Sunday, April 23, 2006
Immigration, as it has several times before in American history, once again moved to the front burner among political issues. Yet the two political parties struggle to find a conceptual framework in which to view the problem and sell a position to their constituents. There is as much disagreement between members of each party as there is between the incoherent positions of each party. The politicians cannot come up with a coherent solution because none is possible if one supports the concept of the polyglot but highly centralized American empire. Mexicans are entering the U.S. in ever increasing numbers because the Mexican economy is so dysfunctional. It is a bureaucratic nightmare borne of a marriage of socialism and crony capitalism that supports entrenched elites and fails to produce an adequate number of decent paying jobs. Without immigration to the U.S., Mexico would erupt in civil strife. The effects of the large number of immigrants are confusing and contradictory. American citizens who would normally take lower paying, dirty or dangerous jobs have been conditioned by the welfare state to shun these jobs. The Mexicans help local economies by taking jobs that would otherwise go begging. In a real sense, immigration and the employment of illegal aliens is a market at work: willing, competent employees being hired by employers who want them. The result is an increase in goods and services supplied at a reasonable price to all Americans. So what is the problem? The large influx of immigrants clearly stresses the fabric of many of the communities who must absorb them. If states and local communities were free to decide on how to accomodate and absorb the influx of immigrants according to the needs and demands of that community, one could have more rational and flexible immigration policies . Communities who needed immigrant labor would be more accomodating than those that do not. Tax supported public services, which should be collected and distributed on the local level, could be used or withheld as decided by that community. Instead immigration policy is set on the federal level. The 14th amendment defines any child born in America as a US citizen and citizen of the state in which he is a resident, and the courts then mandate the full range of tax supported social services supplied by federal, state, and local governments be spent on the new "citizen" and his family; the so-called anchor baby effect. States along the border, such as Arizona and New Mexico, struggle under a literal invasion while in a supreme irony, their national guard troops are dispatched by the federal powers to fight the unconstitutional war in Iraq. If the states still had control of "a well regulated militia" as guaranteed by the 2nd amendment and were free to set their own policies for immigration and citizenship, they could defend their borders and regulate immigration in line with the needs of their local communities. If they were overwhelmed, they could ask their fellow states or the federal government for assistance. This was the intent of the design of our republic. The liberties of Americans in their diverse communities cannot be preserved by a federal government imposing a national policy from Washington. With Washington controlling spending and security for the purposes of the federal government, states and local communities are left to struggle. The immigration issue is indeed a problem of empire which could be better handled by returning constitutionally legitimate power and resources to the states and local communities.