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Immigration Solution Lies in the Rule of Law

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As a nation we currently host 12 million residents whose very presence here is illegal, but whose departure would result in hardship and instability. While the remedy will be as complex as the problem, the solution is found at the source of the predicament.

Most immigrants come to America seeking the “unalienable rights” secured by our Republic. But the very principle that draws illegal immigrants across our borders becomes the basis for holding them accountable and the justification for keeping them out.

America is founded upon the rule of law — a tradition of holding the actions of our government to the objective standard of fundamental moral law. This legal ordering not only preexists, but transcends government. Because it is not bestowed by the state, it cannot be applied or complied with selectively. And just as the law is not subject to the will of the majority, it cannot be suspended in its application to the individual, regardless of the alternative or consequence.

While this irony is troubling, it does not make our course impossible or self-defeating. Like most Americans, I am not an expert on immigration policy. But I am certain that any law Congress passes must be measured against and ultimately sustain America’s greatest virtue — its foundation in the rule of law.

Therefore, it seems obvious that our borders must be immediately sealed and all immigrants required to enter our country legally. We are at war with an enemy that has demonstrated a commitment and ability to breach our borders and kill our citizens. Furthermore, it is naive to view illegal immigration as a victimless crime. Those who impose themselves on an already strained system cause hardship for legal citizens who utilize public resources.

Second, current law must be enforced. Illegal immigrants convicted of deportable crimes must be removed from our country. Nothing impugns the merit of the law more than a lack of enforcement of the law.

Next, the rule of law mandates that illegal behavior be punished and never rewarded. Granting amnesty to those already in our country illegally offends this principle. Worse, it perverts the law by punishing those who have or are in the process of entering legally. While mass deportation is impractical and harmful, complete absolution for criminal behavior is equally destructive.

Additionally, immigrants must be treated with care and justice. A virtuous nation can take no lesser course. However, as beneficiaries of freedom, they must remember that our liberties were born by sacrifice and are lived with a cost. Diversity makes us stronger, but it must be accompanied by respect for laws, traditions and customs.

Finally, pressure must be imposed on governments that ignore the “sacred and undeniable” rights of all people. Just as our Founders relied on the rule of law in making their case for secession to the watching nations, we must continue to hold all nations to this standard. Until the injustice and corruption of countries such as Mexico is confronted, the draw of free, representative government will overtake the law protecting it.

About Jeffrey L. Syrios

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Victor..my apologies indeed if i have misconstrued what you were trying to say…such is not my intent

    it had seemed that you were making the argument that borders were meaningless…hence my comment(which could have been unduly harsh due to mistaking intent from you)

    #36 hits on my reasoning here.. i’m not against those folks trying to better themselves..i’m against this entire black market labor systemic that keeps millions of people under the table and off the radar…making less than minimum wage, with NO protections…

    i’m all for finding a way to get it sorted out, but my thinking is that you have to stop this black market, and control the border…all the while working with those already in the country to get out of the shadows, get documented and become part of the legal workforce with all the rights, responsibilities and protection therein

    i just think that to do so, we have to ensure that we stop the flood, and create a policy that controls the influx of legal immigrants

    also that those who have come here illegally should not be granted rewards ahead of those who are following the rules

    hope that helps explain

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    just to clarify, Victor had said , “Gonzo, it is morally contradictory to give the “sanctity” of an imaginary line on a map higher importance than the freedom of human beings to choose where to live and where to work.”

    this was what had read to me as if a Nation had no right to enforce their borders if people who are not citizens chose to enter the country illegally because they chose where to work

    i think many could see how i would take it that way…

    Excelsior?

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    The words you quoted from me do not come anywhere near claiming borders are “meaningless.” I made a clear statement of priorities, not a statement of nullification.

    And that’s all I have time to clarify for now.

    But for the record, I accept the spirit of your apology, Gonzo, even though no apology is needed. This issue has been subjected to so much deliberate obfuscation by the powerful, it’s understandably difficult for people of good will to achieve clarity even when we want to engage in honest debate.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Victor – i understand..and am more than willing to talk with you about all this , as reasonable people trying to understand and find a solution, as your time allows

    and i have NO problems giving my Apology to those who are reasonable and trying in good faith…especially if my infamous temper flared on them undeservingly

    it’s exactly my desire to cut through all the bullshit that gets me fired up…not that i had thought you were doing so, but the way i took your statement appears as i have said…

    no worries, be well and all my Best to you and yours

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    *Offer up to 8 million guest worker visas with 3 year terms renewable twice. Allow anyone to get them, giving equal footing to those already here in the US.*

    - what about the other (up to) 12 million ‘illegals’ here now – ?

    I’ve seen zero evidence that there are more than 12 million total illegals here. 8 million visas would cover the needs of most of those who want to come here as temporary workers. The remainder are likely those who want to stay here on a more permanent basis. They should be dealt with through an expanded citizenship quota and as gonzo points out, probably sent to the back of the line, but given a guarantee of citizenship.

    There is no indication that we would have a flood of additional immigrants if we liberalized our guest worker policies. There are only so many people in Mexico who want and need to come here to work. Most of them want to eventually go back, and others will replace them when they do.

    further – wouldn’t legalizing the ‘guest workers’ make them more expensive and eliminate the benefits to the US economy that you applaud…recreating a black market demand for cheaper labor -

    I don’t see it. As illegals they’re getting paid over minimum wage in most cases. Only the dregs of the illegal population are doing day labor, and although highly visible they are a tiny fraction of the total. Most are in semi-skileld jobs that pay $10 an hour or more even taking into consideraton the 20% less that illegals get paid on average. Illegals working reconstruction in New Orleans are getting $15 an hour right now. The wages are largely set by the market, not the fact that they’re illegal.

    It’s also important to remember that it’s not just illegals working these jobs. There are also probably 3-5 million uderground economy native workers – mostly ex convicts – who choose not to be paid on the books in most cases and work many of the same kinds of jobs the illegals do.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    “but more men on the border and letting them actually shoot people without getting sent to jail for it would have an effect”.

    And Dave says Gonzo is inconsistent?

    Jerry, I never said I was against border enforcement. Gonzo and I have more common ground than you or he realize.

    And Dave, you misconstrue the application of a multifaceted security program. I’m not talking about an intrusive sweeping, nation wide plan, but one that’s specific to the region.

    What you’re talking about is a bit unclear. Everyone else who’s trying to set policy on this is talking about a huge, intrusive big brother type plan because that’s the only thing which will really work. Illegals don’t just get jobs at the borders. They travel all over the country where there is work.

    We had a “guest worker” program back in the 40s and 50s. It was plagued by scandal and eventually terminated. Given this administrations affinity for scandal and ineptitude there’s little hope they could create an effective program.

    Bliffle, that program was administered by the Mexican government. No matter how bad this administration is they’re still nowhere near that level of corruption and incompetence. In that program the mexican government acted as labor brokers and skimmed money from the income of the workers so they didn’t earn enough to make it worth participating in. A terrible idea. All I’m proposing is a system where workers get a work visa and find jobs themselves at the best wages they can get and no one else takes a cut.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Dave, Wrong as usual. The program was NOT administered by the Mexican government, but by the US government!

    At some point they SUPPOSEDLY turned over the money that the wrokers had paid over the years into a quasi-retirement fund. The Mexican government said they never got it. Wells Frago Bank is implicated somewhere in there–and considering they stole my trust fund when I moved to Mexico, as well as 200,000 bucks from the money market fund of one of my friends, I am inclined to suspect the wrost from EVERYBODY.

    As for the person who complained about the Mexicanization of his town–you’ll get no grease for your wheel from me. What about all those Mexicans cross the Southwesy who saw their towns stolen by the US government and Anglicized?

    I guess it’s payback time. Start learning Spanish, pinche gringo.

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    Wells fargo was more than implicated, they sponsored the ‘retirement’ program and collected the money. Where is it, one may ask? the US gov has never tried to solve the problem and the civil courts in both countries bury it.

    Dave: “…the Mexican government. No matter how bad this administration is they’re still nowhere near that level of corruption …”

    Why do you say that? Same cronyism, election fixing, monopolies, favoritism. We just haven’t been doing it at the same rate, but this administration has accelerated the pace to the point that we may never recover. Future admins have been shown the way: lie, loot and steal and there are no consequences (well, except for those slackers who can’t afford to speculate on healthcare insurance policies, in which case we’ll kill their children with neglect. Now those are consequences).

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    Anyway, the illegal immigrant problem cannot be solved in Washington or even on the mighty blogs of BC, but only in Mexico City D.F.

    Decades of careless neglect of our neighbors are coming back to haunt us. And now we have lost whatever credibility we had with this malevolent administration, which stirs up resentment wherever it goes.

    Blame it all on Bush, if you like, because in 2000 he said “no country is more important to us than Mexico” and then set about to totally neglect Mexico except for photo-ops with Fox.

    Blame it all on Clinton, if you like, who failed to use the opportunity to forward an aggressive program with Mexico to improve their government and the fortunes of their people.

    Blame it on Reagan, blame it on Carter, blame it on Bliffle, if you like. Just recognize that the strength and prosperity of our latin american neighbors is essential to the USA, and with a little effort from a leadership that is truly interested in the future of the USA, we can make them stronger and more effective allies.

  • Clavos

    “Blame it on Reagan, blame it on Carter, blame it on Bliffle, if you like. Just recognize that the strength and prosperity of our latin american neighbors is essential to the USA, and with a little effort from a leadership that is truly interested in the future of the USA, we can make them stronger and more effective allies.” (emphasis added)

    Absolutely true. Every word.

  • Nancy

    MR et al: the Wells Fargo money probably ended up in US government (or high connections) hands, which is why the courts/US govt does nothing to investigate/prosecute. It’s called stonewalling.

  • troll

    blame it on Polk for not absorbing Mexico into the Union

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    see..i like the way troll’s mind works…let’s annex them!!

    Mexico would be a couple of states…Puerto Rico..as many of the Caribbean isles as want to join up…work our way down central America

    hey, it’s a thought

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Polk had very sound reasons for not annexing Mexico and they still apply. It would cost more money to administer and support economically than it would be worth as an asset for the country. So he chose to keep the best parts and let the rest go back to the dictator of the week club.

    That said, I think that the creation of an increasing US role in Mexico is one of the best ways to stop illegal immigration. If we can use our money and influence to improve their government and their economy then they will have less need to come here. Of course, letting a good number of them come here to work and send money home is a good start on doing that.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    “Polk had very sound reasons for not annexing Mexico and they still apply.”

    Polk didn’t know about their oil. Even if he had, it wasn’t as important then as now.

  • troll

    I suspect that Polk didn’t want Mexico because it was full of brown people who talked Spanish and other funny languages lots of whom like indigenous folk everywhere would just have to be exterminated

  • Jerry

    Come caca jodida, MR

  • SonnyD

    Dave: Help me understand what you are saying here. It would be too much of a imposition to expect employers to do a simple background check to find out if a prospective employee is here legally? Then shouldn’t we do away with currant laws that force anyone who wants to sell a gun at a business, flea market or gun show to do a background check? Certainly, it must be too much of a burden on the citizen who is just trying to make a living selling guns to have to take a few minutes to check a computer database.

    If we can establish a site that says who is not allowed to own a gun, why can’t we have a site that says who is here legally? Wouldn’t all the background checking be done before they were allowed to enter?

    Your view on labor unions is quite interesting, to say the least. You are aware of why unions began, aren’t you? Wasn’t it to do away with the very sort of mistreatment the illegal immigrants are being subjected to now?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I suspect that Polk didn’t want Mexico because it was full of brown people who talked Spanish and other funny languages lots of whom like indigenous folk everywhere would just have to be exterminated

    I doubt Polk would have had any problems with that. He was after all, Andrew Jackson’s protege and Jackson established the democratic party’s tradition of sticking it to the red, black, brown and other ethnic groups including the occasional British spy.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Dave: Help me understand what you are saying here. It would be too much of a imposition to expect employers to do a simple background check to find out if a prospective employee is here legally?

    Not only is it a paperwork imposition on merchants, but it violates the rights of every citizen who is entitled to a certain amount of personal privacy and doesn’t need to have his employer snooping through his private records maintained in a giant government database.

    Then shouldn’t we do away with currant laws that force anyone who wants to sell a gun at a business, flea market or gun show to do a background check?

    Absolutely. But current laws don’t require everyone at a flea market or gun show to do a background check, they only require it of registered dealers. Private citizens who only go to such shows occasionally can sell guns without running background checks. That’s a reasonable compromise.

    In terms of emigration that’s equivalent to only requiring compaies of a certain size to do background checks.

    Certainly, it must be too much of a burden on the citizen who is just trying to make a living selling guns to have to take a few minutes to check a computer database.

    I’m glad that you, me and Charlton Heston agree on this.

    If we can establish a site that says who is not allowed to own a gun, why can’t we have a site that says who is here legally? Wouldn’t all the background checking be done before they were allowed to enter?

    The gun background check database has been demonstrated not to work terribly well. Lots of documented cases of felons and loonies passing the check and buying guns.

    For a system like this to really work the key is, unfortunately, maintaining better and more complete information on every citizen. The gun background check system keeps track of bad guys. For an employment database system to work, since you have no idea who the illegals are or what they have done, you have to take the opposite approach and keep detailed info on all the innocent, legal citizens. Government monitoring of the innocent is what I most object to.

    Dave

    Your view on labor unions is quite interesting, to say the least. You are aware of why unions began, aren’t you? Wasn’t it to do away with the very sort of mistreatment the illegal immigrants are being subjected to now?

  • SonnyD

    Dave: The gun background check is still a work in progress. Too many states were not reporting the criminal records they should been. Recent events have been a wake-up call and that is supposed to be improved soon. The principle of the system is still the same. You are assuming I was suggesting that the government maintain records on all citizens. I was not. Millions of immigrants have been allowed in legally. We must have some kind of records on who they are and why they are here.

    Citizens applying for a job would have to go through more red tape than they do now. Yes, they would bitch about it, just as they are now when they try to get a passport. But that is the only alternative to letting the government keep detailed records on all of us. Yes, it would be a real headache to put such a system into place, but it could be done. People would adjust to keeping the kinds of records they would need to produce before they could be hired.

  • SonnyD

    Dave: You seem to be confused about who can sell guns at flea markets and gun shows. Only registered dealers can sell modern hand guns and they must all do background checks.

  • moonraven

    Jerry,

    I see you do not have the brain agility necessary to learn another language.

    Kiss your place in the sun good-bye, baby.

  • moonraven

    As an update to the “guest worker” scheme:

    Since the US pressured Mexico to accept responsibility for the retirement fund, they have been paying folks off–one by one–after a mountain of forms are filled out (some of those folks are illiterate).

    They are paying them off one by one because most of them have reached the end of their lifetimes.

    And they are paying them a little less than 3,500 dollars apiece! An absolute pittance.

    Surviving family members are suing to try to get the right to the benefits.

    Nancy,

    Please do not condescend to me. I worked actively against the Nixon presidency and am fully aware of the meaning of the term, stonewall.

  • Nancy

    Some of us do have trouble learning other languages, MR. Just like some of us have trouble with math, & some with writing or speaking in public. While I admire those who can acquire other languages handily, I don’t think mocking those who are less gifted is productive of anything, MR. You & Clavos appear to be the only fluent Spanish-speakers here; please translate for those of us who don’t or can’t. Thank you.

  • moonraven

    Nancy,

    Jerry’s post to which I referred was potty talk strung together in a way that made no sense. But its intention was to insult me.

    Insults, I believe, fall under the heading of “personal attacks”–which only males on this site are encouraged to make, since the Comments Editor is male and he is one of the most flagrant makers of personal attacks against women posters–especially me.

    If Jerry is going to insult me in my second language he needs to learn it first.

    It’s not a question of mocking the less gifted–after all, foreign language acquisition IS something I routinely train teachers to do–and I do not recommend mocking.

    I also do not recommend to students that they immediately run out with an extremely precarious grasp of the language and start using it to insult people.

    In a non-virtual space they would rapidly find the shit beaten out of them.

    Maybe even by ME.

    As is frequent with you, you jumped in without knowing anything about the issue.

  • Nancy

    I do know that most of us don’t speak Spanish, & it would be more polite for you to either translate or use English instead of private conversations no one else except Clavos can understand. I don’t know what you’ve said in any of your Spanish postings. If I were privy to any language you didn’t understand, would YOU care to have ME making private comments nobody else understood in that language in a public forum? It would be just as rude for me to do that to you as it is for you to do that to me/the rest of us. Thank you.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Nancy, time for you to prepare to be called a ‘racist’ and be told that you aren’t entitled to have an opinion on Mexico.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    By MR? Ho-hum; after dinner I’ll faint.

  • Jerry

    Nancy -

    You don’t know how much I just laughed… if you had only written she’ll instead of I’ll. Darn!

  • http://LesPaulisanexcellentguitarplayerwithanadmirablegraspofgoodjazz. bliffle

    It’s the duty and the opportunity for the USA to assume a leadership role in leading latin america to good government and prosperity. We have the strength and the experience to do it.

    It’s our Manifest Destiny.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Did I hear the spirit of Jingo Jim Blaine speaking with Bliffle’s lips?

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    i think it was sarcasm…eh?

    and for those comfortable speaking a language besides English here on BC, and who think that’s just fine…i’ve something to say to people like yourselves…

    ayeeee-yah! dew neh loh moh…

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Nancy

    Glad I could give you a smile, Jerry.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Ya neznayu, tovarisch gonzo.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    bolshoyeh!…spasebaw..

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    dani, pizda i toja kak tvoi mat ka vam, gonzo.

    Dave

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ya ran me out of my meager Russian…

    i have a bunch of snippets in many languages that i know…in others i can get by from hearing it

    hence my using Cantonese, and having bits of Russian…among others, but no real fluency (well, german if i am immersed for a week or two to get my vocabulary back)

    but i digress…

    Excelsior?

  • Dr Dreadful

    Bozhe moi! Duraki!