Amnesty Shamnesty

The Republicans, and some Democrats and probably lots of you keep fixating on this word “amnesty” in regards to the immigration debate.

The problem is, there is reality to deal with. Some 12 million illegal immigrants are in this country right now. Like Harry Reid said, no matter what we call it, they are going to be here tomorrow, the next day, next year and next decade. It is virtually impossible to round up and deport 12 million people, both for logistical reasons and for humanitarian reasons.

So get over it. You can talk about “law breakers” and “amnesty” all you want but it doesn’t get us one bit closer to having a rational policy towards dealing with this problem.

Let me ask you: why would someone leave their family, risk the cruelty of the criminals who facilitate illegal border crossing, risk arrest and imprisonment by the US and, if they are successful entering this country, live in constant fear of being caught, arrested, imprisoned and deported.

What would it take for you to do that? I know what it would take for me. It would take me considering it the only option to keep my family fed. If your children were starving, would it be immoral for you to steal food for them? Is it really immoral for these people to seek a better life across the border?

One thing we could do is ease our legal immigration policies. We could also work to build up Mexico’s economy instead of paying slave wages for products produced there. In many ways, amnesty is a great idea. Let’s get people to come forward, confess, pay their dues and get on a path to citizenship. Mexican immigrants are wonderful people in almost all cases (just like all people are wonderful people in almost all cases). They serve in our military, they work hard, they are lawful, family-oriented and moral people.

The problem IS NOT that “law breakers” are invading our country. It’s the fact that our country has done a piss poor job of partnering with Mexico to build their economy. Mexico is a disaster. People are coming here out of desperation. The correct response is not to build ridiculously expense walls and herd people up into concentration camps. The correct response is to find a political and economic solution to the core problem. Oddly, this is what Bush has been trying to do. He and I roughly agree on this issue.

Amnesty Shamnesty