Problems, problems and no simple answers
Two of my favorite blogs out there are Poliblog by Dr. Steven Taylor and Outside the Beltway which is a group blog but predominantly the work of James Joyner. If I'm not mistaken, James and Steven are friends/acquaintances. Both write well, are moderate conservative and have been kind to me in the almost one year that TFM has existed.
Today James points to a blog entry at Poliblog. Both are asking why the illegal aliens just weren't rounded up yesterday or at any time. James says we don't have the stomach and Steven agrees. I'll third that motion, we've let the issue get to this point through apathy or lack of attention. It is what do we do about it.
Then Steven gets to why we just don't all of them. It would be an impossible job and some innocent people are going to be caught in the middle of this.
First, the sheer numbers. The amount of law enforcement needed to actually identify, round-up and haul off all of marchers yesterday who were illegal aliens would have been staggering.
Not all of those protesting were illegals yesterday either. I blogged about it here, one of my wife's co-workers took part in the boycott. Some legal aliens supported the marchers.
What were we going to do with the hundreds of thousands who did march? Jail them? The same question can be asked of all the illegals here. The size of this group is just too large to be able to do what some hardcore people on the right want. Evict them all. I wish we could, but I'm practical enough to see the impossibility of this solution.
Second, the point of suspicion for law enforcement would have been skin color and other physical characteristics. Do we really want police going around demanding documents from anyone who looks like he or she might be from Latin America? There are millions of citizens, many of whom have family going back generations in this country, whose physical appearance is such that they might be an illegal immigrant. Should they have to produce documents because they have brown-ish skin and their last name is Garcia, Hernandez or Gomez? What if they don’t have their birth certificate on their person? Should they be taken downtown on suspicion of being illegally in this country?
Or Olobia or Barrameda or Nguyen. The first is my wife's family name, the later two the names of doctors of me and the wife, either past or present. All born outside the USA but US citizens today. All still speak with a twang inherited from their native lands.
My wife doesn't carry around proof of her citizenship. I don't know anyone who does. We keep it in our safety deposit box along with other documents.
So what are you going to do if someone doesn't have proof. Arrest them on suspicion or cut them loose? Again not many people are thinking this issue through. Only way would be to first issue a national id card to everyone who is legal here, born or not, citizen or not. Not a small project again, and who carries the burden of proof.
By the way how do we determine those illegal cannucks here in the US? Most of them are white, and talk like they were born in the US. Won't that job be fun.(Time for sarcastic laughter)
Some suggest we eliminate birthright citizenship. I blogged about this before. That's a simple solution for a complex problem that will be a nightmare. First, only an ammendment to the Constitution would work. An 1898 Supreme Court precedent says otherwise. Second the bureacracy its going to entail, and then the mess it will cause for people who can't show proof of citizenship. Because you'll have to make every parent at the hospital show some kind of proof of citizenship. What are you going to do to those who don't bring it? The child isn't a citizen then, then how do the parents fix that? I know how hard its just to get a baby's name put on a birth certificate after some idiot at St. Mary's hospital didn't bother to find out my son's name! The law of unitnended consequences would have a field day if birthright citizenship is changed.
I'm writing also based on experience. It comes from having a wife and in-laws born overseas who have immigrated to the US, become citizens etc. For them its been mostly a good experience, but I can also tell one immigration nightmare. I know how big a mess things can become because I've seen it happen. There are only one or two bloggers I know that have done anything similiar to myself.
We got to stop illegal immigrants coming in. What we do with those here is a far trickier issue and simple solutions just won't work.