Q: Do we have an illegal immigration problem?
A: Not according to Cokie & Steve Roberts.
The Daily Dunklin Democrat has excellent syndicated columnists offering a reasonable cross section of political & cultural opinions. All of them also have a special agenda where they constantly return:
Diana West is disgusted with our obsequious efforts to appease Islamic Law. Byron York constantly tells the Republicans what they should do to regain power.
Gene Lyons hates all Republicans. Donna Brazile finds no faults in President Obama, and joins Lyons in her appraisal of the GOP. Kathryn Lopez stays always with "the right to live."
Nat Henthoff attacks anything that invades our privacy, or goes beyond the constitution in drone warfare, or presidential edicts.
Cokie & Steve Roberts write about other things from time to time, but inexorably go back to their favorite topic, which is immigration. They make no distinction between legal and illegal immigration.
In their column for November 10, 2011 they describe opinions contrary to theirs as "ideological inanities." Their favorite word for those states that are highly concerned about illegal immigration is "xenophobic." They use this word so much that when they go to sleep at night instead of counting sheep they must repeat "xenophobic" until they doze off.
Dictionary definition of "xenophobic:" "intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries."
Do most Americans truly dislike, or fear, people from other countries? Or is it, right or wrong, a concern that illegal immigration if allowed to run rampant may eventually create an economic and social morass we simply can't handle?
Has it ever occurred to the Roberts that dirt cheap laborers can sometimes be exploited? And how long will they tolerate the most menial jobs below normal wages? The history of the world tells us not too long. To just ignore even the possibility of negative social & economic upheaval seems just as naive as "ideological inanities."
The Roberts point out a "mean-spirited" law in Georgia requiring employers to check the legal status of their workers.
This, they say, led to illegals leaving the state and allowing the fruit and vegetable crops to rot in the field.
Let's take a look at this one: If any crop is allowed to rot in the fields because we don't have illegal workers to pick them, then doesn't it identify a much more fundamental problem in this country that needs to be addressed?
Here we are at nine percent unemployment, yet we have to depend on illegals to save our crops.
This just may be a basic sickness in this country that has been allowed to fester too long.
It may not be fair to the Roberts, and needs some clarification. But if you read them " in-to-to" you are left with the inescapable conclusion that they view our country as some giant paper towel that can absorb any and everything: that a surreptitious sneaking across our borders guarantees all rights and privileges thereof. It makes a comedy and useless exercise out of legal immigration.
The Roberts constantly point out the fact that this country was built on immigration. Well..... who except some complete bonehead doesn't know that?
The immigrants came here, worked hard, became part of our system, and established laws. One of those laws has to do with "illegal" immigration."
This law is meaningless to the Roberts.
Could our country ever become over populated? Impossible some might say considering the vastness of our territory.
Even with some our land uninhabitable we still enjoy only eighty four people per square mile. Other countries, however, have found out they didn't have much land as they thought they had.
China (the country we get the money from) has people living on only one fifth of their land. Consequently they have three hundred & sixty five people per square mile. (They have harsh immigration laws.)
Kathryn Lopez probably goes ballistic over this, but China has instituted a law forbidding more than one child families. It is estimated by that by the year 2050 China will have less people than they do now.
The Roberts call the possibility of a fence around the Mexican border the "biggest baddest" fence ever. Of course the feasibility - or desirability - of just such a fence is highly conjectural. But the Roberts apparently want open borders.
What other conclusion can we draw?
Wouldn't it be discriminating if we just opened the borders to Mexico?
We either have open borders or we don't. Not likely to happen, but if Canada happened to run on hard times then come one come all. Our borders are opened. Or if Bangladesh with its almost three thousand people per square mile becomes suffocated, then Anchors Aweigh & All Aboard. We can absorb any and all.
Many years ago General Pershing chased Pancho Villa & his bandits across this country and Mexico, because they had been killing people and stealing cattle.
Today if Pancho & the boys managed to successfully sneak past our border guards, undocumented and unknown, they would immediately be welcomed by some people as essential to our welfare.
If our immigration laws are wrong - heartless & cruel, some might say. Then let's have the people of the United States vote in the legislators who will change those laws, even if it means open borders. This used to be a workable system.
Do it by law.
In the meantime it doesn't anything for the integrity of our country to applaud and reward law breakers.