Immigration Reform

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As I’ve stated in the past, I tend to lean right on most issues. I favor a system that allows individuals to live their best life with a minimum of interference from others. The majority of these beliefs that I hold stem from the ideals of Libertarianism, a structure that is primarily about having as minimal a government as possible while still maintaining basic protections. That being said, a true believer in individual liberty can’t stand for some of the more conservative viewpoints and still say they value personal freedom.

One of these views I differ on is the current mess that is our immigration system. Any objective person could never look at what we have right now and see it as anything other than a catastrophe, from both sides of the issue. Conservatives fight for increased border security, which we actually do need quite desperately, while liberals scream for open borders so immigrants can find the better life that we all wish for everyone.

The reality is that we need both. While many of the “one world order” people will say that nationalism is a backward way of thinking, the truth is that we will never truly group all human beings into one way thinking. Individual nation states are important because it allows us to group ourselves with like minded individuals to accomplish goals that we could never dream of on our own. It must be acceptable for us to find a smaller place to belong to than just “the world”.

At the same time, we should not be making it nearly impossible for others to join our group, especially if their mindset follows ours. When people are living in a situation where others around them do not support their own viewpoints, they naturally crave relocation to a place where their own values can flourish. We hurt ourselves by barring people who support our way of life from coming to join our cause.

The problem with the argument today is that neither side can accept the idea that we need to implement both sides of the argument. We need strong border security to keep out those people who seek to undermine us, whether because they wish to selfishly take from us without giving anything back or because they are actively against what we stand for and wish to take us down. It is only when we can control who comes in and out that we can secure the freedoms we already have.

At the same time, we need to radically adjust our system to make it easier for good people to come and join our society. It shouldn’t take years or require access to unreasonable levels of funding to complete a path to citizenship. The roadblocks we have placed into our immigration system are exactly what has caused the kind of national crisis we have at our southern border. We need to make it easier for legitimate people to join our nation.

The biggest thing that bothers many conservatives is the fact that illegal immigrants don’t contribute anything to our tax system. I find it confusing then that they push so hard to make citizenship difficult. The more of these people we bring into the fold, the more tax dollars we will be able to add to our budget. Certainly not at first, as most of the first generation immigrants won’t make enough to be taxable, but we’ve seen over and over that second and third generation immigrants tend to be very successful in our society. It’s a long term investment.

In the end, most of our political issues come from our own stubborn pride. Instead of being able to look at both sides objectively and cherry pick what we agree on and implement that, we can’t get past what we hate about each other. The immigration issue could be greatly relieved if we implemented some of the policies from both sides of the aisle. If we could find the courage to do that, we can remove this contentious issue from the list and move on to other things.

How do you feel about immigration? Have you had to deal with the process, or do you know someone who has? What ways can you think of to solve the problem? If we can freely share our ideas and actually listen to what the other side is saying, we stand a much better chance of being able to move our country forward in a healthy way. The alternative is to continue this death spiral into chaos.

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