The president gave a model speech for what we may like to happen with the broken American immigration system. However, it seems that the approach he prescribes, while not on par with the bat-shit insanity of the extreme right, just isn't realistic. At least not to me.
I'll be honest. I don't know what to do about illegal immigration. It's a very complex, very emotional issue and there may not be a solution that works. But there are some things I know. I know that people have always tried to get to America - and probably will for many years to come.
I also know that we are asking the wrong questions. The question isn't should illegals be given 'amnesty'. The question isn't do we let them stay. The question isn't why can't we 'defend our borders'. The question is really this:
Why are the people in the world, who risk rape, robbery, imprisonment, sexual slavery, death by exposure or other accident, and even murder, to get to the United States to work, when they may never find any, or if they do, risk those same things AFTER they get here?
If we can answer that question, then I think we start to understand what the real issue is.
You can't ask anyone who can't feed their children not do take this risk if it's their next best option to put food on the table. ANYONE would do it. I don't care what colour you are or what language you speak or who your God is. You will feed your children.
Many of these people will not even consider registration. Why? Because not only is the penalty high, but they stand to lose their jobs. Until we are willing to punish the employers, and force them to pay minimum wage, provide insurance, and the taxes which accompany employment, these workers WILL NOT come forward.
It's my experience that the older generations remind us quite frequently how lucky we are to be Americans. They are right. But we need to take a much closer look at that. Again, I direct you to the question I asked. Until the suffering of people around the world becomes our own, we will continue to see people doing what they need to do survive - many of which will try to get here. Some will make it, many will die trying.
What will we do with them when they get here? I don't know. But I do know that this issue will never go away until American is no longer a place worth coming to. I hope that day never comes.