April 07, 2005

The Problem of Illegal Immigration

As a moderate caveat, it should be noted that this does tend to ramble a bit, but I find it more or less illustrative of my feelings on the subject. Do bear in mind that I hashed this out while sitting in classes if it begins to take on a slightly disjointed feeling from time to time. That said, all comments, ciriticisms and responses are welcome.

The problem of illegal immigration in the United States as it is typically realized is actually a threefold problem of national security, law enforcement and human rights. On these matters, there is increasing debate as one goes down the list, such that I find it most profitable to first address the problem upon which there is the most agreement if only to arrive at a profitable agreement which I may use as a tool later in the discussion.
It should be noted at this point that regardless of controls created upon current illegal immigrants and future immigrants, an open and uncontrolled border such as the one that the U.S. shares with Mexico does not support national security and stands in opposition to any attempts at improving U.S. national security. Further, one should at this moment take pause and consider the lack of national stability and security of Mexico and further emphasize that a nation can only safely exercise an open border with another country if such a country shares similar ideals and is of equal or greater national stability and security. With a country such as Mexico where national security is a farce and nationwide corruption and instability are the rule, it is foolish to turn a blind eye to an open border. Further, to perpetuate such an instrument of national insecurity and instability by inaction is the paramount of foolishness.
Now, on the topic of illegal immigrants, one must first deal with tangential arguments of human rights that plague most discussions on illegal immigration, unnecessarily derailing them and diverting off onto rabbit trails. In short, it must be agreed that every human being has certain inalienable rights that cannot be abrogated, even if a particular individual is either suspected of or convicted of criminal activity. An enumeration of these rights would seem profitable, so we shall draw upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an accepted criterion as accepted by the United Nations General Assembly.
Insofar as the rights of immigrants are concerned, I have several things to note. First, it should be noted that while everyone is construed as having the right to leave any country and return to his own country, it is nowhere construed that anyone has a right to enter a country where he is not wanted. Extrapolating on this, it stands to reason that while a person might have certain rights that cannot be abrogated regardless, there are other rights that he has that are provisional of being a law-abiding and upright resident of the state in which he is located and it could be argued that included in a listing of such rights are the rights to work, a living wage and access to education. In short, no more could I land in Russia and demand a right to a job, a decent wage and an education than an unlawful immigrant should be able to demand such things of the United States and have the denial of such demands construed as a human rights violation. Indeed, such an unlawful entrance into a country could be construed as a voluntary abrogation of many human rights, should an unlawful immigrant be convicted of having broken laws and such a criminal status would carry with it certain penalties such as loss of liberty, exile and property loss. Furthermore, insofar as the illegal alien attempts to trespass where he is not allowed and steal benefits and thus cheapen or remove those benefits from others, it should come as no surprise that the government is now forced to intervene to protect him from the disdain-filled vigilantism that typically follows such crimes.
As a partial aside, I will note that while it is certainly possible and even a proven reality that illegal and inhumane acts on the part of independent operators and even U.S. state and federal law officers have served to violate the rights of illegal immigrants, that is not germane to this discussion. If I will allow that such injustices can be and are perpetrated, surely it can be allowed that the proper oversight would necessarily curb and eliminate such injustices, thus allowing us to progress to the next area of our discussion.
Coming back around, it is thus that I am left to criticize the proposed amnesty (or naturalization or whatever) for illegal aliens. Surely, such an act would allow accounting for those who have already entered the country, but it really doesn't solve the national security problem imposed by the open border with Mexico. Further, such a system for naturalizing immigrants involves, by necessity, the provision of documentation for some mass of undocumented aliens and thus allows another natural loophole with regards to the circumvention of national security. In short, the proposal merely treats the symptom of the existing problem, and that at the cause of the credibility of the laws as they currently stand.
In summary, I have no problems with immigration of a legal variety, nor do I truck with isolationism and indeed, I would love to see immigration policies expanded. While some criticize such a penchant for regulated immigration as bigotry, isolationism and xenophobia, I would counter in saying that a nation must protect her borders, especially in modern times. Further, with the foreign national status of all of the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks, it is foolhardy to suggest that regulated immigration is nothing more than paranoid xenophobia. I care greatly for human rights, but I care little for those who would presume to unlawfully exploit the generosity of a sovereign nation by circumventing and flaunting her laws.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at April 7, 2005 10:59 PM | TrackBack