Ultima: Mr. Klondike, why do you believe it is just not feasible to send the 12 million illegal aliens back to their homelands?
Mr. Klondike: Assuming a bus with a capacity of 30 passengers, it would take 400,000 trips to move that many people. If the goal was too accomplish this in one year, it would take 1096 such trips every day of the year. Where would we find that number of buses? For the illegals that are from South America, Africa or Asia, we would need to use airlines or shipping lines. It would be an expensive, logistical nightmare.
Ultima: Following the end of World War II,in 1945-6, eight million ethnic Germans were repatriated from the Eastern Territories back to Germany’s heartland in less than a year. That proves that the repatriation of millions of people is indeed feasible from a logistical point of view. Also, our transportation systems today are much improved over those of immediate post-World War II Europe.
The illegals paid coyotes and transportation costs to get here. Presumably they are now better off than they were then and should therefore easily be able to pay their way home. Failing that approach, we could always charge the employers of illegals for the costs of repatriating them or negotiate bi-lateral treaties with their homeland governments to enable us to obtain reimbursement for those costs.
Mr. Klondike: It still seems to me that this would be a very difficult undertaking if one wanted to accomplish it in a fairly short time. How many more government employees would it require?
Ultima: Few people are suggesting that all 12 million illegals could or should be returned to their homelands over a relatively short period of time. Rather, they believe that once we begin the process of: (1) verifying the work status of illegals and (2) apprehending and repatriating them, many will choose to leave on their own. This is sometimes referred to as enforcement through attrition.
We could put this task up for bids by private enterprise, with all costs to be recovered from the illegals, their families, their employers or their homeland governments. Private enterprise has a way of getting any job done quickly and efficiently when there is a dollar to be made. There is no need for additional government employees. It would be helpful if deportation laws were simplified so that each case could be decided on the day it is presented with only a week for any appeal. Agreement to self-deport and not return could shorten the process even further.
Mr. Klondike: If one were to admit the logistical feasibility of such an effort, there is still the human side. The vast majority of people crossing our borders illegally are poor and desperate to better the lives of their families. They are not law-breakers by nature. As Senator John McCain put it, “We need to sit down and recognize that these are God’s children as well.”
Ultima: No one has suggested that we ignore the human side of the illegal alien equation. There are 6.5 billion of God’s children in this world. Which of them did Senator McCain have in mind? Where do we draw the line on how many of them we should accommodate? Should we give preference to those of God’s children who happen to live just across the borders? It has been amply demonstrated that even if we continue to take a million legal immigrants each year, we cannot make a dent in the number of poor people in the world because they are reproducing at an even faster rate. Unlike the German repatriation in which each person was allowed to take only one suitcase with nothing of value, our process could be much more compassionate. Many of those in our prisons may not be lawbreakers by nature but when they do break the law they must be required to pay the price. Illegal aliens are no different in this regard.
Some favor a process that would require employers to re-advertise all of the jobs that are currently held by illegals to determine how many of those jobs could be filled with citizen labor if the employers offered a living wage. A living wage could be determined by local labor unions in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, using historical data going back to the 1950s as adjusted for inflation. The illegals who survive this process could be granted temporary work permits to relieve them of the anxiety of being deported. After taking finger prints, photos and DNA samples, those who are displaced must be treated humanely but expeditiously repatriated, with the admonition that if they return without the proper papers they will face jail time.
As opposed to citizenship, most illegals, especially Mexicans, would be content with some sort of legal status that would eliminate their anxiety over potential deportation. If they just come here to work to improve the lives of their families, that sort of arrangement would be satisfactory to many.
Mr. Klondike: I’m not sure there is any humane way to repatriate illegals, especially if they have children born in this country who are birthright citizens. However, giving some of them a chance to stay with temporary work permits is a step in the right direction.
Ultima: Of course, birthright citizenship for minor children is a problem which could be easily solved by a reinterpretation of the 14th amendment to require that at least one of the parents be a citizen before it applies. Moreover, if we delay the award of birthright citizenship until the child reaches age 21 or enlists in the armed forces for at least four years, we would no longer hear protestations about family separations due to the citizenship of the children being different from that of their parents. At any rate, repatriated parents must take their minor children with them regardless of citizenship or be considered guilty of child abuse.
Mr. Klondike: Today, there are numerous organizations devoted to limiting or ending immigration altogether. And there are movements to require government agencies to use English only in official publications and documents. Such a measure would handicap any immigrant—legal or illegal—who does not read English well enough to understand official forms.
Ultima: There are very good and substantial reasons for restricting immigration and securing our borders. These reasons have nothing to do with racism, bigotry, or nativism. Those terms simply divert our attention from all the problems of excessive population growth which are due entirely to legal immigrants, illegal aliens and their progeny.
We once were a nation of immigrants. That historical fact does not constitute a valid argument for continuing a policy that allows an ever increasing number of the foreign-born to enter our country.
Although the indigenous Indian tribes might quarrel with this, to varying degrees,a vast, unsettled continent lay before the pilgrims, the explorers, the colonists, the founding fathers, the pioneers, and the immigrants of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries. Our situation today is much different from those earlier periods in our history. Therefore, there is no reason why we should continue the outmoded immigration policies of the past.
The rich natural resources of our country that seemed inexhaustible in the beginning are now being rapidly depleted, destroyed or fully committed. Everyone should realize that natural resources like petroleum, arable land, water, and other minerals are finite. They are not limitless. Some minerals like coal are still in plentiful supply but even that resource will one day be gone. Coal also creates significant pollution problems by poisoning our air and acidifying our lakes and streams. The toxic air of some Chinese cities is a good example of how shortsighted population and environmental policies can compromise the quality of life and increase the death rate.
The mathematical concept of a "limit" is a useful way to look at the problem of finite natural resources. The "limit" of finite natural resources per capita as population grows without bounds is zero. In other words, the more people there are the fewer finite natural resources there will be for each of us. The question is how far down that road do we want to go? Our country is totally different now than it was when the great waves of immigration occurred. Changing our immigration policies to match our new situation makes eminent good sense.
Mr. Klondike: What about the Official English initiative?
Ultima: Neither legal immigrants nor illegal aliens would be seriously handicapped by the repeal of Executive Order 13166 and the enactment of an Official English law or constitutional amendment. A Public Interpreter, just like a Public Defender, could be provided to anyone who cannot afford one. And billable interpreters could be on staff at hospitals, emergency rooms and police stations, as necessary.
Mr. Klondike: Even though the Public Defender approach is a fixture in our society, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to provide Public Interpreters at every polling place and still maintain some semblance of a secret ballot.
Ultima: Informed voting would be difficult for those who are not fluent in English but the ability to read and write English has long been a requirement for citizenship. Official English would strengthen that requirement and provide an incentive, for those who can, to learn English as soon as possible. Those who cannot understand the ballot issues in English should not have the right to vote. This may mean that voting privileges may have to be postponed for some families until the second generation. This is a positive because it would mean that those who are voting would have more knowledge of our history, civics and our democratic form of government. We should note, however, that the printing of ballots and the prescription of voting procedures are the province of state government not the federal government. The federal legislation could do no more than grant states the authority to dispense with state and local documents and forms in other languages without fear of lawsuits.
Mr. Klondike: You stated that there were many good and substantial reasons for restricting immigration and securing our borders. You mentioned our declining natural resources as one such reason. What other reasons are there?
Ultima: Among the other reasons, the environment is perhaps the most important. Over the 30 year period beginning in 1975, a sustained effort by the U.S. government has reduced levels of six major air pollutants nationally by 25%, even though our energy consumption and population increased by 40% and our vehicle miles driven increased by 150% during those decades. Yet, we still remain far from achieving the goals established in the Kyoto Protocol.
According to such empirical concepts as those inherent in the Gompertz or logistic curve and Pareto's Principle, often most of the results, say 80%, is achieved with the first 20% of the effort. In other words, the easiest and most obvious things are done first to gain quick results. Subsequent improvements come at a much higher cost. In the case of the Gompertz Curve, slow initial progress is made followed by a period of rapid growth or improvement and then a final slow period of slow growth as the curve bends over at the top. As that final period is approached further improvement comes very slowly and at a much higher cost. Given the progress that has already been made, it would not be unreasonable to predict slower progress in the future. For example, some current action is being taken to begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to another 20%. Accomplishment of this goal is likely to be a very difficult and expensive technical problem. Each incremental reduction will be more difficult to achieve than the one that preceded it.
But it would be unfair to view this effort in isolation. What are the chances that this 20% goal will be achievable if our population increases by yet another 100% by the end of this century? No ones talks about the impact of population growth greenhouse gas emissions. Not even the Sierra Club. The UN says that people -- too many of them -- are the primary cause of these emissions. The things demanded by people such as autos, appliances, water, apartments, energy and even beef from flatulent cows are the reason. So why do we ignore this fact when we talk about immigration policies?
The growth in in the number of hybrid vehicles on the road is often mentioned as a sign of progress in the fight against carbon pollutants. But any reduction in emissions due to hybrid vehicles was more than offset by the large number of gas-guzzling SUVs that were being sold.
The UN estimates that, on average, every American produces a minimum of 20 metric tons of carbon pollutants every year. Even if we were able to reduce that figure by 20%, 300 million more people would still mean 4.8 billion additional metric tons of carbon pollutants per year (16 metric tons per person x 300 million additional people). This would be partially offset by the 20% reduction in emissions from our present population. If achieved, that would amount to 1.2 billion metric tons per year (4 metric tons x 300 million people) leaving a net increase of 3.6 billion tons per year when our population reaches 600 million, with no end in sight.
Another aspect of the concern about the environment is the extinction of species like the magnificent polar bear. Concern about these matters is not a sign of morally culpable or conscious selfishness.
Mr. Klondike: Since the overwhelming majority of illegal aliens are Hispanic, there seems to be an anti-Hispanic undercurrent driving all the anger of those who favor internal enforcement and secure borders. This has resulted in an increase in the number of hate crimes against Hispanics.
Ultima: First of all we should make it clear that we do not condone or advocate criminal behavior against any segment of our population whether they are citizens or not. Yet, as you have pointed our in relation to the treatment of earlier immigrants of Irish, Italian, Chinese or other descent, this anger and resentment is nothing new. But the term "hate crimes" is not an appropriate description of the criminal acts committed by the few as a result of their resentment of illegal aliens. Many who perpetrate these misdeeds do not hate the individual illegals but they do hate the fact that they have no regard for the rule of law and are involved in an unarmed invasion with deadly consequences for everything we hold dear.
There are two aspects to this problem. The first is the sheer numbers of Hispanics flooding our country from south of the border. This gives them a high profile in our society that serves as a focus for pro-legal and anti-immigration movements. The large numbers of these illegals and their real threat to our language, culture, political processes, and jobs presents Americans with a serious dilemma. We appreciate their hard work and desire to improve the lot of their families but insist on the rule of law and a recognition our national borders and sovereignty must come first.
The second aspect of the resentment of Hispanics arises from the largely monolithic support Hispanic citizens give to the illegals. It is as though they put La Hermandad de la Raza well ahead of their regard for their fellow citizens, the rule of law, the national interest and our national sovereignty. Some give lip service to border security but would withhold the tools necessary to achieve that goal. They believe nothing is needed beyond the immediate environs of the border. Or they favor employer sanctions but none for the illegals themselves. They oppose work status verification and internal enforcement even though these are the essential tools needed to buttress the physical improvement and staff increases at the border. Is this opposition a form of disloyalty? Are Hispanic citizens fellow travelers with the illegals? They do not seem to appreciate the negative impact excessive immigration, legal and illegal, will ultimately have on their quality of life. Some believe that their somnolence on this issue will result in the re-creation of the very conditions they fled their homelands to escape: poverty, pollution, disease, joblessness and government corruption.
Two things could relieve this problem. First, more Hispanics and Hispanic leaders should be speaking out against amnesty and de facto open borders. Second, if they were to endorse the Official English initiative, many of the remaining problems of illegal aliens could be quickly solved. It is their failure in both areas that generate much of the heat being focused on them by other citizens. They are their own worst enemies.
Mr. Klondike: Opinion polls show most Americans believe that tightened border controls plus some accommodation for those already here should be the solution to this problem.
Ultima: I agree, with the caveat that most polls give respondents exceedingly narrow choices and therefore the accommodation Americans would like to see for those already here is not well understood. I have already suggested one such accommodation that would probably be acceptable to the majority of Americans -- the idea of re-advertising jobs held by illegals at a living wage with a hiring preference for citizen labor. If a poll could be taken with 50 – 100 unbiased questions related to actions needed to solve the problems of immigration and illegal aliens, we would soon have a much better understanding of what most Americans favor as an accommodation.
Mr. Klondike: This issue could well decide the election.
Ultima: Yes. It is deplorable how all three presidential candidates have pandered to the Hispanics in our society without even a fleeting thought about the long term consequences for our country. Election is more important to them than the future of our country. They all should be reading: “Mexifornia: A State of Becoming” by Professor Hansen, "Collapse” by Pulitzer Prize winning Professor Jared Diamond, “The Coming Economic Collapse” by Leeb and Strathy, and “How Many People Can the Earth Support?” by demographer Joel Cohen.
If California is any guide, the term “Mexico Norte” may be an apt descriptor of our future. Perhaps that is the most important aspect of our resentment of Hispanic illegals and those who aid and abet their violation of our borders and displacement of American workers.