Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thoughts on the Immigration Bill, #2 

Once it became clear that the American people had spoken and that the immigration bill would be defeated, there was some rejoicing but we need to realize we created this mess by ignoring our laws. We have an illegal immigration problem.

One key reason western civilizations have thrived (albeit in spurts) for millennia is that they developed the rule of law, a concept whereby the people choose their leaders and the law applies equally to everyone, regardless of tribe, faith, race, culture, language, etc. This concept began with the Greeks, then the Romans then various western European cultures. No other civilization developed and implemented this way of thinking, none.

Our Founding Fathers took this rule of law concept to a new level. Their ideal, based on the belief that people could rule themselves, reverberated around the world. As Thomas Jefferson wrote....,"that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Note, not equality but created equal; not happiness but the PURSUIT of happiness). It took time, revisions, struggles and war to get where we are today, but we're here, the most racially, religiously, ethnically tolerant and freest country on the planet. We have problems but try living anywhere else. America is any immigrants first choice.

Does our system work 100% of the time? No. Is it always fair? No. However, the alternatives are worse. Recall the words of Winston Churchill: "Indeed, it has been said democracy is the worst form of government except all those others that have been tried from time to time."

Our history, warts and all, is the history of a nation's people applying laws across the board and making necessary changes to promote freedom, here (Civil War) and overseas.

If we apply the law to some groups but not others, the system will fail. We want an immigration bill that addresses labor issues but also one that says if you are here, you need to come legally, obey our laws and carry your weight - pay your fair share and not take advantage of our generosity (and guilt).

Congress needs to understand we don't trust them - they are stalling on the fence, not tracking illegals, and ignoring the application of current immigration law. We know there's a problem but we want a clean, basic fix: build the fence, track illegals, require proof of citizenship to vote.

Congress needs to remember, Americans are smart enough. Given the facts, we will do the right thing. Now, we need Congress to act accordingly.