Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Where Immigration Reform Should Start

President Lyndon Johnson's words about transforming America into a Great Society can be instructive to our current immigration debate, but not in any way he would have anticipated or that his ideological progeny now appreciate. When he said "it is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than with the quantity of their goods," he invoked the socialist bugaboo "materialism" to justify entitlement spending. Today, we hear pejoratives such as "racism" and "nationalism" tossed about to justify an invasion on American soil attacking the soft underbelly of our society: our entitlement system. The quality of our goal to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness most widely will be tested as we wrestle with illegal immigration, but this healthy discussion will present great opportunity for advancement.

America is turning the corner on immigration and entitlements with the current unrest over the proposed granting of wholesale amnesty to illegal immigrants. Politicians who fail to see the coming events in time will pay a heavy price. I believe what we are experiencing is a return to the path that made America great and the one that will make our nation greater still. That path involves more freedom in our free enterprise and less entitling in our entitlement system. We will accomplish this by expelling illegals from our communities without using massive police action or by building miles and miles of walls along our southern border. We will accomplish a renaissance in America by dismantling our welfare system and it will rightly begin by cutting off those in this country illegally.

As the least productive among them either choose to become more productive or choose to leave, the lights will start to come on across America. We don't need a guest worker program, we need Americans to see foreigners come here and truly risk everything to gain what we take for granted. That doesn't happen when the newcomers live far better here on welfare than they do at home.

The cold fact is that we can easily afford illegal immigration. Any new person who is even minimally productive is a net positive to our economy, even on all kinds of welfare. This is why we have survived so well despite granting socialist advances beyond Karl Marx's dreams. But the more important fact is that we can do even better for everyone without the Great Society bluster and largesse. It is time we gave this a shot. And the first blow will be struck when we clamp down on government benefits given to those who are here illegally.