This concludes my three-part series on immigration reform.
As an immigrant myself I understand the issue of immigration far better than many who use it for political purposes. Many of us immigrants are shy about discussing immigration issues because of the hatred expressed by a very loud minority. Although we understand that for the most part US citizens are welcoming of immigrants the vitriol expressed by a very vocal minority is disheartening and in many ways dangerous. The other issue is that we, as immigrants, must recognize and accept is that our own silence gives the opposition the opportunity to frame the debate they way they see fit.
Many of us may not have the ability to vote but we can still inject the proper context into the debate by being more vocal. For those that can vote it is immensely important to remind the politicians that there are consequences to inaction. The undocumented, for the most part, do not have a voice, and, we, immigrants who can participate in the debate must do so.
Immigrants can no longer remain on the sidelines of this important debate and we must engage.
I understand and fully support the need to have controlled immigration. However it must be based on the realities of immigration and not on the political bases extorting accommodations for political expediency.
The nexus to immigration reform must be centered on the fact that immigration is important and beneficial to the US. When this is accepted as reality then immigration reform would be attainable. Immigrants generally support the notion that criminals have no place in the immigration queue. If an immigrant has been convicted of a crime then depending on the severity the penalty should be either a deferred opportunity to immigrate or an outright ban on immigrating.
Many of us immigrants have not been convicted of crimes and as such we agree that criminal immigrants should be penalized.
In regards to secured borders the notion of border security should be based on security against criminality and terrorism and not on excluding workers as scapegoats in political rhetoric. As I have written numerous times before border security is as secure as it can be in a democracy. It is bilaterally beneficial to Mexico and the US to keep the US-Mexico border secure and the fact that the US-Mexico border has never been proven to be a source of a single terrorist action on the US is indicative of the security of the border.
Most documented immigrants, if not all, already pay taxes and substantially benefit the US economy. Documenting all immigrants will only increase tax contributions into the system. Allowing the notion that immigrants abuse the welfare system of the country must be rectified because the facts prove otherwise. Immigrants are not allowed to partake of most welfare benefits during the first five-years of their new status in the US. Many of them, as undocumented contributed to the welfare system knowing that as long as they remained undocumented they were unlikely to benefit from the contributions they made into the system.
This brings us squarely into the reason the liberal left quietly supports the status quo on immigration while applauding immigration reform as a cause célèbre publicly; wages.
It is undisputed that immigrants lower wages. This is precisely why immigration is good for the US.
Those that argue that lowered wages are detrimental to the US economy must look inwardly and force themselves to stop shopping at Walmart and instead buy only products made in the US. Arguing that reduced wages is bad for the economy is not only erroneous but hypocritical as well. As long as US citizens gravitate to low-priced products then they must support lowered wages through immigration.
The single most expensive component of the majority of products is the labor cost associated to them. I realize that lower wages is central to most familial needs but ignoring it only adds to the fog surrounding immigration reform. If a family shops at Walmart and buys Chinese products then it must support lowered wages brought about by immigrant labor willing to work.
I realize this is not the publicly-correct way to discuss immigration but it is necessary to peel away the rhetoric to get to the heart of the matter.
Increased immigration will result in lowered wages but this is good for the overall economy.
As purchasing power increases the more purchases are made and the quality of life eventually increases for the citizens as well as the immigrants. It has been proven time and time again that access to work and products increases wages overtime. Just look at the reduction of Mexican immigrant labor overtime as wages in Mexico increase through liberal market policies.
Competition is always good for an economy and labor competition via immigrant influx will eventually result in higher quality products and higher wages.
Chinese labor is here to stay, do US citizens wish to continue outsourcing their labor to China or would they rather have more manufacturing in the country? Immigrant labor could fill part of void keeping manufacturing in China. Those that still refuse to accept this should stop purchasing Chinese-made products.
Accepting that immigrant labor is good for the US economy is the final step necessary for meaningful immigration reform.
Unfortunately the established political bases will do what it takes to keep this discussion off the table and instead continue to support the status quo on the immigration debate. The only individuals that can force the immigration discussion unto the national agenda are, we, immigrants, who fully understand the need for immigration reform. Just as we want our brethren to come out of the darkness we must also force ourselves upon the national debate and speak for those are still hiding in the shadows.