I cannot emphasize enough that our fictional city is not meant to be a depiction of any specific one. Rather, it serves as a composite of locales ranging from the Chesapeake to San Francisco Bay. Nonetheless, one place comes to mind as a particularly potent example of illegal immigration’s potential for socioeconomic annihilation.
Nestled just to the south and east of Los Angeles, Maywood was once upon a time truly the sort of shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan boasted about. A manufacturing center, with bountiful supplies of blue collar jobs during the post-World War II era, it was then one of the few communities that championed diversity as its greatest strength. Until the early 1970s, it served as the archetypal example of what America’s future could be like if everyone played their cards right.
Unfortunately, many of Maywood’s chief economic powers decided to close shop in search of a discount workforce. Others stayed in the area and simply hired illegal aliens, while letting go their longtime employees. In either case, the end result was dismal, and the city lost its shine in perpetuity. By the 2000s, however, Maywood had managed a return to the media spotlight; this time as a city of firsts.
What kind of firsts are these? For starters, it is one of the the nation’s initial cities to declare itself an asylum for illegals. It is indisputably California’s original city to require that police personnel lay off illegals driving without a license. It also claims the dubious distinction of being the first city to ask Congress to pass a blanket amnesty program for illegals. The peak of its iniquity, however, is its place as the vanguard city to conduct meetings in a language other than English.
All of this and much, much more led to a chapter in city history that pretty much wrote itself: fiscal insolvency. In June of 2010, Maywood’s elected officials announced that every single public employee, except the municipal manager, would be fired. All city departments were outsourced to neighboring towns or the county as a whole. Maywood’s tenth step, it can be deduced, was actually far more radical than the one of which I wrote.
For a problem so dire as illegal immigration, a serious solution must be found. Some states, such as Arizona and Alabama, tried their own remedies, but found them stricken down by federal judges over concern about physical appearance based profiling. Indeed, such profiling is nonsensical; illegals come in all colors and speak all languages. A far more comprehensive plan of action can be drawn.
As I noted last year, in order realistically to solve the lion’s share of our illegal immigration crisis, the incentive for people to enter the United States unlawfully must be completely removed. This can be done creatively, in a way which would provide compensation for both the government and exploited workers. I believe that a fine should be imposed on businesses hiring illegals in the amount of $10,000 per alien arrested. Half of this would go to the alien in question, as a means of providing some form of a golden parachute during deportation, and the other to Uncle Sam.
Should certain businesses choose to become repeat offenders, their assets could be seized and eventually auctioned off by the government, though not before experiencing a 100 percent increase in the fines originally levied against them. In addition, persons who knowingly hire illegals should face a $250 to $750,000 penalty for their actions, as well as imprisonment for a term of 12 to 24 months.
Aside from adequately administering justice to both the illegal aliens and the criminals masquerading as businessmen who enable them, this policy would serve as a highly effective vessel through which the government could gain revenue while refraining from increasing taxes. Being reasonably easy to implement on a state or federal level, it would be a win-win for all who follow the law, acknowledge individual rights, and respect true free enterprise. A program like this is undoubtedly closer to obtaining foolproof status than any other in American political history.
It would definitely be a solid start for making my guide to losing a city in ten steps rightfully obsolete. Until then, though, we can only sit by and watch as other cities highlight just exactly how collective self destruction really works. A sad sight, to say the least.