We should also encourage high-tech immigration. It’s sad that it’s easier for a migrant to sneak across the Texas border than it is for a computer engineer to move here legally from Britain. Under a responsible immigration program, we’d reverse those outcomes.
Immigrants built this country -- but remember that they came here legally, assimilated and became Americans. Today, there are at least 11 million people among us who can never assimilate.
Illegal immigrants must keep their heads down and remain sequestered in isolated immigrant communities, except when they come out to march in Los Angeles, waving Mexican flags while claiming, incongruously, “We are Americans.” No, you’re not -- and that’s what we must change, either by making you Americans or by encouraging you to return home.
It’s a simple fact: We can’t round up 11 million people and deport them. We don’t have the jail space, the truck space or the policing ability to solve this problem that way.
But if we enforce our existing laws and force employers to hire only documented, legal immigrants, we can start thinning the ranks of illegals.
Immigration is a tricky problem, but one we can solve. Doing so will require a mix of carrots (guest worker program) and sticks (better law enforcement, tougher penalties). The stakes are high -- a country that doesn’t control its borders can’t remain a country for long. That’s why it’s critical that lawmakers make the right compromises and start us on a path to solving illegal immigration.