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An Honest Conversation About Amnesty?

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Photo Credit: REUTERS

I was always taught that if you find yourself picking a fight with only one side, then you likely have missed the whole of the picture. In fact, it is a fairly rare occurrence when one can find fault with ONLY one side of an argument. Truth is often complex, ugly, difficult, and hurtful. Nowhere else is that as true as it is when we start talking about undocumented immigration and amnesty. I am likely to upset both sides of the aisle, but hey, I have always promised my readers the truth, at least as I understand it. So here goes.



To begin, let us come to some basic understandings:

1) The US' official immigration policy has changed over the years from "workers needed" to "skilled workers only." This is not wrong, nor is it right, it simply reflects the reality of our current country. You are far more likely to have the means and abilities that secure an immigration Visa if you are a skilled worker.

2) The US economy has come to depend on shadow class workers who are paid less than minimum wage, who are treated akin to cattle, and who are kept in this slave state by their quasi-legal status. THIS IS WRONG, FULL STOP.

3) It is simply neither practical, nor ethical, nor cost effective to round up the estimated 10-14 million undocumented residents currently in this country and deport them. Their countries might not even be willing to take them back. What do we do? Fly hostile transport planes over their sovereign airspace and push these people out with parachutes?

4) The current surge of undocumented migrants, and the refusal by the Biden Administration to prevent the flow, is making the needed amnesty impossible. You can likely convince enough Conservatives of the above points to get them to go along with amnesty, but you cannot do it while you are letting people in by the tens or even hundreds of thousands.

5) The US does bear some of the blame for the situation. I know, the leaders we took out were despots, dictators, communists, and all manner of other types of evil, but we failed so disastrously at what little attempt at nation building that we made, that today's reality was almost inevitable. People flee poverty. They always will.

So with those understandings, I'll ask you this question:

Why is it that we cannot find a compromise?

The answer is simple yet complex. We do not want to.

Here is a drone video of a migrant processing at the border in Texas. They were processing about 1,000 people and those people were being bussed into the country's heartland to "await" their refugee hearings. They were not adequately tested for COVID, nor were they means tested to see that they would not end up on assistance (which they will due to government interventionism), and they were not put into any type of holding situation to ensure that they make it to their trial date.

So what are we do make of this? If 1,000 people a day cross at ONE crossing, then is it fair to wonder if an average of 5,000 a day cross? That's 150,000 people a month, or 1,800,000 per year. That is about the population of the city of San Antonio coming in every year; and that is just the ones who come to the crossing points, not the ones who come across in the wilderness who have to be found by border patrol.

How can any country be expected to write a blank immigration check only to then be asked to turn around and make those same people citizens with social benefits? That is what is happening, and it is no wonder why it is going nowhere.

Amnesty is necessary, DACA is a good program, and members of that shadow workforce have paid their dues to our society for long enough. It is necessary, ethical, logical, and monetarily wise to pass immigration reform and amnesty, but only if the flow stops, and that is what this administration refuses to do.

Many attempt to take this back to the earlier days of our country, when we were letting in just about anyone with a pulse. Except there are two realities that you have to remember about that time:

1) They had a vigorous health screening where a deformity or even a common cold on the wrong day might get you sent back to your country of origin.

2) America needed a larger laborer class workforce to build and manufacture. Back then there was no automation, no factory assembly lines, and no unions. People, not machines, did all of the work. That is no longer our reality today.

Countries do change, their state of being changes, and the way that they interact with the world will necessarily change with it. There is nothing you can do about it.

Yet, what about those who are already here? You cannot make friends within the Hispanic community without eventually (and usually sooner than you expect) finding out that one of your friends, who is a great person and a hard worker, is here undocumented. What then?

I can write you a list of names that you would not believe. My time in California, El Paso, Texas, and even Greenville, Texas have left me with a large number of wonderful and amazing friends who are both Hispanic and undocumented. They're patriotic, they love America, they work HARD, and just want to go about living their lives. You want to uproot them and send them to a country they have never even been to because they were brought here when they were too young to object?

Come on, that is not only cruel, it is utter madness.

One of my favorite people I have ever hired was a young lady in Greenville, Texas who was going to college and was working at a Chinese food restaurant. She had her work permit and everything was legal since she was going through the process, but I could not help but wonder, if she had not had that card, what would I have done?

She was brilliant, caring, compassionate, and devoted to her craft. She never treated any of the people who came in for Social Services with contempt or looked down on them. She was one of the very best I'd ever seen at caring for those in need, and she was barely past her twentieth birthday. She was, and still remains a close family friend and is an utterly amazing person.

Yet she has family members who are under DACA protection, and some who are not. She could have been one of those DACA people, or maybe not even have had that protection; and if she was, then there would have been nothing I could have done to help her, I could not have hired her, and all of those people that she loved and helped would have lost out on her caring, compassion, and love.

If we are going to fix this, then we need a three pronged approach:

1) We need to secure the border so that the smallest amount of people cross illegally (you will never stop 100%).

2) We need a blanket amnesty that eliminates the shadow workforce.

3) We need a guest worker program that allows for laborer jobs to be filled by Mexican nationals while still paying taxes and being recognized as working in the US and having the protections thereof (OSHA, HHS, NLRB, et al).

Honestly, these points are so easy, and this subject is such low hanging fruit, that I cannot understand why we have not accomplished them yet.

Well, maybe I do...

The Republicans think that they'll all vote Democrat, so they do not want to let them stay. The Democrats think that if they eliminate the shadow class and end their dependency on the government that they will vote Republican because they are socially conservative.

Both think that if they change the way things are now that these immigrants will vote for the other guy. That is why no one will use any common sense and get it done.

Yet here is my big beef with the Republican party. Do they not realize how much they have in common with the everyday Hispanic community? These people are socially Conservative, patriotic, devoted to their families, grateful to our country for bringing them in, and the ONLY thing they broadly do not like about our party is the party's treatment of them and their people. They are some of the most moral, loving, caring, and giving people you will EVER meet in your entire life.


And I say that after countless hours, days, weeks, and years of talking things through with them. My Spanish is getting better, but my heart continues to be heavy. How quickly the Republican party would find an ally in the Hispanic community if they would only compromise and work to get immigration reform and amnesty passed.

You see, it is not only the right thing to do, but it is politically expedient also.

It is long past time for this to all get done, and I sincerely hope that after we retake the House and the Senate in 2022 that we will put this at the top of our priority agenda. I hope we speak out clearly to the Hispanic community in our country and say, "You are us, and we welcome you."

It is something that the Party would never regret.

Like fighting to free the slaves, and giving them right to vote.

You never regret doing the right thing.



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