Immigration Reform


It looks like Congress is making progress on this front as described in this editorial in the N.Y. Times.   This is an expansion of a comment that appeared there.

I have a good friend, an Anglo who is a botanical consultant for a Baja California ranch commuting from his San Diego home. He works regularly, and has close relationships, with the workers there that provides a unique insight that informs what I write here.

It is illusory to think there is any solution to the osmotic forces that impels those of third world countries to seek greater prosperity of a first world country. My friend tells me how his compadres, (he speaks fluent Spanish) track U.S. immigration proposals closely, and whenever there is talk of a path to citizenship they think more seriously about coming here, of course illegally. Such proposals stoke the expectation that it could, even after decades, mean living in their dream society.

All the grand complex solutions proposed by Congress are ultimately illusory. Borders that define nations only exist to separate different societies and cultures. These lines are inherently cruel and unjust, as there is no ethical justification to support that those born a hundred feet to the south of a line should live in greater deprivation.

A starker example is the border of the Mediterranean Sea, the ultimate barrier between the abject suffering of much of Africa with the affluence of Europe, even now during a long term recession.  This drive, I call it "osmosis" as it is best understood as a force of nature, is so powerful that even the probability of death does not deter large numbers from embarking on a low survivability voyage-- even to live in prison in the Isle of Crete. ( Older link, more recent one not located. )

True Libertarians understand this, so do not believe in borders at all, only free enterprise. Few who think through the consequences of this are so eager to really implement this as a policy.  Let us at the least realize the inherent social realities at play. And with AHA, a type of universal health care, not only will illegal border crossing be increased, but the cost benefit equation will foster accepting even a higher risk.

We could, of course, seek integration with Mexico, as West Germany did with their communist brethren. The cost was astronomical and they had the advantage of a common language and history.  If we are up to this with our southern neighbors, lets advocate it.

But please, no illusions about ethical fair solutions. They don't exist.

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