taken to fine them, as all misdemeanors require, and help them obtain permission to work and stay here legally. Immigrants who take the jobs most people would rather not have always been an important part to the American economy and these immigrants are no different. Deporting them is not the answer and would not produce the good fruit that helping them obtain legal status would. If any undocumented immigrants are guilty of a felony, I support in full their deportation, as they are not contributing to the progress of our society.

Phase Three – Restructure America's Immigration Policy

I believe that our immigration policy should be restructured so as to make it easier for hard-working immigrants to come from all over the world to these United States and contribute to our economy, our society, and in paying taxes. Quotas should be expanded or abolished while at the same time making it cheaper to obtain required documentation to immigrate here legally. Those that are currently immigrating illegally, for example from Mexico, are from among the poorest the country has to offer. Why do they do it illegally instead of legally? Because the lines are too long and the cost too high for them to afford. It is more realistic for them to risk their lives by coming here illegally and staying illegally than it is to do it legally, because of our current immigration policy. As I said, I believe that immigrants are economic assets. This is because they will take jobs nobody else wants and do it cheaper than anybody else would. This makes goods and services cheaper to produce and benefits society through lower prices, at the same time keeping jobs in America. If a country's own policies are pushing their citizens, usually hard-working citizens, out, then they don't deserve them and America should welcome them.

Phase Four – Assimilation

Immigrants from each generation that built America have brought with them the best their cultures had to offer, and combined that with the best America has to offer through the process of assimilation. This is a foundational part of preserving American culture, which is in reality a combination of the best parts of every culture in the world. Central to assimilation, however, is learning America's unifying language: English. Governments and society should encourage immigrants to learn the English language instead of making it easier for them to live here without it. I believe that one of the ways that these United States of America will stay united is through a unified means of communication. English is rightfully called the universal language because of America's influence in the world. And those wishing to become a part of American society should learn and use America's language, English.

These phases, I believe, are what are best for America. I would like to see our government implement policies that would first, secure the border, second, compassionately deal with our illegal immigrant population, third, restructure our immigration policy, and fourth, encourage assimilation into American culture.