I only watched part of the GOP debate, and “immigration magnet” must be one of those buzzwords that I’ve never heard before. The argument goes that policies like amnesty will serve as a “magnet,” attracting more illegal aliens to the ten million plus already in the country.
I don’t buy it, and I don’t like what it implies about how we view ourselves as a country. American SHOULD be a magnet – our greatest strength for our entire existence has been our “magnet” effect on people around the world looking for a better life. We should want our country to be the best damned place to live in the world, and immigrants SHOULD be clamoring to get here any way they can. That’s why illegal immigrants come – not because of lax immigration policies, but becuase America still provides a better opportunity to provide a life for immigrant’s families. We SHOULD be a magnet for the immigrants of the world – and we need to change our immigration policies to make doing so legally easier and more transparently.
For the millions that are already here illegally, there are only three options:
1) Deportion – Impractical and inhumane if applied to an entire population of 11million people.
2) Don’t deport, but provide no path to legal status – this forces millions of otherwise law-abiding people to live beneath the law. How much easier would the DEA’s job be if drug dealer’s neighbors weren’t afraid of being deported? How much tax revenue is lost from 13 million people that don’t pay their taxes?
3) Provide a path to legal status.
I agree that our border security needs to be fixed – narcotics and terrorism both strongly argue for the ability to keep would-be bad actors out. But if someone wants to come and work, they should be allowed to come and build a life.
America is unique as a nation because the only thing that ties us together is a common ideology rooted in the Constitution. If you come here and work hard and “buy-in” to the American ideal, you’re an American. I could move to China or Russian or France tomorrow, and even if I stayed for 50 years, I would never be Chinese, Russian or French. My children and my children’s children would always be foreigners – that’s not how we do things here.