Thursday, July 15, 2010

Immigration -- Mr. Boyack.

Conner Boyack has authored an exhaustive piece on immigration. Despite his support of Mike Lee, he supports amnesty for illegal immigrants. His piece was quite long -- too long for a self-employed accountant/Mr. Mom to read in one sitting. There were a few quotes that I found most notable:
Our current immigration situation can be likened to a rotting tree, either in need of being felled or nurtured to good health. If we were to dig up the roots, though, we would see that they are poisoned; the foundation upon which our modern immigration laws rest is evil and wrong. This poison consists of two parts: racism and protectionism........

Both racism and protectionism are evil—nobody has the right to deny another individual, regardless of race, the right to rent or purchase private property (and therefore cannot delegate that authority to the government they have organized), and nobody has the right to mandate through law that their industry be favored through tariffs, salary caps, minimum wage, or anything related.

And yet, these two poisons have produced the rotting tree we now call immigration law; rather than felling it and starting fresh, many people want the tree to grow and extend its branches—all while ignoring the roots.

Mr. Boyack's (although I have only skimmed through it a couple of times so far) is quite refreshing and highly recommended.

My Most Recent Non-US Born Ancestor's Immigration

I was home last week and the discussion of illegal immigration came up with my parents. My mother was in favor of laws like the one enacted in Arizona. My mom is a wonderful woman, but she is as xenophobic as can be. She tried to use the arguments of "rule of law" and "invaders from the south" as justification for her support for laws like that enacted in Arizona, but she later admitted she hates that every time she makes a phone call it asks you whether you want the call in English or Spanish.

This discussion led to a discussion of my grandmother's 1939 immigration to the US. My mother honestly didn't know the specifics of her immigration, so we made a few phone calls. It turns out that her sister, and likely my grandmother were sponsored for visas by President Heber J. Grant. My grandmother's sister worked as a maid for the prophet, and often had early morning conversations with him -- I hope someone can find her journals. My grandmother met my grandfather, a Cache valley native, got married and secured a permanent resident visa.

What's the point of my bringing my grandmother up? Mostly, just because I found it interesting.

Mr. Boyack points out in his essay that illegal immigration didn't exist in the American legal system until passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 -- the rotten roots of our current immigration system. Since then we have strayed further and further away from the intent of the founders desire ( I especially like the Madison quote in Mr. Boyacks essay:
“America was indebted to emigration for [America's] settlement & prosperity”)
for a nation that had open borders and openly let anyone desiring prosperity to come here and do so.

My own grandmother, although coming legally, used the marriage exception to secure permanent residency. There was no fraud involved -- my grandparents were happily married for 50+ years. However, her permanent residency was secured by one of the most despised exceptions to US xenophobes. Her marriage came within months of her arrival, and I have no doubt that many anti-immigrants would question the marriage's speed as being an illegitimate loophole to the "rule of law".

Since the 1930's even, the system's mountainous bureaucracy has become nearly impenetrable for those who attempt to do it legally. It is no wonder that illegal immigration is so popular.

Mr. Boyack is dead on (although I wonder how his sensible views on immigration reconciles to his support of Mike Lee). Amnesty is necessary to allow illegals who are here with legitimate desires to partake of the American dream can do so without fear of lists and being exiled from their new homes for a violation that even Mike Lee admits is less serious than a misdemeanor.

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