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Human Rights and Immigration Policy: Left of Center View

When it comes to our immigration policy, humanitarian rights and issues are the moral minefield that is most often ignored as to difficult to solve. It is a two-sided sword: on the one hand America as a nation is very generous and caring and really does want to help those in need, on the other hand we’re tired of giving handouts and have our own folks that we need to help before we can go worrying about the rest of the world.

Even simplifying the issue doesn’t really help. For example, let’s take all of the other former British colonies out of the equation. Just for the moment let’s set aside India and most of Africa and the West Indies (probably not really fair to lump that entire group together but we’re trying to simplify here). Let’s also not include the folks in Western Europe or China and just for the sake of argument focus only on those people who have legitimate humanitarian concerns that are directly or at least heavily influenced or caused by U.S. foreign policy. Think the Vietnam or Iraq, Philippines and most of South America, just the folks that find themselves in a bind because of the United States actions in their homelands. Because even if we did go into these far away places with the very best of intentions, it is generally because of us that these people need help.

So if the U.S. is at least partially responsible for making their homes uninhabitable, and I think we can all agree that any place the receives regular mortar or artillery fire is uninhabitable. Small arms fire OK, I mean we have Detroit, LA and Philadelphia, so hey, we got your small arms fire buddy. If we are responsible for making a place unlivable, are we not at least partially responsible for both (A) making it livable again and (B) helping the people we displaced find a place to stay while the repairs are underway. If you accidentally burned down your neighbor’s house wouldn’t you feel at least slightly obligated to let them stay with you until they find another place to settle?

And therein lays the problem “until they find another place to settle”. See the folks that we displaced want to move in, permanently. And while you’d like to help your neighbor out, you don’t really want to be responsible for them for the rest of your life. That said, historically the U.S. has a decent record of taking care of our allies, there are Persian, Vietnamese, Korean and even some Pilipino and Cuban communities scattered all over the country. These people that were displaced by U.S. military actions were able to be absorbed by the country.

If we operated our immigration policy on the dual principal of morality and responsibility we would also have to offer sanctuary to everyone living in hazardous conditions. While this may seem to be the only answer as to policy and conduct when examined hypothetically, when real numbers are plugged into the equation it all becomes pure fantasy. Let’s be brutally honest with ourselves, true America’s door used to be wide open to just about anyone who could get here. That was the principal that this nation was founded on, but that is no longer one that we can afford to live up to. Now we as a people have also decided to take care of each other, citizens and residents today enjoy a much more protected and higher standard of living than ever before. Surgeons in the 1800’s didn’t have to treat patients until after they had received payment; there was no welfare, food-stamps, unemployment assistance, public housing. That has all changed, as it should. But unfortunately we still haven’t found a way to pay for it all.

So while there is still a moral obligation to clean up after ourselves internationally, and while we really do want to help those that are less fortunate than ourselves, there does come a time when we have to look at things realistically. We have folks sleeping in the streets and undereducated malnourished children right here at home. So while I really do wish we could help everyone, family should come first.


Kyle Pesonen - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a liberal viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Globalization and Immigration

Send in your view from the Left to be our featured Left of Center View for the week.

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Last Week's View from the Left:
Multiculturalism and the Holidays

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Terrorists at the Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy And Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs and Fair Trade
Open Borders and the American Worker
ICE Raids Detain Thousands of Innocent People
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Common Sense Laws
Rise & Fall
Outsourcing & Insourcing
English
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration




Human Rights and Immigration Policy: Right of Center View

In this country there are literally millions of immigrants here both lawfully and unlawfully who came to America for a plethora of reasons and more arrive every day. Some come because the economy of their homeland is poor and they want a chance to make a better life for themselves in America. Some come here because they are fleeing conflict in their country and see America as a safe haven from their troubled country. Still others come here to escape political and social persecution at the hands of their leaders.

When we make policy on who should be allowed into the nation legally and which immigrants should be given priority over others it seems that human rights should be a strong consideration in the deliberations. That being said, we also need to be mindful of the impact of immigrants on America. There is a positive and negative impact that accompanies the addition of more people into our culture and economy. While human rights conditions are important they are not the only thing that should be considered. To be blunt, we need to make sure that American interests are given greater weight than the tragic plight of people outside of our borders. We have Americans that are suffering and being left behind because our leaders sometimes lose focus on the people they serve while they debate the grandiose issues of how many people we should welcome into our country from abroad and how we should punish those who come here unlawfully.

We have a school system in this nation that is in a horrible state because our leaders have not had their priorities straight for a long time. “No Child Left Behind” has not improved the overall conditions in our schools and has not led to any significant improvement in education levels for massive segments of our school age population. Instead of spending money saving the people being oppressed in China or Cuba maybe we might want to spend a bit of that money making sure our children have sufficient light and heat in their classrooms. Before we save the world, we need to save ourselves. We have a homelessness problem in this nation that is not going anywhere. We have pathetic security at our borders and despite the creation of the Department of Homeland Security our nation is not secure by any means. Airports fail security checks on a regular basis and only a minute fraction of cargo containers coming into the United States undergo a thorough inspection before being sent out on the roads to be delivered to our cities and towns. We have serious problems that need serious solutions before we worry about solving other countries’ problems.

So while human rights are important to consider when setting priorities in immigration policy, we need to remember that we have people here suffering too and they should come first in any debate about immigration policies for America. There are ways we can put pressure on governments to improve their policies regarding human rights. We don’t need to take on more mouths to feed than we can sustain because our leaders don’t have the political will to enact more stringent trade policies related to human rights issues within the countries of our trading partners. If the current politicians don’t have the will to pass legislation requiring fair trade agreements that support both the US economy and worldwide human rights standards, we need to vote them out of office and vote in people who will have the will to work for the best interests of Americans while supporting our ideals.

We also need to remember that unjust imprisonment, forced labor and torture are not the only human rights issues. Homelessness is a human rights issue. Poverty is a human rights issue. Childhood education is a human rights issue. Adequate health care is a human rights issue. Self sufficiency is a human rights issue. Those are all human rights issues faced by suffering Americans on a daily basis. We need to take care of the home front before we start trying to save the world. When all the homeless have homes, all the children (including those with special needs) have an adequate education available to them, all Americans can afford health care and every American citizen is able to find gainful employment sufficient to support them financially then we should begin the effort to save the rest of the world from itself.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom | Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Got a conservative viewpoint? We want to know what you think.

Next week's subject: Globalization and Immigration

Send in your view from the Right to be our featured Right of Center View for the week.

Click here to submit your article.

Last Week's View from the Right:
Multiculturalism and the Holidays

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
Unsafe Imports: Who's to Blame?
Amnesty and Elections
Undocumented Nannies and Politics
Enemies At The Gates
Drugs and Immigration
The Border Fence
American Immigration Abroad
Port Security
Setting Standards for Legal Immigration
Diplomacy and Immigration
Gangs; Importing Criminals
Cultural Migration
Tariffs, Safety and Fair Trade
Open Border Trucking Policies
Unions Defending Illegal Aliens
Political Activism and Illegal Immigration
Integrating Other Cultures Into the American Dream
Employing Undocumented Workers
Bilingual Education
The Minutemen
Driver's Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants
Open Borders
Sanctuary Cities
Let's Get It Right This Time
Once Again Congress Fails
American Jobs
English Also vs. English Only
Amnesty
Defining Immigration

Solving Our Immigration Problem

The major problem our country is facing with illegal immigrants today is because of the exploitation of these immigrants. We believe the solution to this problem is two-fold. First, we should allow more immigrants in this country to cut down on the number of illegal ones. Second, all immigrants should be educated about their rights at the expense of the government. Below, you will find an in-depth look at our suggested reforms.

Reforms for immigration limitations:

-New immigrants can't equal more than 1% of the US population in a given year (the population being from the last recorded census). That 1% will be further divided up to allow only a certain number of immigrants each month.
-Each country of origin for immigrants will be allowed a certain percentage of that 1%. No country could receive more than 10% of the total amount and no country can receive less than .1% of it. The left over percentage will be divided up between all countries as follows: Read more...

Do Elements Within the La Raza Movement Pose a Threat to America?

La Raza means literally “The Race” in Spanish. The movement was formed in 1968 to promote the interests of the Mexican-American community. Like the NAACP and other affirmative-action minded organizations, La Raza has many members that are interested in being part of America and promoting equality for all Americans. The fundamental goals as stated by the movement are benign and represent the ideals of American diversity and cultural pride.

There is another movement affiliated with La Raza that has historically been more militant and still maintains documents within their organization that point to isolationistic views Read More

A Plan

The one major thing that seems to be lacking in the immigration debate is a real plan that addresses the legitimate concerns with illegal immigration. There are strong opinions on both sides and a lot of rhetoric but there isn’t really any solid plan being promoted to address the illegal immigration issue in a way that is both fair and logical.

So, that being said here is my idea:Read More

Trucking Cross Borders

This is mainly a concern for the trucking business. If we allow these people to come into our country, bringing cargo that we in America have, and can supply, then we are saying that the American working people are not needed, and have lost all say to legally enforced DOT (Department of Transportation) laws.Read More



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