by Wayne Simmes:
I have listened to the argument for and against immigration for what seems like forever. On one side the Republicans say that we need to protect our borders. They believe that if someone wants to come into the country to live that they need to do it the right way. There are legitimate ports of entry and anyone that comes into the country should do so at one of those and apply for legal entry status there.
Other people say that anyone that wants to live in our country should be allowed to do so. They don’t mind if they come into the country illegally. Once they are here we have an obligation to take them in and help them to assimilate into our culture. Some of this latter group have an ulterior motive. They are called Democrats and they want as many people as possible in their districts as long as they believe that they these people will vote for them. Even if you point out that some of these new people are violent criminals, it does not matter because even violent criminals should be allowed to vote as long as they vote for a Democrat.
And then there are just ordinary people that realize that their ancestors came here from other countries and so they believe that since we were all immigrants at one time or another that we should allow anyone who wishes to immigrate to the United States.
My wife and I had the opportunity to interact with one such person when we took a few days to visit one of her relatives. I knew that he was a lifelong Democrat and so I vowed before we got to his house that I would not discuss politics with him. But that was not even remotely a possibility. He laid such sly and devious plans to draw me into the web that I did not even realize what was happening until he was telling me what a terrible person my President was. And of course, part of the reason that Donald Trump was a horrible person was his stand on illegal immigration.
He brought out a family history book that someone had put together for his family and pointed out that his family had immigrated from Europe at some time in the past. I have to admit that I found the story fascinating and we began to talk about it. It was then that he sprang another trap. “Where did your folks come from?” He asked.
“I am not sure,” I replied. “Some came from Germany, like yours.”
“So you see why we must allow people who want to come here to be allowed to do so.”
“It is a different time and different circumstances,” I replied.
“How is it different?” And now his voice was changing, a little more volume and with an adamant tone.
I tried to explain to him that there was a time when we had room for everyone that wanted to come here as long as they were willing to work hard and become self-sufficient. In fact, in the early days of our country, we needed as many people as we could get to come here so that we could hold on to the land.
But he did not buy the argument. He was convinced that we still had plenty of room for as many people as wished to immigrate. And of course, when you travel across sections of the country, there are miles and miles of empty space. In fact, it is probably true that there are far more land without houses then land that has been built on. Of course, much of that so-called empty land is used to grow food not only for people that live here but people that live in other countries as well.
But even if that land was not needed for agriculture, who would pay for the houses for these new people to live in? Who would pay for the wells that would need to be drilled to provide water for these new people to drink, bathe and wash their clothes? Who will pay for the power that these folks would need to light, cool or warm their houses?
All of the people that came to this country in centuries past did not rely on someone else to support them. There was no welfare for them to rely on. Some of them sold themselves into servitude for a period of years just to pay for their sea passage to get to this country. Only when they had served their time as little more than slaves were they given a section of land and a mule so they could make a life for themselves.
It is estimated that up to 90% of illegal immigrant households are on some type of public assistance. Does that seem fair to you? When we have people that were born and lived here all their lives that are homeless, and yet we provide food and shelter for others that cross our borders in the dead of night.
I am not against people immigrating to the United States. We allow 1 million people to immigrate here every year. Some of them are productive people, coming here with skills and trades that are needed. Others are not so productive and need some degree of help to assimilate. I would argue that those types of people should not have been allowed to immigrate. It simply does not make sense to me that we should allow people into our country that are not self-sufficient. Call me heartless if you wish but I would rather spend our tax dollars helping our own citizens than helping those from other countries.
But that brings us back to the argument that we are all immigrants. And again I say that was a different time when we had room for everyone.
I tried to explain that to my wife’s relative by using the illustration of putting a glass in the middle of his white carpet. Even as I write this, I realize my mistake. Some of you will zero in on the word white. You only want to protect what is white, you will say. If it was black carpet you wouldn’t care what happened to it. Then start filling that glass slowly with sulfuric acid. Nothing bad happens until the acid reaches the brim of the glass. But once there is no more room for the acid inside of the glass if you keep pouring your carpet is ruined.
Just in case that illustration is not clear enough for you, here is another. Imagine that you have a nice large house for you and your family to live in. One night you decide to take the family out for a movie. You are gone for a few hours.
When you return home you are surprised to find that another family has moved into your house. They were not invited and did not enter through the front door. Instead, one of them broke a window, crawled in and then let the rest in through the back door.
You immediately ask them to leave. They tell you that they have as much right to live in your house as you do since at some point in the past you moved into the house. Perhaps that is not true, maybe you were born in the house but they tell you that doesn’t matter because someone in your ancestry had moved into that house. So you have no more right to live there than they do.
You call the police but are told that they will not force these people to vacate the property. They are a sanctuary police station they say. Anyone that moves into the precinct is protected from eviction. So you try to make the best of the situation as this new family lounges in your living room, watching your television, snacking on the food in your refrigerator or in your pantry.
But you reason, there is enough room in the house. But then they call their relatives and tell them what a nice cozy place they are living in and invite them to come live there as well. Pretty soon there is not a corner of your house that is not occupied by someone not related to you. Your budget becomes stretched to the breaking point just trying to keep everyone fed. And still, their relatives keep coming. You wish that you had built a large tall wall around your house before all these people arrived.
As ridiculous as that illustration sounds that is exactly what is happening to our country. Yes, we were all immigrants. But that does not mean that all immigrants should be allowed to come here. I will not get into the argument about people taking jobs that are needed for our own citizens. Trump’s economy is so good that it has been touted that we have more jobs now than we have people to fill them.
But if that is the case then why are 90% of illegal immigrants on public assistance?
The only solution is to keep people from entering the country illegally. If that means building a wall, then let’s build a wall. If that means putting more border patrol agents on the border then put them there. If that means changing the law so that anyone caught entering illegally is immediately deported back to where they came from then so be it.
At some point, we have to say enough is enough. Immigration has to become selective. Only those that can contribute to our society should be allowed to come and live here. And that means securing the border.