Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Borderline Crazy: After the short-lived "minutemen" border patrol in Arizona, a new breed of "minutemen" are guarding the Canadian border. I guess they think they'll be able to catch a terrorist sneaking in disguised as a hockey puck.

The first group of minutemen, as far as I can tell, didn't accomplish much in any practical sense, but they did bring a lot of attention to the immigration issue. They were too small a group to be effective, so they were essentially wasting their time. But the press overreacted to a group of retirees who used radios to report illegal immigrants crossing the border. Because the men carried guns (in a state where it's legal to carry), the media began hyping the possibility of a war breaking out, when it was obvious that this wasn't going to be the case.

A Washington Post opinion columnist penned an interesting piece about how the minutemen at least brought attention to the issue. We can't close the border, because Americans rely on illegal immigrants' cheap labor to provide us cheap goods and services. The writer offers this bit: "Imagine suggesting that your teenager take a summer job picking melons for 12 hours a day in California."

I like President Bush's proposal to ease immigration laws. He's meeting with a lot of understandable resistance from his own party, especially since we're in the middle of a war with a group of people who sneak into this country to commit acts of terrorism. But our porous borders aren't doing anything to stop them now. If we allow more people to come in legitimately, we'll be able to keep records more easily of who they are. That leaves mostly the ones who are up to no good to continue sneaking over the border illegally.

The people who come into this country usually do so with one word on their minds: "Work". They need the money, and we need the services. This country would not be able to function in its current state without a continuous flood of immigrants. We need to work within the system, not fight it.


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