Thursday, April 06, 2006

Immigration. My take.

It seems Americans are split on immigration. Meanwhile the Senate tries to work something out:

"The Senate bill is modeled largely on a bipartisan effort by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., that would provide a chance for permanent residence after about 11 years for the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants if they learn English, pass background checks, remain employed, take civics courses, pay hefty fines and pay back taxes.

The bill was cobbled together under a crushing deadline from several conflicting pieces of legislation. Roughly 300 pages long, it is a complex and far-reaching amalgam that includes everything from a farmworker program to a border crackdown."

The compromises in the Senate are a mess. They are trying to please too many people and are making it too complicated. What a surprise.

Maybe we should just be grateful that something is being done. Meanwhile illegal immigrants just get up every morning and go to work.

Almost every day I drive down a busy street near my house and see hundreds of Hispanic men standing in front of convience stores by the street or by the ditches close to the street. If I turn into one of the businesses and get out, they stare. If I wave and smile, they wave and smile back. Not once have they ever said anything inappropriate.

Driving through my neighborhood this morning Hispanics (and it was 100% Hispanics) were already busy working in the yards at 7am. It looked like they had been there a while. The summer my son was 15 he couldn't find a job. Not because Hispanics took the low skilled jobs, but because no place would hire someone that young. A friend of mine owned a wholesale garden nursery and hired him. He was the only white face out there. The other men chose
to get there at 6am to get most of the brutal work over before the heat set in. One of my son's jobs was to wade in a swamp and net up the algae. Not fun. My son said the men where always very nice, trying to teach him Spanish. My son was amazed at their work ethic. He said they just never stopped.

This is the reality of illegal immigration. We can get angry, but I don't think we should blame those just trying to better their life and do back breaking work that no one else will do. People try to tell me that Americans will do that kind of work, but I have seen no evidence of it. I had a friend in Dallas who managed a McDonalds. McDonalds was very strict about not hiring illegals. My friend could not keep workers. The only people who even wanted the jobs were young white kids and they rarely showed up for work or lasted long. He about wore himself out working the shifts where someone didn't show up.

I doubt illegals know much about what the Senate is doing. They just wait for that truck to pick them up and take them to a crummy job so they can make some money for their family. They are taken advantage of and they don't care.

The way things are now is wrong on so many levels. The Senate needs to stop trying to please everyone and just get the job done. EVERYONE agrees that the borders need to be sealed quickly and well. And I don't think most Americans mind paying for that. The Senate needs to stop being pansys and step up top the plate and get this done.