Letter to the Editor

July 31, 2010

A reader writes in with some thoughts on the current immigration debate:


It seems to me that Americans have always considered immigration policy to be amongst the most important domestic issues. It comes up in the Constitutional provision to hold Election Day on the 2nd Tuesday in November (and not on All-Saints Day). It comes up in our decision, made many times over the years, to not invade Mexico and turn it into colonies. It comes up in the formation of the Know-Nothing Party, which was a reaction to both German and Irish immigration. It comes up in the inauguration speech of Grover Cleveland in the 1880s. It comes up in the inauguration speech of William Taft in 1912. It comes up in our decision to attempt to seal the borders and start massive deportations in the 1920s (fairly effective) and again since the 1960s (not as effective).  And here we are today. I am sure there are many other instances that I am not aware of.

Americans, acting through Congress, have the right to seal the borders and completely control who comes in. Except for the current situation, I have never seen the membership committee of any club controlled by the people who want to be members. The membership committee is always controlled by the current members. However, it is possible that the demographics of this country have already changed, and that the “silent majority” is no longer silent or a majority.

If it were up to me, I would seal the borders with Mexico and Canada, and allow a more varied mix of immigrants in from the rest of the world. Or maybe Congress would decide to allow no immigrants at all.  We have the right to be prejudiced regarding who we allow into this country.

Although I agree with Sonny Bono, who famously responded that his view on illegal immigration was that “it’s illegal,” I believe that the prevailing view should be towards amnesty.  The police state that would need to be formed to root out and deport all those millions of illegal immigrants, is not, to me, worth the cost to our freedom.

I also think that it is a waste to even talk about an immigration policy that does not consider the effect of global warming on immigration or the effect of our war against terrorism on immigration. It shows that immigration is not being taken seriously, even by those who talk about it all the time.


It is possible that our current immigration policy, which is really no policy at all, is better than any of the immigration policies being proposed. For example, Senator McCain insists that any new immigration law have a guest worker program.  We had a guest worker program in this country for 250 years. It was called slavery. So when McCain insists on a guest worker program, I wonder what he’s thinking.

Some demand an amnesty program.  Some say amnesty over their dead bodies.  However,the Constitution already has an amnesty program. The very first sentence of the 14th Amendment says that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”  Are we really going to deport millions of illegal parents of millions of legal 4-year old citizens?

Putting those things together, I guess I could be talked into a program where people come here as guest workers, and work in the agricultural industry as virtual slaves. In exchange, their native-born American children will have a chance to live better lives.

However, certain House Republicans are already one step ahead of me, and are discussing legislation to overturn, or completely narrow, the first sentence of 14th Amendment.

My paranoia cannot match the facts of the matter.

Bruce Grossberg
Forest Hills, New York


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One Response to Letter to the Editor

  1. Dan Hand on July 31, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    First, a minor corrective: Election Day is the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November (i.e., 11/2-11/8), rather than the second Monday in November (i.e., 11/8-11/14), as Mr. Grossberg had stated above. That movable date was actually set by statute, in 1845, rather than being a Constitutional requirement per se. It was done that way so that an election would not take place more than the legally allowed time before the Electoral College was to meet, on the first Wednesday in December, rather than to avoid voting on All Saints Day. (The first presidential election under the Constitution, leading to the election of General George Washington as our first president, actually occurred in the various states between Monday, December 15, 1788, and Saturday, January 10, 1789. Only ten of the thirteen states actually cast electoral votes in that election, and only six of those ten used any form of popular vote– which is still not required by the Constitution!)

    Contrary to Mr. Grossberg’s contention that it would essentially require a police state to rid ourselves of the current crop of 12 (or however many) millions of illegal aliens, the aliens would, in fact, self-deport if they were simply unable to find work here illegally! A modern, foolproof, national identity card and a required employer system like E-verify would do most of the necessary work to make the vast majority of illegal aliens (and other unauthorized workers– e.g., those here on tourist or educational visas that prohibit employment) to pack up their troubles in their old kit bags and frown all of the way home. It is simply the will (of the elites), not the (technical) way, that is lacking in this country to solve the illegal-alien problem en masse.

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