A Succinct Take On Immigration

As someone whose great-grandparents were the ones who dropped everything they knew, hopped on a boat to cross an ocean to an entirely new continent, and built an entirely new life in the freedom of America, I’m somewhat blessed. So I share TJIC’s thoughts here. What I’d never considered is exactly what it would take for me to leave America — when you live here, “greener pastures” don’t seem to exist. So this little thought experiment is very interesting:

To imagine the delta in life and happiness that a Mexican can achieve by sneaking into the US and consensually trading labor for cash with a willing adult citizen, we can’t merely picture ourselves sneaking into some fictional Richistan in order to earn 2x or 3x our salary.

…because we’re all (and by that I mean the software engineers, the lawyers, and the starving musicians reading this blog) at the point in the income curve (largely because we had the good luck to be born in the US) where an additional dollar of income doesn’t mean much. Heck, even a doubling of income doesn’t mean much to us – most of our basic wants have been satisfied.

Instead, we have to imagine something comparable in benefit to what a Mexican sneaking over here achieves. A 200 year lifespan, guaranteed happiness for our children, or long and healthy life for our pets, a long, vigorous and healthy old age for our parents – that’s perhaps the equivalent.

What would you do to make sure that you, your parents, and your children lived hapilly for 200 years?

I, for one, wouldn’t hesitate for a second to sneak into a country that prides itself on its immigration, and which has a ton of work that needs doing, and has a ton of employers who are willing to pay me.

Neither would I. So how could I possibly begrudge those who come here for a comparative increase in standard-of-living to the thought experiment above?

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  • Michael Powell

    It’s also really worth noting that, if Irish immigrants had arrived at Ellis Island and been met with the massive bureaucracy and red tape that Mexican immigrants are faced with, they may have just kept going north up to Quebec or Newfoundland.

  • Windy Wilson

    I don’t begrudge the immigrants any of this. My wrath is reserved for the politicians who see value in creating a system where the would-be immigrants could die of old age before the quotas allow them to enter America legally, but if they sneak in and manage to be ghosts for an unknown number of years an amnesty program gives them permanent resedency long before the potential immigrants who did not decide to trespass can even hope to begin the permanent residency process, where these ghosts have to fear the knock on the door at midnight, or some routine traffic stop that will turn into a deportation. This system is unAmerican!
    The quotas should be much larger, because we’ve seen from the last 30 years that when the Feds stay out of the economy-meddling business America can absorb a much larger number of immigrants at all economic and skill levels without trouble.
    Come to think of it, I think the business about fearing the knock on the door at midnight is not a bug but a feature for the statist big government types, as that ensures people need the government, mostly to protect themselves from the government.

  • http://dumbolddad.blogspot.com Dedicated_Dad

    I’m usually in agreement with you, but NOT on this.

    Not by a country mile – or a million of them.

    We have laws. Every illegal’s first act was to break them.

    My problem is all of the uproar masking as “reform.”

    All we need to do is enforce existing laws.

    Why is it that my daughter – unmistakeably a natural-born citizen – cannot get a minimum-wage job without completing an I-9 form but works alongside those who make no attempt to conceal their illegal status?

    Further, the invaders drive down wages – which impacts everyone as well.

    The .gov should be enforcing our borders and stay the hell out of wages and other matters.

    Border protection is one of the few legitimate functions of the fed .gov — and like ALL its legitimate functions it instead actively ignores its duty and denigrates anyone (like me) who points out this obvious fact.

    If you want to come here, have something to contribute, and some skill WE NEED, then we should be able to expedite your paperwork.

    We have vast government plantations filled with folks who are only qualified for – and hence should be doing – the sort of menial labor most illegals gravitate toward, thus compounding our problems.

    First we must clear the invading horde, then we must force the indolent to earn their keep.

    The latter isn’t really possible without the former.

    DD

  • Dan

    I agree totally with Dedicated Dad … illegal means simply that, breaking the law. It is no different than stealing. If you want to immigrate here, then do it legally. The red-tape has been created by the pols (they are the ones that make the rules remember) that want to grant amnesty solely for the purpose of expanding their voter base. Immigrants are welcome … they just have to follow the rules and pay taxes like the rest of us.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/ Brad Warbiany

    Dan,

    Our immigration laws don’t reflect economic or social reality, in any way, shape, or form.

    Our immigration laws are like getting nailed by a speed trap — not designed for safety, but for generating revenue. Our immigration laws are like getting a ticket for parallel parking with your bumper extending 8 inches over the red portion of the curb. Our immigration laws are like getting busted for crossing the street when the light says “Don’t Walk” even though you can see a quarter mile in both directions and no cars are coming.

    Breaking the law is illegal, by definition. That doesn’t mean breaking the law is wrong.