An Essay on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society

Illegals Need Not Apply
by Beth Stephenson (Apr 2010)

            America was the Land of the Free and free land if you were willing to water it with sweat and tears.  Irish immigrants came to filthy tenements while crime quadrupled in New York during the Potato Famine. “Irish need not apply” appeared in shop windows.  Yet thirty years later, New York accepted the icon of immigrant welcome in the Statue of Liberty.   The poem inscribed in her pedestal reads, 

. . .Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. . .

Are we ready to say, “Uh, I take that back.  Send me your documented folks, who have gainful employment, sponsors, are disease-free with no history of misconduct?”

We must!  Our enemies scheme to import terror and devastating drugs. Crime involving illegal immigrants spirals out of control, and schools are flooded with itinerate students who speak little English.

Yet, I know that if I lived in poverty in Mexico, I’d do whatever it took to get a better life in America. I grew up having illegal immigrant friends. I like their humor, their looks, their food and many of their traditions. I want them to have a better life.

But the gigantic, gluttonous USA government  makes it impossible to welcome poor immigrants anymore. Historically, immigrants came here at their own risk. The lazy might starve. When the needy were cared for by their churches, and education was a privilege, it didn’t matter how many came.  A free people naturally have equal opportunity to starve or to thrive.

But now, only half the legal citizens pay income taxes, while layer upon layer of free goods and services are provided to the poor.  Our government has taken over the work historically done by churches  but with far less efficiency.  Taxpayers cannot afford to care for additional poor. Indeed, our exploding national debt makes it immoral to accept additional expenses!

Very many illegal immigrants have legal children.  Our US Constitution dictates that anyone born in the USA is a citizen.  That law motivates illegal immigrants to give birth here.

First, we should change the law so that at least one parent must prove legal residency before a birth certificate can be issued.  Proof of legal residency should also be required before anyone may use the free services provided by taxpayers. We must reduce incentives to come illegally!

Second, we must stop the flow.  Build a fence, increase patrols, and stiffen penalties for breaking our laws. If an illegal alien is convicted of a serious crime in the US, his prison sentence should mandate hard labor. Make those criminals fix the roads!

Third, we should improve incentives to charities to supply the needs of any poor without complicated government regulation.

Fourth, we must streamline the process for coming to America legally.  Surveys suggest that most illegal immigrants in the Las Vegas area plan to return to Mexico once they’ve saved enough to start a business.  If we make this a standard procedure, and withhold citizenship to any children born to such workers while here, Americans and legal aliens would mutually benefit each other.

As we straighten the legal road, we must also punish those who hire, house, or hide illegal aliens.  Such a law worked well in Oklahoma.  It became too risky to stay and most illegals fled the state.  This would also help our shortage of jobs.

If we apply these solutions nationally, we will unravel illegal immigration in a simple, humane and cost-effective way.

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