Immigration is one of those challenging issues that touch on many aspects of American life.
I (John McCain) have always believed that our border must be secure and that the federal government has utterly failed in its responsibility to ensure that it is secure. If we have learned anything from the recent immigration debate, it is that Americans have little trust that their government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary to make the border secure. The recent failure to fund the double layer fence at the border is just one more example of the perfidy of those who profess to support border security.
As president, I, (John McCain), will secure the border. I will restore the trust Americans should have in the basic competency of their government. A secure border is an essential element of our national security. Tight border security includes not just the entry and exit of people at and between the regular points of entry, but also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of entry. I believe trailers must be unhitched at the border and, after a thorough inspection of the cargo, American drivers and tractors used to move the trailers on American highways.
But a secure border will contribute to addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also:
- Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and Latin America who reject the siren call of authoritarians like Hugo Chavez, support freedom and democracy, seek strong domestic economies with abundant economic opportunities for their citizens, and who reject the power and control of oligarchs. Unfortunately, too many of these folks refer to us disparagingly as “gringos” and refuse to cooperate with us or do their part in securing national boundaries.
- Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies while understanding fully the limits of population-driven economic growth -- keeping government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting unnecessary regulatory burdens -- so American businesses can hire and pay the best among our citizens rather than depending on foreign labor.
- Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep employers in business and our economy on top. It should provide skilled Americans and legal immigrants with opportunity and protect the jobs and wages of others from the dumping of foreign labor at substandard wages. Our education system should ensure skills for our younger workers, and our retraining and assistance programs for displaced workers must be modernized so they can pursue those opportunities. We must offer a scholarship for every talented citizen who agrees to seek the PhD degree in a physical science or engineering and who is capable of work that level. The Armed Forces have a program for educating medical doctors that could serve as a model for such a program. In effect these doctors pay back the cost of their educations by serving for 6 years in the military and 7 years in the reserve. A similar program for PhDs would put the
back in the forefront of technological innovation and maintain our competitiveness in an increasingly competitive world. We cannot and should not depend on imported skills for this purpose. That is a recipe for the decline of U.S. . America
- Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which includes learning English, American history and civics, and respecting the values of a democratic society. We need community-based programs to insure social integration and cultural and linguistic assimilation. We should outlaw any organizations that advocate separatism or disloyalty.
- Recognize that
will always be that "shining city upon a hill," a beacon of hope and opportunity for those of our citizens who are seeking a better life built on hard work and optimism. We cannot solve the problems of the world by ignoring our own. We cannot maintain our standard of living by increasing the level of poverty in this country through excessive legal and illegal immigration. America
Border security and immigration laws, largely unenforced and sadly in need of strengthening and gross simplification, are examples of an ailing
Too many in Congress and elsewhere in America fail to recognize that if we divide our finite natural resources—water, coal, petroleum, arable land, fish, and other minerals—by an ever increasing population there will be less for each of us and there will be an inevitable reduction in our standard of living and quality of life. What politician could possibly advocate such a course of action!
In too many areas -- from immigration driven by special interests and wasteful pork barrel spending to Social Security, health care, energy security, climate change and tax relief -- business-as-usual politics and political expediency have prevented us from addressing the important challenges facing our nation. If we are contributing more to the climate change problem than our population warrants, think about the size of that problem after our population doubles by the end of this century. We will be swimming up stream if we think we can reduce greenhouse gases at the same time as our population is doubling. Each man, woman and child, on the average produces 20 metric tons of pollutants every year. At that rate, 300 million more people will mean 6 billion additional tons of pollutants per year. Therefore, we should not hesitate to use all the technical means at our disposal to reduce greenhouse gases emissions but the most important thing we can do to keep the problem from getting worse is to curb unfettered population growth through enlightened immigration and tax policies. It would be one of the greatest tragedies of all time if the magnificent polar bear were to become extinct except in zoos because of our shortsightedness. We don’t even know or understand the full ramifications of global warming. How will it affect the water supply in the parched parts of our country? How will that affect our ability to feed our people? That is something we should all contemplate, especially those immigration advocates and myopic environmentalists who fail to see the problems population growth will inevitably create.