Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I hate to agree here but...

From Kim (quoting Bushes speech last night):
Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.

"I want to see details on how this will be enforced. My heart says it’s the right thing to do, but my brain says that this is going to fail, and fail big, because when these “guest workers” are finished with their “temporary” jobs, they’re going to disappear, just like they do now. Aaaargh."

Yeah, pretty much.

I don't talk much about the illegal immigration issue; for various reasons including the fact that just about everyone else does just about all the time these days. This isn't to say I don't have strong opinions, because I do; but those opinions are a little more complicated than "Open Borders for all" or "Throw the bums out"; and it seems like there is no room in between for many folks.

I truly believe we are a nation of immigrants; my father is one of them, as are some of my best friends. I also believe that we need to control our borders for security AND fairness. An impotent law is no law at all, and that is what we have on our southern border today, no law at all. Not only are ther the direct consequences of this, effectively open borders; but the indirect consequence of a disrespect for the law, and those who so ineffectively enforce it (justified or not)

Most importantly, I believe we need to make assimilation (which doesn't mean abandonment of ones heritage) be a core value, and REQUIREMENT for citizenship or permanent residence.

Our current immigration laws are backward and stupid. It is trivially easy for the folks we mostly DON'T want here to evade them; and it effectively keeps out many of the folks we DO want here, including some of my good friends.

How do we fix it?

Well the first step is to absolutely and firmly control the border. Those who say that it is im[possible have never traveeled anywhere else in the world; where in general borders are far more closely controlled than hours. We need not become a police state to ensure our border security. The first step is simple, and not near as expensive as opponents would say; we need a WALL.

Not jsut a fence, a wall. Those of you who invoke berlin wall imagery, you are godwinning yourself here. This is a completely incomparable situation.

By a wall I'm not talking about 30 feet of concrete; that WOULD be too exensive, and nearly impossible.

I want to see a quadruple secured fenceline. That is a 12 foot high hurricane fence topped with razorwire, wired with cut sensors and possibly electrified; and another identical fence 10 feet in (so that the two fences cannot be bridged by a small ladder or plywood. The space in between these two fences should be filled with razorwire. Then there should be a 25 yard cleared space with motion detectors, sonic sensors (set to human size discrimination), and cheap net monitorable ccd cameras. Finally on the other side you repeat the double fence.

How much would this cost? Probably about $10 dollars per linear foot for the fencing and barricade materials x 4 fences, plus about $5000 per mile for the detection and enforcement technologies (yes, it can be done that cheaply), given current costs at standard contractor rates and assuming a steep but reasonable discount for the size of the contract.

Considering we're talking about 1951 miles, it works out to about to about 400 million for the fence and 10 million for the detection technologies. Lets assume worst case that it costs 500 million. It won't cost that much, or nearly that much in fact if we do it right; but lets assume.

That's one squadron of F-22s. Actually less than one squadron. We spent 70 billion developing just this one plane (and dont get me started on how stupid, ridiculous, and unnecessary it was to spend even a tenth that much); we can spend half a billion dollars on the fence.

Stop trying to tell me it can't be done. If you don't want it done then let's talk about the real reasons why, because the cost is a fart in a hurricane.

I believe we should end all legal immigration for people who do not speak basic english; enough to deal with our government and court system without translators (other than the same ones the REST of us require that is). I believe we should remove the national quota system we have today, and provide a path for anyone who wants to work here to get here LEGALLY; and we need to enforce that path, and the penalties for violating it.

This country will never run out of room for people; and we can absorb as many desireable (i.e. willing to work, and able to support themselves) immigrants as want to come here; so long as they are required to either assimilate or leave.

I also believe, and this one is hard, that no-one who professes to be a devout muslim should be allowed to immigrate here. A devout muslim simply cannot live and assimilate in American society. They must either compromise their beliefs, or actively fight against our country; and this cannot be encouraged.

How to enforce that though. We aren't the thought police, nor should we ever be...

These are not an easy questions, and they don't have easy answers. It's going to require DECADES of sustained will and effort to bring us back to the melting pot culture we once had, rather than the "diversity" desctruction culture we have been heading towards for decades.