From Pine View Farm

The Immigration Catch-22 0

It’s the best catch there is. Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune:

But the (Arizona) legislation assumes that tougher enforcement at the border and within the state will magically banish these problems. In fact, those options have already been tried, and all they have done is make things worse.

The supporters of the law, meanwhile, overlook the obvious. There is a simple way to stop the lawless stream, protect Americans living on the border, improve adherence to law and reduce the costs of accommodating people who have no right to be here.

The solution? Stop focusing on trying to keep illegal immigrants out and start focusing on letting legal immigrants in.

Enforcement-only advocates often say they are not opposed to foreigners coming here as long as they follow the rules and obey the law. They should take a number and wait their turn, we are told, like the teeming masses of yore. It makes perfect sense until you discover that for most of those who want to come, legal admission is just about impossible.

A co-worker several years ago told me of a friend of his, a carpenter. The carpenter had a helper who was illegal and wanted to be legal. The helper was smart, industrious, honest, all those things one would want. My co-worker knew and liked the helper and believed that he was an asset to any community.

So the helper returned to Mexico and they began to work through the paper work to prove that the helper was qualified to do the job, that no one else could or would do it, and so on. After months and months of red tape, the helper was ready reenter. It looked like everything was fine.

At the border checkpoint, the last official he refused him entry for some reason never really made clear.

It was an arbitrary and capricious act, a symptom of an arbitrary and capricious process.

My co-worker, who tends to be quite conservative politically leans so far right his right shoulder touches his right ankle (he and I used to have great conversations on the way to the jobsite, because he was also open-minded and able to disagree without being disagreeable) was and is outraged at the injustice of the immigration what-passes-for-a system


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