The Honorable Mark Warner and James Webb,
Despite what Presidents Obama and Calderon say, our immigration system is not broken and Arizona’s new law (SB 1070 – please read it before you comment) is not discriminatory or racist. Only a true racist sees racism as a motivation lurking behind every law and measure. Rather than a “fix” for immigration by routing illegal immigrants to legitimacy, I suggest the following:
Make English our official language. Eliminate the use of any foreign language in any United States Government brochure, website, or publication that does not specifically target legal foreign tourists in possession of a visa. Immediately remove the funding for translators and any printing done in any language other than English. This will save untold millions of dollars and cost nothing to implement. It will make it more difficult to hide in this country illegally. Make “press one for English” a thing of the past and replace it with English all the time. If translations are required the free market will step up to fill the gap and put the financial burden on the people who should shoulder it – those who don’t speak English.
Finish the damn fence. Arizona’s current troubles were exacerbated by effective measures to eliminate the flow of illegal immigrants elsewhere. Every place where we have focused efforts to stem the flow of illegal immigrants – it has worked. Close the border. Don’t get conned into any fancy and expensive virtual measures, build the fence. Ditches, walls, and concertina wire work.
Make an unambiguous statement that the only path to citizenship is through a United States Embassy or Consulate abroad. Reinforce that without a valid United States Visa to enter the country a person regardless of desire or circumstance cannot begin the path to citizenship, work permits, or residency documents. That is our law – there will be no exceptions. A person here without a visa would have to leave and go home to get one. You see we have good laws; you just need the courage to enforce them.
Eliminate all government funding to “sanctuary” cities, counties, or States. If local governments can’t follow our laws, they don’t deserve to get any of our money. This will save money as well as these cities tend to be infinitely needier than law abiding communities. The Federal government has done this for other issues in the past, this isn’t anything new.
Don’t get lost in arguments about what to do with the millions of people who are here illegally now. If you do the things that are recommended above, that problem will take care of itself. Those people will tough it out waiting for us to do the unthinkable and provide them with amnesty, however if you remove that hope most of them will go home.
Don’t fall prey to the arguments that these people do work that Americans won’t do. For many that is just a matter of motivation. If there is no one around to make hotel beds or pick strawberries, one of two things will happen: (1) Compensation for hotel workers and fruit pickers will rise, or (2) Some entrepreneur will figure out a way to eliminate the need or automate the process. You probably stay in much more lush accommodations than I do – but I would love to have the option to reduce my daily rate at a hotel by making my own bed or folding the last piece of toilet paper into a little diamond myself. If the cost of strawberries rose to an unbearable level, I would switch from strawberry shortcake to apple pie. If picking strawberries becomes too expensive, someone will invent a machine to do it cheaper.
If you need any help with this, contact the Prince William County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors, they passed the Rule of Law Resolution in 2007 to fix our illegal immigrant problem and it worked splendidly. Enforce our laws and I guarantee that the rest will fall into place.