Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Just Say "No" to Fines for Undocumented Mexicans

Looks like we Americans are working our usual problem-solving magic, and starting to make some real progress in coming to terms with the immigration issue. Barack Obama is just plain wrong, however, when he talks about levying fines to put undocumented workers on the path to citizenship. If we, as a country, decide citizenship is best, the idea of making these workers pay back taxes is seductive, though probably unenforceable. Making them learn English, though, is a must, in any event there is a decision that they should stay. And we ought to seriously consider barring forever fugitives from justice under the "catch and release" program.

While there was wrongdoing for these undocumented workers to come to the US in the first place, America is also at fault for leading them to believe they could stay. American citizenship should never, never, never be for sale--and that is just what a fine looks like. It's also wrong to fine economic refugees when they are not well paid. Either we are keeping them or we are not. These fines wouldn't help the national budget much, and they could be impossibly difficult for the workers.

Any talk of a fine should immediately be taken off the table. It really sends a terrible message. With news of profound chaos in Mexico, maybe soon we will have a better understanding of what exactly is happening South of the Border. If the news continues in the current vein, it won't be pretty.


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