Thursday, March 16, 2006

Breath of Freedom

Tamar Jacoby had an interesting opinion piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal detailing the ongoing debate on immigration reform in the US Senate.  At issue is the fate of the eleven million undocumented workers currently in this country.  We simply have to find a legal framework so that these people can continue to contribute to our country’s economy.  We currently have a 4.8% unemployment rate and in the worst times of the last downturn, unemployment never went much above 6%.  That is a spectacular performance even with 11 million undocumented workers who supposedly steal Americans’ jobs.  

Undocumented workers do not threaten America’s prosperity.  They increasingly form the backbone of many labor-intensive industries.  I can only describe plans that call for undocumented workers to return to their home country before applying for legal status as ridiculous.  Are we really going to disrupt entire sector of our economy so that people can go through the motions of visiting their home country and then returning.  The same goes for any so called amnesty.  The problem is not that people have broken this country’s laws in order to try to improve their lot in life.  The problem is that our current immigration laws are ridiculous.  

Passing laws and building fences to try to keep people from realizing economic prosperity can never work.  The resourcefulness of our undocumented workers in bypassing our border patrol and evading our INS agents proves that.  It also proves these undocumented workers have the stuff to make a positive impact in our society if given the chance.  

Here is a proposal: lets truly liberalize our immigration policy so that anyone who wants to move to this country to work can do so.  That solves the current problem as well as the problem going forward.  If our system cannot handle all that at once then lets phase it in over five years, but by all means give these masses a breath of freedom.  


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
I have just read your blogs and it's interesting.

I hope you don't mind me asking but you do look like someone that I know. Do you have a brother named Alex?

Michael Bangert said...

Hi Anonymous,

Sorry, but I don't have a brother. I do have a sister named Ellen though.

Where might you know me from?

Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,
I actually don't know you sorry for the confusion there. I do have a friend who's name is Alex with the same last name as yours. I swear he has some similar features. That's why I ask if you have a brother.