Monday, October 19, 2009

Populist vs. Nonpopulist: Let Me Get This Straight. You Don't Want the Law Enforced?

Sherriff Joe Arpaio is a lightning rod of controversy to say the least. He has taken the most active and outspoken stance against illegal immigration since they used to drown the potato-mongers at Ellis Island (note: I am of Irish descent-lighten up.) His department has arrested 33,000 illegal immigrants since 2007 under a now rescinded mandate for the Department of Homeland Security that allowed him to enforce federal immigration laws. That power has been stripped, but he does not mind. There are still state laws in Arizona that he can use to bust immigrants and send them home. Most people fall on one of the two extremes on the issue of immigration. Some want more open borders and basically want to give amnesty to any illegal immigrant who has bypassed law enforcement and made their way into America. Others want to put a fence up and connect high-voltage electric charges to shock the would-be illegals back from which they came. Those are the populist views. My view, the nonpopulist view is that America as it is today is a country founded by immigrants, and we still need immigrants of all shapes, sizes, colors, education levels and skill sets to keep this country going.
Bill Gates testified on capitol hill a few years ago that America needed to relax some requirements and standards to allow immigrants with high technological skills into the country. I tend to agree with him on that point, but we also need a labor pool. Let us face facts and quit being so close-minded. America will be better for it. At the same time we need more law enforcement officials to stand up, have a sack, and enforce current laws.

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