Well, I recently returned from a couple weeks of business and limited pleasure back east. While away I realized that the immigration issue had reached manic status. When local Philadelphians are talking more about the southern border than Terrell Owens being traded to the Dallas Cowboys, it is a hot issue.
Let me start off by stating that as an American of Irish and Italian ancestors, I realize that a relatively open immigration policy allowed my great-great-grand parents to come to America.
My ancestors labored at low wages and helped build this nation's infrastructure. They fought in her wars. In the case of my Italian forefathers, they learned our language and hoped for a better life for their children. In short, they provided needed services for what they considered fair wages and improved their standard of living over time.
To be sure they were not always welcomed with open arms. The “Mics” and “Degos” had to earn their place over time. But they traveled great distances rarely looking back. Upon arrival at Ellis Island they became “Americans”. In fact, our family has little time for our “heritage”. Aside from a weakness for good spaghetti and a mild fondness for St. Patrick's day, they consider themselves Americans. They did not support the IRA, nor did we sport the flag of our former homeland.
I also understand the anger of those who looked upon the protests last week and were disgusted by the waiving of Mexican flags. I personally have grown a bit tired of the incessant waiving of the flag of our own central state. Why would I not understand the disdain of Americans who sense the degradation of their country, knowing not whom to blame, as they watch “foreigners” on TV making demands and waiving the flag of the Mexican state?
Of course these “foreigners” are not primarily to blame for the downward trend economically and otherwise in America. But as often is the case, if I feel bad and you are the nearest person to me, I may conclude that it is your fault that I feel bad.
So it is with illegal aliens.
Now, in theory, I hold with the open borders libertarians and respect their position. In an anarcho/libertarian society or a free society served by a limited, constitutionally bound federal government, open borders would be proper. Unfortunately we are living in neither. Therefore I cannot embrace libertarian ideals which have the effect of producing anti-libertarian results for Americans.
The immoral welfare policies of America are a burden on the American people. The transfer of wealth from the producers to the non producers, virtually at gunpoint, is shameful. I know full well that many illegal aliens are hard working people who produce and contribute to the American economy. The fact also remains however that many illegals consume an enormous amount of public resources.
Most libertarians rightly argue against the welfare state. Some believe that open borders will bring about the collapse of the welfare state sooner rather than later... and so much the better.
I do not hold with this view. I have searched high and low for a libertarian principle that supports the idea of importing welfare recipients and I have not found it.
It is my view (as well as that of the libertarian party) that Americans should not be compelled to pay for welfare benefits to illegal aliens (nor to anyone else). I maintain that purposefully increasing the burden of public services on Americans for the benefit of non-Americans is not moving toward liberty, rather it is misplacement of the public trust. So it is here that I part with the stance of the LP.
I believe this issue is the single greatest perceived negative by many dissatisfied “southern democrats” and republicans exploring the LP in their search for a new political home.
I sympathize with those who want to come to America, embrace American life and make a better life for their children. Accordingly, I support a more open border policy... after the welfare state is rolled back ... not before.
Lastly, a suggestion for those planning to protest tomorrow. If you really want to make your case, wrap yourself in the American flag and leave the Mexican flag at home.