Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Immigration "Debate"

The thudding sound you hear in the background is me once again beating the dead horse of immigration reform.

The Senate this week is engaged in "open debate" on this critical issue. I'm reminded of this passage from the Bible (Ecclesiastes 10: 12-14):

The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

The senators are not voting on a piece of legislation, they are simply fulminating and putting forward many plans, some worthy of serious discussion and some useless except as pandering to one or another political constituency. And all are probably a waste of time, because none will fully meet Donald Trump's "four pillars" of immigration reform as spelled out in his State of the Union speech:

A path to citizenship for the "dreamers;"

A fully secure border, including "a great wall on the Southern border;"

An end to the visa lottery program; and,

An end to "chain migration."

Of course, one of the biggest roadblocks in the way of immigration reform is Donald Trump himself, because of his insistence on a useless border wall and a constant shifting of the goalposts of what he'll actually support.

As you know - because I have reminded you ad nauseam - I have proposed what I believe is a fair, rational, and workable plan for immigration reform, which I have provided to my Senators and my Representative. I also sent an earlier version to then-President Obama, although I haven't bothered to send it to Mr Trump, because there's not much point. All have thanked me for my interest in this vital topic, then evidently folded my plan into a tight square and used it to level the table on which they are piling other approaches.

Sadly, I believe the rational discussion train sailed long ago. A reasonable debate on the issue is hardly possible when both sides are busy pandering to their noisiest and most unreasonable extremes.

I agree that we need secure borders, but believe a wall is a useless waste of resources. I believe we should place reasonable restrictions on immigration numbers and reasonable requirements (for instance, a security check, a minimum education level, and possession of useful skills) for those who wish to come here. I also believe that one of America's great strengths is the diversity of its population and its welcoming of those who want to embrace American ideals.

And I hope all of that is reflected in the Congressional debate ... but I'm not holding my breath.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Mike said...

You need to send your plan to the Times. They might print it as an editorial.

allenwoodhaven said...

I'm not holding my breath either but it's theorictically possible they could do something right.