Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Illegal Immigration Indecision 2006

Unless you've had your head in the sand you've heard part of the ongoing debate about immigration reform. I live in Texas so conversations about illegal immigration, illegal immigrants, and border security are only slightly less common than conversations about college football. And in an environment like that you rapidly come to a few conclusions:

A: Everyone has an opinion on it.
B: People opinions on it actually have little to do with which party they vote for.
C: Border security is a joke.

A comes as no surprise in a state that borders Mexico. B is suprising because you rarely ever find any other issue that card carrying PETA members and NRA members actually agree on (except for maybe a balanced budget). And C is just disturbing.

One charge against illegals is that they raise the crime rate. And the simple fact of the matter is its true. Now before I get strung up in a tree and beaten like a pinata let me explain why its true.

On average 3% of the total population has arrested for something. Public Intoxication, Driving Under the Influence, driving with no liscence etc etc at 13,000,000 illegals that an extra 390,000 crimes.
Of the 1% of the population thats actually been busted for a felony that boils down to 130,000 felonies. Thats leaves 230,000 misdemeanors many of which were avoidable had said illegal immigrant actually gone through legal channels where they bring you up to speed on the differences between Mexican law and US and state law. And thats only if they commit a single crime apiece.

And you run into some really weird misconceptions about the law from illegals and some legals. A good common example is the number of immigrants that believe donating to the Fraternal Order of Police or the Police Benevolence Association is the same as making your monthly bribe payment to the local police chief. Few things piss off a cop more than saying that you've already paid your bribe to them that month. Its a great way to turn a speeding ticket into something worse.

Here's another common problem. The age for consent in Mexico is 13. Its 17 in Texas AND you cannot be more than 3 years older than your partner. I can go to Meganslaw.com and pull up a huge list of "sex offenders" that would have really benefitted by having been brought up to speed on that fact. And you run across other little legal differences like firing guns in the air in the city limits is illegal regardless of what holiday it is. Same goes for fireworks, open containers of alcohol, corporal punishment of spouses etc etc etc ad nauseum. (For the record I'm dating a public defender. And its her stories from work I'm referring to.)

If both sides of the aisle weren't so worried about the Latino vote we may have seen a solution by now. But they are, so we haven't.

So here is what I think we really need a bipartisan bill that:

  • Strengthens border security
  • Punishes employers for hiring illegals
  • A guest worker program that doesn't create a class of disposable abusable workers
  • A 6 month grace period for illegals to declare themselves and apply for guest worker status, go home, and/or apply for citizenship
  • Altering our sucktacular War on Drugs so that its actually a War on Trafficking and put the Coyotes and the Drug smugglers out of buisness as they use the many of the same routes and methods
  • Altering NAFTA to provide more stimulus to Mexico's economy preferably by rewarding the removal of corrupt officials and cracking down on trafficking on Mexico's side of the border.
Then both parties twist arms until it gets near unanimous approval and they both find some other issue to garner Hispanic support for their parties.

You'll note I didn't put build a whopping great wall on the border in that list. Why? Because unless your mine the length of the wall and install enough gun turrets on it so that every inch of the wall can be covered by crossfire it won't work. It'll just be a waste of taxpayer money and there's enough of that going on as it is.


The legal citizens of America conspire to fake another great depression and then all the illegals go home on their own. Which is about as likely to happen as my first suggestion.

My proposal isn't a cure by any means, but its a good place to start.