Friday, March 29, 2013

The Parable of the Chocolate Cake

There once was a chocolate cake that didn't like being called that. He saw a pumpkin pie that had crust, sometimes had whipped cream on it, and was served on Thanksgiving. "I want to be a pumpkin pie," said the cake. He found some other chocolate cakes who were dissatisfied with being cakes. Together, they petitioned the government, talking to lawyers and lawmakers, picketing in front of court rooms in order to have their status changed from "chocolate cake" to "pumpkin pie". They held up signs saying things like "Don't be bigoted, let us be pumpkin pies too." Much of the media sided with the cakes, after all, why couldn't the chocolate cakes be pumpkin pies if they wanted to be? It didn't seem fair to them to exclude the cakes from becoming pies. Eventually, those who didn't want the change lost. They were forced to call any chocolate cake that wanted to be a pie, a pie. But when they got home at night, the pumpkin pies discussed with each other how the chocolate cakes weren't really pies, and when the cakes looked in the mirror, they still looked like cakes, not like pies. Legally, they were pies. In reality, they remained cakes.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Thoughts on Immigration Reform: What should happen?

In responding to Congress's inability to get things done (and if so, to get things done right) on immigration reform, it's important to remember A) that stopping illegal border crossings is necessary, and B) trying to get 12 million illegals deported is not going to work. Further a distinction needs to be made between citizenship and legal residency.

That being said, what should be done? First of all, the borders need to be secured. Second, provisions need to be made for those who are here illegally to either be allowed to remain on a legal basis, or to be awarded citizenship in some way. Disregarding the huge impact on elections that awarding citizenship would bring, one must first ask the question: is it right to allow those who came here illegally a path to citizenship that differs from the path others have taken to acquire citizenship? My response is that no, it isn't right. Those who came here illegally should not be rewarded for doing so by giving them least, not until they have gotten in line and filed the appropriate paperwork.

On the other hand, those who think to send all of them back to their countries of origin make a grave mistake. First of all, breaking up families isn't right. Secondly, harm to our already fragile economy will soon follow such steps. Third, it can never realistically be done without a huge amount of expenditure and policing.

So, what should be done? Secure the borders, then create a way for those who are here to retain legal status, but not citizenship. They can work here, with some kind of credentials, but they cannot vote here unless they go through the traditional steps to acquire citizenship. Perhaps some kind of fine should be levied for illegal entry in order for them to gain such legal status. Perhaps some kind of military service could take the place of such a fine. All these things can and should be worked out.

All criminals should be sent back, no questions asked.

The bottom line is, no illegal activity should be rewarded with citizenship. That just encourages further illegal activity.