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American Borders Forum

What should American immigration and border policies be? Submit your ideas to The American Borders Forum today.


Common Sense Laws: Left of Center View

Each and every law we pass or repeal has consequences. It is easy to overlook that in our day to day lives. Every law, applies to everyone of us, present high-ranking members of the Bush administration excepted apparently, but we tend to forget that until it actually effects us personally.

Laws can and are constantly used as tools, by those that understand them against those that donít. There is an entire profession and industry, lobbyists, created for the sole purpose of having the laws worded in such a way that they can be used later by their employers. There is a second profession and industry, lawyers created to attempt to manipulate the laws for the best use and effect of their employers. Thatís a lot of time, money and education spent on making the simple complex, because just because you donít understand the law doesnít mean that it doesnít apply to you.

Take the current immigration legislation kicking around Congress, most Americanís donít have the faintest idea what the law actually says. Truth be told the majority of us will never read that or any other legislation passed. Instead we will rely on somebody else to read it for us and tell us what it means. This is where the real danger comes in.

The Catholic Church fought for centuries to keep the Bible from being translated. Latin only. As long as the good book was only available in the language spoken only by the Clergy, there was little room for interpretation by the layman. Then along came the printing press and multiple translations appear and all Hell broke loose. Just imagine what would happen if we eliminated the ďlegaleseĒ from the legislation that governs us.

Most laws sound fair and just when described by the politicians that pass them and defended by the lobbyist s that paid for them. ďIf you entered the country illegally, you must leave immediately.Ē ďNo immunity period, We should not be rewarding people just because they were successful at breaking the law.Ē Sounds fair enough. But apply that to your own world.

Most of us know, employ, interact, work with illegal immigrants, and in many cases we donít even realize it. Itís easy to say send them all back, itís a little bit harder when itís George, Jorge, Greta or any of the folks you know on a first name basis. Once we learn their individual stories. Stories told by those fleeing the death squads in El Salvador in the mid 1980ís are remarkably similar to those told by Germans in the 1940ís, or the Bosnians in the 1990ís.

Immigration is a huge and complex issue, and an issue of extreme importance. Changing our immigration policies changes the very dynamic of our nation. Like global warming, immigration should be a bipartisan issue and one that should be approached with an open mind and dialogue, otherwise weíre just 10 years away from more amnesty legislation.

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

Last Week's View from the Left: Rise & Fall

Previous Weeks Views from the Left:
Outsourcing & Insourcing
English
Amnesty vs. Reality
Defining Immigration





Let's Get It Right This Time: Right of Center View

Now that Congress has failed to garner the votes needed to pass the horrible legislation that was S 1348, they have a golden opportunity to go back to the drawing board and come up with something good. President Bush will be gone in about a year and a half and hopefully someone without their head up their wazoo will be in the oval office next. If Congress starts now, they just might have something sensible in place by the time the new guy (or gal) starts doing the job.

There is a myriad of hurdles to overcome in coming to legislation that makes sense and as long as there's a presidential race on, every yahoo with a microphone is going to be trying to sound "presidential" on hot button issues like immigration. That being the case, they should be working toward a bill for 2009 that addresses the issues that need to be addressed in a calm, rational and sensible way. We need to improve border security. There are many options and looking into each of them for cost-effectiveness and efficiency would probably be a better idea than checking to see which manufacturer gave to your last campaign. Once you've done some real research, make a decision and write it into the bill. When you finish one item, move on to the next and do your homework so that the issue is addressed for the long term. You've done your immigration dog and pony show for this election so maybe now you can get down to working on some real legislation.

One of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is what to do with the several million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. One thing that needs to happen is a census of sorts. You need to find out how many people we are really talking about. Law enforcement needs to be able to look into immigration status without being called racists while making sure that they are not kicking in doors of American citizens for no reason because they thought somebody didn't look right. We don't need law enforcement to be harassing innocent people for being of a certain ethnicity but we also don't need to have cops letting people get away with breaking laws simply in the name of political correctness. Beyond the headcount, you need to find out the real impact the immigrants are having on our economy. You need to find out how many people are contributing to the tax base and how many are depleting government resources and figure out the overall impact on our economy. Once that has been done you will be in a better place to decide how to deal with the people that are already here.

At the end of the day, you need to have all the facts and make decisions based on them instead of basing them on rumors and inuendos. While I love to listen to Lou Dobbs talk about the immigration issue because he is so passionate about it, I realize that passion is not what needs to decide this issue. To have realistic reform the facts need to be weighed and issues addressed one by one. In other words, you need to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty doing some real work to solve a real problem. When a law is passed, it should be able to stand the test of time in order to be considered a good law. For that to happen in this instance, you need to actually solve some difficult problems and likely do a good amount of compromising along the way.
Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | E-mail Comments on this column.

Last Week's View from the Right: Once Again Congress Fails

Previous Weeks Views from the Right:
American Jobs
English Also vs. English Only
Amnesty
Defining Immigration

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 isnít 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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