I for one don’t believe that there are only 12 million undocumented workers in the United States. More Like 25 million. There are a multitude of different amnesty schemes and sometime in the future it seems inevitable that one is implemented; or maybe one may never be.
The reason here is political as it always is, and also the failure to face the reality of an emotionally charged electorate. So far on immigration reform we have smoke and mirrors and very little else.
When all the rhetoric comes to rest the truth of the matter comes down to voting and ethnic politics. If democrats can legalize 20 million likely voters that will move as a block for them, then Republicans are likely never to win another national election. Immigrants throughout the history of the democratic party have voted for that party. Not because of any particular ideology or belief system, but for things like patronage, municipal and government jobs, as well as any give-aways or freebies that the party in power could provide them. Fiscal responsibility, the soundness of the currency, constitutional rights and so forth, are not within their purview. The poor immigrant is pursuing one thing and one thing only i.e. the survival and well being of himself and his family. All other issues pale in comparison. There is a famous saying that most everyone knows within the Latino community and few outside are familiar with, quote: Mi panza esta en Los Estados Unidos, pero mi corazon esta en Mexico. My stomach is here in the United States but my heart is still in Mexico.
A very revealing saying.
Illegal or undocumented immigrants do not cross the Rio Grande because they want to be citizens of the United States. If that is what it takes to stay here that is what they will work for. They come to earn a living. Who really wants them to become American citizens badly is the democrat political machine, so they can vote democratic. And turn Texas blue and Arizona blue, and perhaps a couple of more states blue.
But failing to resolve that, the democrats are happy just to have the immigration issue as a wedge issue to divide Latinos from Republicans. It allows them to paint all conservatives and libertarians as racist and intolerant, lets them preserve the brown voting block. Also by not pushing through immigration reform and by setting new records in deportations of aliens, the party makes points with it’s most loyal constituent voting block since the mid-1960’s, the African-Americans. Black America definitely does not want to import more Latinos. They compete with Mexicans for jobs, and everyone would prefer to hire a Mexican, legal, illegal or whatever. Just a fact.
So the democrats win either way. As long as they have the issue in play they are coming out ahead. But many are finally getting wise to the fact that they are getting played. But where else do they go?
The Republicans have developed a genius for losing and may be on the fast road to extinction as a national party. The democratic party has an advantage here too. More and more they are becoming unabashedly socialist, and in every country there is a socialist party and movement, and say what you will about them, there is a core of believers that have extreme faith in what they are doing. As far as mainstream Republicans, do they believe in anything at all? Not that I can tell. At least not their politicians.
So Immigration reform and/or amnesty may never come to be. In a perfect world bereft of shifty politicians, I would be inclined to let people that have been in this country for a good period of time, some form of “squatters rights.” If they are decent people they could get work visas. Especially for the children of illegals, who came to this country through no fault of their own. They should be allowed to regularize their status, and be put on the fast track to citizenship.
Citizenship and amnesty should not be conflated exactly. To work in the United States, especially when there are agricultural jobs and other so called “dirty work” that the social welfare state Americans will not do, is a good thing. However becoming legalized and working is not the same as being given citizenship and voting to turn the US into a third world dictatorship. For your recipient of amnesty there should be a 25 year waiting period to vote. This would enervate much opposition to amnesty, and take away most of the sting of the policy.
Right now the system bungles along. Refugees of the American instigated civil drug war in Mexico are routinely denied humanitarian asylum, Agricultural workers are not really harassed in fields, because crops must be picked. but enormous amounts of food are imported into the United States that should be grown here, and exported elsewhere as well. Mexican families are split apart, because the cost of returning from Mexico is so expensive and dangerous.
So we have a schizophrenic policy on immigration and are likely to have one for some time to come. It is a difficult question indeed that may be rendered moot. If the same disastrous economic and social policies are continued, we may have American Illegals crossing the Rio Grande South. At least it’s warm in Mexico.