Thursday, July 26, 2007

Illegal Immigration

The weekend that I arrived in America, everyone was talking about Bush’s controversial immigration bill.

If passed, the bill would have overhauled many of America’s current restrictions against illegal immigrants. It would have allowed the 12 million + aliens, now living in the U.S., to eventually gain citizenship. Once citizens, these people would be allowed to vote, potentially leading to even looser immigration laws.

According to one figure, 12% of Mexico’s population are now living in the United States illegally. Whether or not that is correct, illegal immigration is clearly one of the biggest problems America is currently facing. Although the government could easily stop the influx by building a wall along the Mexican border, or simply enforcing existing laws, they have generally turned a blind eye to the problem. Since illegal immigrants are willing to work for less than minimum wage, powerful businesses have lobbied against tighter restrictions.

Although construction companies may welcome crowds of illegal immigrants, the tax-payers are mad. The medical insurance of honest people has had to sky rocket to cover the free hospital care that illegal immigrants somehow qualify for.

Meanwhile, it is those who want to immigrate legally who are facing the real difficulties. In order for my wife (who, unlike me, is not a US citizen) to move to America, we have had to go through an expensive 8-month long process of paperwork, which will culminate with an interview at the American embassy next month. During that appointment an immigration officer will determine whether she will be granted a visa to come and join me.

While illegal immigrants are bankrupting the system by leeching public benefits, Esther is required to have an America sponsor who promises to pay back whatever she uses of public means. (I don’t count as the primary sponsor because I haven’t worked in the United States long enough.)

‘It would be a lot easier’ someone said to me the other day, ‘if you would just fly Esther and the children into Tijuana and then bring them up illegally.’

It would be a lot easier. Nevertheless, as a Christian I don’t regret doing things the legal way. I still believe that Shakespeare hit on something when he wrote ‘Honesty is the best policy.’ I would only want to add that honesty certainly isn’t the easiest policy, especially in America.
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