January 30, 2013 by Anders Ingemarson
News out of Washington proclaims a bipartisan effort to reform immigration. I’m leery of anything labeled “bipartisan”; more often than not it translates to more individual rights violations: higher taxes and tighter regulations, less liberty and less freedom.
But let’s for a moment give our elected officials the benefit of the doubt and put on the “glass-is-half-full” hat. Immigration reform is certainly overdue. As I’ve stated before:
“Being American is not primarily about your country of birth; it is first and foremost a state of mind. A state of mind that, explicitly or implicitly, subscribes to the self-evident truths discovered by our Founding Fathers and expressed in the Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal and that each of us has the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
“Individual rights know no borders just like being American doesn’t. As champions of our founding principles we should be champions of immigration and take pride in welcoming home Americans from around the world who have been born in the wrong country.”
Let’s keep the vision of free immigration alive as we follow the spectacle of pro- and anti-immigration supporters on both sides of the aisle doing battle in the months to come. Yes, it will take time to get from here to there, to finally separate state and immigration, but standing firm on principle is a prerequisite for victory.
For ammunition, I’ve tabulated the champion-of-individual-rights pro-immigration solutions to the most common anti-immigration arguments. It’s not credit card size, but you can probably turn it into a screen saver.
|The Anti-Immigrant claims:||You, the Champion of Individual Rights, answer:|
|“They take our jobs”||“Well, they don’t. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that you are right. If we work to reduce taxes and regulations, economic growth will take off and more jobs will be created than can be filled. Thankfully, immigrants will come to the rescue and fill some of them. ‘Problem’ solved.”|
|“They use our entitlements without paying their way.”||“Let’s find a solution that returns control of retirement and healthcare to individual Americans, ending all government involvement. With government entitlements gradually replaced by private alternatives, you don’t need to fret over somebody ‘not paying their way’ as you won’t foot the bill.And if you’re still concerned, let’s require new immigrants to sign a waiver to not collect entitlements as part of the price of admission. I suspect the vast majority would do it without hesitation.”|
|“They put their kids in our public schools.”||“Let’s work to return control of education to parents, teachers, and educational entrepreneurs. With public education gradually being replaced by private alternatives, you won’t have to worry about paying for the education of your immigrant neighbor’s kids any more than paying for their smartphones.”|
|“They bring drugs and drug related violence.”||“Let’s end prohibition on drugs. Americans didn’t drown in an orgy of alcohol last time we ended prohibition, and when the mob lost the alcohol revenue and moved to Vegas the violence evaporated like tequila in the desert sun.The same will happen when we end prohibition on drugs.”|
|“They increase the threat of domestic terrorism.”||“Let’s promote a foreign policy that deals with terrorists where they should be dealt with: on their own home turf. With decisive action on our part they won’t even dream of taking their act to American soil.”|
|“They too easily become citizens, and then they vote for the wrong party (a.k.a not my party).”||“We can certainly consider stronger rules for citizenship. But that is not a barrier to immigration. And by the way, how about Americans-by-birth taking a citizenship test as well to qualify to vote?”|
|“I don’t like immigrants.”||“In this great country of ours you have the right to your opinion, however wrong. Just do me a favor: as long as you hold that position, be honest and don’t claim to be a champion of liberty and individual rights.”|