Real Problems and Campaign Rhetoric

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I am the great grandchild of people who immigrated to the United States. This makes me as unusual as a grain of sand on a beach. The United States is entirely populated by immigrants, including those who are known as Native Americans whose people traveled here from Asia eons ago. As a nation, the US has always been a magnet for people seeking a better life, a better opportunity, a better future. Immigration is not new, but it has become a political football in regard to the masses of people entering without appropriate legal means.

Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have attempted to stem the tide from the south by building a wall along our border, an expensive undertaking which has had little positive effect. I hear politicians and office hopefuls speak to this problem in terms of doing more of the same and hoping for a better result. This is frankly a demonstration of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result. It is also another means of spending more taxpayer dollars for materials and manpower.

It isn’t difficult to understand why someone in another country, stricken with poverty, would want to come to the US. It is especially easy to understand when you realize the enticements our government has so generously laid before them. Not just the hope of a job with good pay, but the promise that if they can get into the US, they are immediately able to take advantage of a number of social programs paid for by hard working Americans. This is an interesting list, considering none of the fresh immigrants have contributed a single penny to the pot from which the benefits are drawn. Welfare, Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, all are being paid to these people just because they are here. If you are over 65, you not only get to draw Social Security benefits, you are also entitled to receive a monthly stipend for the purposes of establishing your household.

I have no objection to anyone who wants to immigrate and become a US citizen, as long as they do so in them correct manner, as prescribed by law. Come here, find work, learn to speak and read English if you don’t already, pass the required tests and become a citizen, as did my ancestors. The easiest solution, in my mind, to illegal immigration is simple. Turn off the money and the benefits. No matter how loudly we protest about illegal immigration, as long as we reward people for just showing up inside our borders we will never gain control. If we insist they work here, pay taxes, contribute to our social programs, become a part of our society, the influx will abruptly slow.

So long as we lay out the financial welcome mat to the tune of more dollars per month than they can earn in a year where they have been, they will keep coming, too many, too fast to be stopped.

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