Immigration Reform? The free market says no.

The Border Fence at Naco Arizona

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The Border Fence at Naco Arizona
The border fence looking from Naco, Ariz. The no-man's-land between the U.S. and Mexico can be seen through the fence. Photo by Curtis Prendergast.

Immigration is free market capitalism of the human kind.

Yesterday I quoted Keith Ferrazzi and his words “Learn to be a human first. Everything else follows.”

How can we apply this principle to immigration reform? The first way is to say that immigrants are not aliens, a dehumanizing term in this day and age. The preferred term of undocumented workers highlights both their status and their humanity.

The second, is by recognizing the immigrant’s humanity, we must remember that they too are part of families with people that love them. They have the hopes and dreams of a better life that America provides. It should not be easy for American agencies to separate and destroy families for seeking better work and a better station in life.

Free market capitalism is a cruel taskmaster. Not everybody wins in a free market. There are bound to be losers, and sometimes the winners may be recent immigrants, even undocumented immigrants.

Sure, we need to have some sort of immigration laws; we don’t want to make it too easy for people to come here, because we only want the best. We want those who are the most willing and capable of saving the money for transport, the most willing to do whatever it takes to arrive here, whether that means jumping through government hoops, or jumping fences, it takes a certain amount of grit to accomplish those tasks, a grit that will only make America a stronger nation.

Many of those lazy bums that were born here complain that undocumented workers are taking their jobs. The American dream is that anybody with a will can make them self successful. We do not live in a monarchy with pre-defined classes and social strata. We live in the land of opportunity that provides a level playing field for all, even those who come to the country late. Nevertheless, you have to work for what you earn, even if your family has been here for several generations.

It is time to work towards Amnesty of the 12 million plus of undocumented workers already in the country. Yes, it is time to reset the game, but there is little need to change the rules too much for future immigrants. Maybe in another 20 years it will be time for another amnesty.

** Photo credit to Curtis Prendergast.

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