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Maricopa County Libertarian Party

Illegal Immigration

November 19, 2008 - 12:00am
Nick Coons by Nick Coons


Last month, a Phoenix police officer was killed by a drunk driver when he slammed his truck into the officer's patrol vehicle. He was charged with manslaughter and aggravated assault. The drunk driver had four warrants out for his arrest, two of which were for DUI, and he was an illegal alien.

I was listening to talk radio the other morning as the host was discussing this tragic event, focusing the discussion on the drunk driver's illegal status in the United States, and using this incident as an argument to solidify his position that we should track down and deport everyone that's in our country illegally.  The implied rationale is that illegal aliens are statistically more likely to drive drunk and injure or kill someone, and because of this we should round up all illegal aliens and send them home, including the peaceful individuals that make up the vast majority.

Here in Arizona, we probably hear more about immigration than in most other places in the country, and I know that this can be a sensitive issue for many people.  Statistically, a higher percentage of blacks cause violent crimes than whites.  Would someone be taken seriously if he suggested that we should round up all blacks and put them in prison, even the peaceful individuals (which are the vast majority)?  Certainly not!  How can the same be said for immigrants?

Libertarians believe that people should be treated as individuals.  Someone should be judged based on the actions they choose, not based on the actions of others, even if these others exhibit some of the same traits such as skin color or nationality.  The focus should be put on the violent criminals that make poor decisions and injure or kill others by their wreckless habits.  When we attack a group of individuals that have harmed no one, we take the focus off of those that are actually causing us harm.

There was a time when penniless immigrants came to America to work hard and make a better life for themselves and their families, and most of us living here today are descendants of these immigrants.  Why is it that at one time we welcomed the hard-working characteristics that made our country great, and today we discourage them with a maze of paperwork, thousands of dollars in fees, and years of making their way through a complex system?  If you've ever experienced this process, you have no doubt why so many choose to sidestep it.

In general, I believe there are two types of immigrants that come to the United States:

  1. The hard-working type that built America from scratch.
  2. The lazy type that wants a free handout from our social welfare programs.

I propose that we implement the following in order to solve our immigration problem:

  • Simplify the process such that anyone wanting to enter the US to become a resident will submit to a background check (approximately $25).  From start to finish, this may take from a few days up to a week.
  • Deny access to any social welfare programs to non-U.S. citizens.

This will do two things.  First, it will encourage the hard-working individuals to enter in to our country through the simplified legal process, and we would welcome them because they will contribute positively to our economy and to society overall.  Second, it will discourage those looking for a hand-out from entering the country, legally or otherwise, because there is nothing here for them if they aren't willing to carry their own weight.

Related Content:

Incarceration Nation - Richard Sutton
The 14th Amendment is Going to Cage Us All - Ross Kenyon
National ID and Personal Privacy - Austin Raynor

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