There has been a lot written and said about the immigration bill that seems to be going nowhere fast in the senate and most of it is hot air. On the political-right you have people who are demagogueing on the issue, engaging in racial politics and fear-mongering. On the left you have those who are blinded by idealism and political-correctness and those in the Democratic Party who like illegal immigration because they believe that these immigrants will become Democrats regardless as to whether they are hurting American workers.
I see myself in the middle of this issue. I support amnesty of those who are already here and do not want to live in a country that rounds up 12 million people and ships them away. On Fox News and talk-radio they make these 12 million sound so menacing; but in reality these are the parents of school kids, most are good neighbors, and most are hard-working. When you go to a hotel chances are they are changing your sheets and when your parents get old they may be the ones caring for them. The vast majority of these immigrants are just looking for a better life and most will find it here in America and their children will become full Americans in a generation.
This does not mean there are not problems though. Millions of unskilled immigrants drive the wages down for working-class jobs, encourage a system of exploitation, and create an atmosphere where it is impossible to assimilate such large numbers of people and the social fabric of many communities is removed. We clearly need to get control of the borders and then have enforced and regulated immigration. We cannot allow everyone who wants to come here to do so, it is not possible, and since we have to limit immigration, we have to start admitting people based on the needs of the American society, such as limiting the amount of low-skilled workers so that wages for American workers go up and encouraging IT professionals, academics and researchers to come here. In fairness, as it is the American tradition, I also believe in family reunification, but within reason.
The worst thing that can be done is to implement some kind of non-unionized “guest worker” program that would create a permanent underclass to the delight of Wall Street or to keep the system as it is today.
Another issue relating to this, with our increasingly diverse society, is the need for things that bring all of us together as Americans, and I do not have the time to address it in this piece but this is one of the main reasons I support a national draft for 18 year olds that could be military, community, or humanitarians service (this would bring us together in a spirit of community and help many in need).