Tucson, Arizona. Many political blogs just bitch and never suggest solutions or recommendations. Apologies for the long post, but solutions take longer. I am going to start articulating solutions on a variety of topics. I start not with something easy (our currency) but with something difficult: Immigration.
The Center for Immigration Studies
asserts that 12% of the Arizona workforce are illegal aliens according to this piece
at Inside Tucson Business
So we’re about to implement a law that can revoke the business license of a business found with illegal workers when 12 % of the state’s workers fit that description? If correct (I find it hard to believe), that's one out of eight workers.
Arizona passed the law, which is probably going to produce a fiasco, but the issue involves the entire country. Miami's population is 65 percent Hispanic (El Paso, 76 percent). Flushing, N.Y., is 60 percent immigrant (mainly Chinese). We have had Chinatowns, Hell’s Kitchens, and Little Italys dating back hundreds of years.
Bill O'Reilly, one of the stupidest mouthpieces to have a wide audience, shrieks in terror that the influx of immigrants will replace the "white Christian male power structure."
If indeed that were the outcome of immigration, I’d argue for accelerating the phenomenon as much as possible. O’Reilly’s stupidity aside, we face intelligent and difficult questions that must be addressed. We’re all descendents of immigrations. Rewind my clock and you arrive in Scotland. You have your clock, and unless you’re Native American, it rewinds to a place that’s not local.
We have Michael Savage fuming about "language, border, culture" and the terror that America will lose its identity. Savage, Buchanan, O’Reilly, Arizona’s Russell Pearce, may be kooks, but underneath their venom lies a legitimate concern about the decay of national identity, a very real threat that can and has destroyed an empire.If the center does not hold, everything falls apart
. Consider the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Immigration played a critical role. The "barbarians" did not attack in one day. They immigrated over hundreds of years and boiled the frog, slowly but inevitably fragmenting the empire to where it toppled. Could this happen to the United States? Absolutely.
Consider Europe’s mess where lax immigration has fermented hotbeds of alienated enclaves that do not integrate into society. Immigrants remain separate and alienated, loyal to their own, failing to learn the language or participate in the economy or education system. Then they decide their plight is the nation’s fault. Talk about a recipe for nothing very cheerful. Look at Iraq minus Saddam. You think that’s one country? It’s three trying to become one.
The national identity of the United States remains strong, but not properly managing our immigration policy can indeed put us on the road to ruin.
Does Rome’s fall suggest Savage is correct? Of course not. The xenophobes have no grasp of the economic impact and value of the immigrants. Minus immigrants, we would not have the country we have, the economy we have, and just halting appropriate immigration, or worse, the mass exportation of those here would inflict incalculable economic damage beyond the pale of anything the country could accept.
Not all of those wishing to become citizens, but some of them, are far too valuable to turn away. Those familiar with this blog know that I recently took an advanced mathematics course where most of the students came from China and India. Sorry, but the world's best high-tech scientists and engineers, in general, are not white, nor are they Christian. While at Sun Microsystems for training, I noticed over half the employees came from Asia. Unable to get enough visas for foreign engineers, Microsoft opened a large new software development center in Canada.
We arrive at the X4MR PLAN
plan for addressing our immigration situation.
Intelligence calls for a managed flow of immigrants according to criteria. The xenophobes howl correctly that we cannot open the floodgates. We must process admissions with regard for a) assimilation, b) national unity c) labor market factors, and d) national security. The blog is not an academic document and I’ll spare the reader various citations. I was probably most influenced by Dr. Amy Chua
, the daughter of a Chinese immigrant. Dr Chua is now a professor at Yale University. Her father's
no idiot either.STEP ONE - ADMISSION:
. Craft intelligent admission
priorities. We need to be less generous about the family thing, uniting third cousins and grandfathers of the husband of the sister of the wife. We’re not in the business of building families. The grandfather can visit. He doesn’t have to become a citizen. Far more important (and critical) are workforce skills and our labor market. Those possessing skills most needed in our economy should be supported and fast-tracked.STEP TWO - INTEGRATION:
We have to develop a program that promotes and insures assimilation
of those admitted. A vital first step to this assimilation is language. 2A
. Make English the official language and require it for citizenship. The folks to my left can have their cow. I said I was an Independent. We must have a common language to maintain a healthy common identity. Those who refuse to learn English can become citizens somewhere else. They can speak their own language at home and various gatherings, but our laws, court proceedings, traffic signage, political debates, city councils, legal contracts, and the machinery of public discourse should be English, period. I don’t care if there are Spanish or Chinese or Swahili entertainment stations on radio or TV, but we govern this nation in English, and our citizens should be able to participate in English conversation. I assert without a common language we cripple the central core, politically correct or not. If we allow language fragmentation we repeat past mistakes. I’m not saying they need to read Goethe. A practical and pragmatic standard should not be difficult to implement.2B
. In addition to language we require a program developed to educate and socialize immigrants into society that insures integration and not isolation. Said most simply, to become a citizen requires the completion of a program that involves learning English, a body of material TBD, employment, etc. as determined in a managed fashion that provides freedom of choice within parameters. They can choose what to do but cannot choose nothing. They can choose how to integrate but not whether to integrate. Integrate means become part of the country. If they don’t want to become part of the country, de facto they do not belong here and are not citizens. The objective is to insure successful participation and contribution to society and eliminate the development of alienated hotbeds some of Western Europe now faces.STEP THREE – INTEGRITY:
The system has to have integrity
. If we allow illegal employment at slave wages or don’t enforce the systems stated above, the whole thing becomes a farce anyway. We must truly enforce
the system we agree to implement. That includes real border security. What the folks to my right apparently fail to see is that we kid ourselves if we assert we can accomplish step three without handling step four.STEP FOUR: LEGITIMIZATION:
We have got to realize that we cannot deport the 15 million or so illegal immigrants that are already here. We must provide a mechanism for legitimizing and legalizing
and law abiding (other than being here) immigrants that are working here, and that legitimization must include the English language and the assimilation steps above as appropriate. Now, those who refuse to participate in the process should be deported.
All of the above requires sound management to succeed, and the devil is in the details. The solution will not be free, but it will cost less than the failure to address immigration and continuing with the status quo.
Key take-away points:
1. We cannot halt all immigration and lock the gate.
2. We must provide a means to legitimize those here that we need for economic reasons. We cannot deport 15 million people.
3. We need smarter admissions policies less concerned with family ties and more concerned with labor market conditions.
4. We must enforce what we implement and do what we say.
5. The solution will cost less than continuing the status quo.
Acts are primarily consistent with the principles of this post.