Who’s at fault?


Okay, this is my chance to prove to you that I am an idiot. I realize few of you will agree with what I am about to argue, but I still feel compelled to attempt to explain why I am right, and you are wrong.

The subject is immigration. In this case, it’s illegal immigration, and by extension the 5,000-person caravan approaching the United States. A whole lot of good people are upset because something like 12 million immigrants are already in this country illegally.
I don’t really blame them.

Ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, we have experienced periodic waves of immigrant bashing. Irish, Italians, Poles and Orientals have irked the public at one time or another. My personal favorite anti-immigrant group was the 19th Century Know Nothing Party.

People don’t like change and it’s easy to distrust new-comers who speak a different language and act different from us. I won’t try to tell you immigrant hatred is the result of ignorance and bigotry, but you know those are part of the equation. I have heard plenty of pleas from citizens who claim they are not racist. They do not believe 12 million people should be allowed to break our laws. Most of these same people have no problem driving 80 miles per hour or cheating on their income tax but get a severe case of diaper rash at the thought of a dairy worker over-staying her visa.

This brings me to the question of the morning. Whose fault is it there are 12 million illegal immigrants living in this country? I think we are to blame, or at least the United States government. I can hear you now. Palmer is nothing but a blame-the-victim liberal
and an idiot. You, quite logically, want to blame the person you see as the criminal. It’s all those folks pouring the across the border who are in the wrong.

Perhaps you are right but let me make my point. If the U.S. government had done its job in granting and renewing visas to allow a needed flow of workers into this country, the 12 million folks living here would be doing so legally. We would have no illegal immigrant problem.

With about 3 percent unemployment, these immigrants are not denying any U.S. citizen a job. You may argue immigrants suppress wages for unskilled labor, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Our robust economy has been fueled by low-cost immigrant labor. Take that away, you take away much of the gains we have made since the Great Recession.

I agree with critics who complain about immigrants bankrupting school districts and hospitals, but if we could make these 12 million people legal, tax-paying residents, their taxes would more than compensate our institutions.

Immigration and the immigrant caravan plodding its way toward our border were a hot button wedge issues in the recent mid-term election. Most Republicans want to appease the anti-immigrant crowd, while Democratic candidates seem to have cold mush in their mouths.

It would be nice to hear someone make sense on immigration, but I don’t expect that to happen. No candidate is willing to look like an idiot.

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