But retail stores aren’t creating an illegal immigration problem -- they’re dealing with it. The government is creating the problem. After all, if the federal government would enforce its own immigration laws, there wouldn’t be aliens gathered outside Home Depots in California and 7-Elevens in Virginia.
The sad truth is we haven’t actually tried very hard to stop illegal immigration.
We need stronger enforcement along the Mexican border. The recent success of the volunteer Minutemen patrollers shows that if we increase the number of people on the lookout, we can decrease the number of illegal immigrants.
The U.S. also needs to improve living conditions in Mexico, so potential illegal immigrants will have a reason to stay home and illegals here today will have a reason to go home. Such an economic turnaround is possible. Consider India.
Not long ago, India was run by a quasi-communist government. It was virtually impossible to do business there, because there were so many bureaucrats requiring so many bribes. That’s why thousands of well-educated Indians moved to the U.S. But that’s not true today.
In his book “The World Is Flat,” Tom Friedman notes that the economy in India is growing so quickly that many Indians are actually leaving the U.S. to return home. “A whole lot of American industry has come into Bangalore and I don’t really need to go there. I can work for a multinational sitting right here,” personnel manager Anney Unnikrishnan told Friedman. “Why should I go to America?” The free market works.
Mexico has plenty of natural resources, but its economy is still over-regulated. The CIA estimates that one quarter of the population is “under employed,” which explains why they’d be so eager to come to the U.S. If we can convince the Mexican government to move more quickly toward an open, free-market economy, its people would have better lives, and we’d be able to cut down on illegals on the supply side.
Our illegal immigration problem is no accident. It’s the result of decades of neglect. But it can be fixed, if we’re willing to enforce our laws and encourage others to fully adopt our economic values. The only tragedy will be if we don’t try.