EP-035 Honesty Within the Immigration Reform Debate
Live from the Smokin Js podcast studio in Olympia, Washington. This is the immigration reform podcast! Too many topics are not discussed on main stream media, and yet they are the aspects most important to the American public. But hey, a wall is easy to understand and divide people with. #enjoy
So here we are in the middle of a government shutdown, or a partial shutdown, or a everyone will get paid government vacation. Whatever you want to call it, President Trump has drawn his own line in the sand marrying immigration reform to the partial vacation shutdown.
We've had shut downs before. I won't cry for the government worker who is living without pay for a few weeks. All jobs carry risks, even the cushiest jobs in the country. No political party or pundit cares about the government worker on vacation. The real issue is immigration.
The real issue is the border wall Trump promised Mexico would pay for in his 2016 election. First let's look at the campaign promise. We are going to build a wall, and who's gonna pay for it? "Mexico!" cheers the Trump supporters. As I pointed out on Episode 10 of The Conservative Hippie podcast, Trump proposed he would get Mexico to pay for the wall by holding wire transfers from the US to Mexico hostage. Some 20+ billion dollars are transferred from the United States to Mexico each year. These transfers act as defacto welfare the Mexican government doesn't have to provide its poor citizens. This detail of the "Make Mexico Pay For It" campaign promise has been largely forgotten and completely ignored by main stream media. President Trump certainly did not promise to hold US government services hostage so that American citizens would pay for the wall.
Second let's understand that the wall is not the only issue for immigration reform. In the Presidential Address from the Oval Office, President Trump claimed that 90% of dangerous illegal drugs flowed into America through our southern border. This claim is factual if you include ports of entry, not just illegal border crossings. What is lost in all partisan bickering over the wall is the necessary funding and reform necessary to secure our international ports of entry. This part of immigration reform has been left out of the public debate as "the wall" takes hyperbolic precedent.
Third our bureaucratic overlords have completely left out penalties for employers that hire and encourage illegal border crossings and Visa over stays. Any legitimate and sincere immigration reform would have to include penalties with teeth for rewarding this illegal behavior. The onus must not be placed on the immigrant or refuge for seeking freedom in the land of opportunity. The onus must be placed on businesses that take advantage of these people. Pundits often say that we need illegal immigrants to provide the services that Americans won't perform. This is complete hogwash. No country on the planet incarcerates more of its citizens than the United States of America. So many of our impoverished citizens never have an opportunity to take these low level jobs. Furthermore, taking advantage of illegal immigrants drives down wages. The low level jobs that pundits claim Americans won't do is unworthy in some respects because of the cheap labor available to perform these jobs. All of these factors create an environment directly opposed to upward mobile opportunities for the very Americans that need it the most. To me, this immigration reform debate is leaving out the exact Americans that are affected by illegal immigration, poor disenfranchised Americans.
Fourth like so many issues facing our federal government, immigration reform is tossed back and forth between parties like a game of divisive hot potato. Words of the past are forgotten, impending challenges of the future are ignored. All for sympathy and votes in a current election cycle. In many respects this is why President Trump was elected in 2016. He was seen as a change maker that would cut through partisan politics of the past and find compromise to end debates and solve issues. Now that the wall has become his primary objective, dismissing or ignoring so many factors to immigration reform, myself and a lot of his supporters are left to wonder if the "deal maker" is getting caught up in the time honored uniparty game of political hot potato.
Tweet of the Week: Luke Rudkowski of WeAreChange.org has been a beacon of light shining on the Yellow Vest Protests in France.
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