A Modest Proposal on Illegal Immigration

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Look, ever since Jonathan Swift published  A Modest Proposal in 1729, every essay using that phrase in the title has gone on to say something outrageous. So if this angers you, you must have me confused with someone who cares. Stay out of sites intended for grown-ups.

The Plan

I've encountered a number of people who, I strongly suspect, didn't exactly dot all the i's and cross all the t's with Immigration when they entered the U.S. If you get my drift. Hard working folks. Law abiding (apart from the entry issue). Keeping a low profile, in fact. And taxpaying. Social Security taxes they'll never get back, along with income taxes, and sales taxes.

Now I have no problem understanding why many Americans are angry about the situation. Anyone here illegally who's involved in a crime or any anti-social act should be deported when their sentence is done. Not just dumped on the other side - all the way to Chiapas. Tierra del Fuego if we can manage it. Better yet, Pinochet's detention center on Dawson Island. Make them work hard to get back.

I can also understand why people stuck in a corrupt country with limited opportunities would want to go someplace where things are better. And the present mess is a bipartisan one. Until it became fashionable to get upset over illegal immigration, conservatives mostly looked the other way because illegal immigrants provided an inexpensive labor pool. Liberals, for their part, assert that immigrants take jobs Americans don't want, but don't bother explaining that they have beaten down every proposal to have vacant jobs filled by Americans as the price for receiving public assistance.

In a Nutshell

Neal Boortz is a conservative radio host and blogger. He's head and shoulders above most other conservatives for despising creationists, and has a fairly reasonable smart/dumb ratio in what he posts. (On the down side, he's your one-stop shopping center for junk science on global warming.) On November 9, 2006 he posted the following on his Web site:

Today's Nuze: November 09, 2006

TUESDAY WAS GOOD NEWS FOR .... WHO?

I notice that the newspaper and broadcast pundits are telling us who the winners and losers are in Tuesday's startling elections. Well ... I might as well get in the game here with everyone else.

The envelope please.

And the winners in this year's midterm elections are [among others]:

Illegal Aliens

(Putting down his leaf blower to accept the award is Pedro Lopez-Garcia-Menendez-Gonzalez, who pays no taxes in the U.S., and sends 80% of each paycheck back to Vera Cruz to take care of his wife and children.)

First off, unless this guy is getting paid totally under the table, he is paying taxes, both income taxes and Social Security. And he's working a low-paid job and not complaining, he's somehow surviving on his pay and he's taking care of his family. He's forgoing most of his own pleasures and sending the bulk of his pay home.

And over here I have a native-born American earning three times as much, up to his ears in credit card debt, and voting to cut funds for the public library because he "needs" more money. Also he's way behind in his child support payments, or maybe he's moved and changed his identity to avoid them altogether (some illegals who buy Social Security numbers have also discovered that they ended up paying child support). And he complains to everyone he meets that he's underpaid even though he has no discernible skills.

Which of these two would we be better off deporting?

Many Hispanics I know have a work ethic that kicks butt. A Mexican farm worker in the documentary Crossing Arizona put it perfectly when he said "Gringos don't want to work, only in the office." When I consider some of the immigrants I've met and compare them to some of the people who were born here, which ones I'd keep would be no contest. So here's my plan:

Consider every illegal immigrant on a case by case basis. If an illegal immigrant is obeying the law, working hard, and contributing positively to the society, we find some lazy, whining, worthless American and deport that person instead.

Love It Or Leave It?

Exactly the opposite. Critics of American society who are working to advance what they see as needed reforms are more than welcome. Hillary, Barack, Ron Paul, Karl Rove and Markos Moulitsas (Kos),  they're all working for what they think will benefit the society. It's not always what I think is best, but they're working.

It's people who are doing nothing constructive, or worse yet, doing nothing and obstructing the efforts of those who are doing something. Complainers who want other people to fix things without getting involved themselves? Useless, unless we ever go back to warfare requiring cannon fodder, or someone founds the Soylent Corporation. People who want the benefits of an advanced society without learning the skills, paying the taxes, or dealing with any of the problems created by the benefits? Get on the ice floe. Want the benefits of technology but don't want to live near a mine, a factory, a power plant or a recycling center? Wait till you see the neighborhoods in Jakarta. You don't vote because you don't like the candidates? You want those of us who do vote to fix the System and then you'll condescend to come out and help us select leaders? There are lots of places we can send you that will permanently spare you the burden of voting.

And as Gilbert and Sullivan said: "I've got a little list, and they'll none of them be missed." The envelope, please.

Case 1

A Florida kid named Warren Messner was sentenced to 22 years for his role in the beating death of a homeless person. He did it because he was bored. After eight months in detention, he appealed his sentence. Seems he was locked in a cell all day and he was - get ready for this - bored. The judge, in a refreshing display of judicial sanity, denied the motion. He pointed out that prison is supposed to be unpleasant. According to the story published by WFTV:

Messner's parents broke down at the denial. His mother said it's unfair, that her son fell in with a bad crowd and prison is killing him.

"He's not getting the mental health, the schooling. He's not getting anything, anything but locked in a cell all day long," Lori Messner said.

The kid will spend the next 21 years right where he belongs. But the parents! Can't you just see them spending the rest of their days trying to live off what they can grow on some steep hillside in Zacatecas? At the very least they should be put out on the street and their home given to a homeless person. Can you imagine you'd have to go any farther than a hundred yards from the courthouse to find some illegal alien that we could swap for these people and make the U.S. a better place?

I'm not faulting the parents for having a kid who turned out bad. I know of lots of examples of parents who did their best but whose children simply refused to listen. I am faulting the parents for having a chance to stand up for civilization and coming to the defense of a thug instead.

Case 2

A kid in Oklahoma took a cell phone to class. When it rang, the teacher confiscated it, in accordance with written school policy. The parents backed the school to the hilt. If you believe that, you must be a recent immigrant yourself. Nope, they filed criminal charges of larceny against the teacher and the principal.

A maquilladora in Mexico is too good for these people. I'm thinking the Congo. They can try to earn a living digging col-tan (columbium-tantalum ore used in electronics, so it's a fitting fate) from some hardscrabble mining claim, then have most of it stolen by marauding soldiers. That will teach them what larceny is really all about.

Case 3

Reported by the Associated Press, 21 February 2007: a teacher in southwestern Missouri pointedly reprimanded two students for bullying two mentally disabled students. So the school superintendent suspended the teacher for using language the bullies could understand. Can't you just see this dingbat superintendent stitching soccer balls in Pakistan for the rest of her life?

Sometimes you're better off leaving bad enough alone. When the story made the papers the superintendent was quoted as saying there were "other issues" involved. If anything has the greasy fingerprints of a sleazeball boss trying to sandbag an employee, this does.

The bullies? Unfortunately, they'd probably gravitate to positions of authority in the Third World and be able to indulge their sadism, a la Clockwork Orange, so simply deporting them would be a step up. Dumping them in a penal colony or a deserted island would merely allow the most sadistic to rise to the top, a scenario we find in everything from The Gulag Archipelago to Lord of the Flies to Escape From New York. I picture a cell about four feet wide, eight feet long, with a bed, a toilet, a sink, and a glove box at one end. They work at the glove box 12 hours a day assembling stuff, with their output used to pay for their incarceration, and anything left over used for food. And they never, ever again have the chance to dominate another human being. When they get out, they never again have authority over any other person; not as parents, not on the job, not in a club. They stay on the bottom rung of the ladder for the rest of their lives.

Case 4

While looking up satellite imagery showing the Mexican border I ran across this:

A border to me is a self-indulgent, arrogant, colonial construct that separates people along the most inessential and least vital of interests. Although most schools have "political" maps with lines and colors designating borders and various nations — that some believe is a "God-given" thing — the earth has no such boundaries. In my life, I've seen the images from space of a blue-white-green world — there are no political lines drawn on this planet.

No, I'll tell you what's self-indulgent and arrogant. Doing nothing to make either the U.S. or Mexico a better place and then denouncing the existence of a border. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico needs this character, but I'll bet there's a sweatshop in China looking for help.

Oh, by the way, borders are easily visible from space. Their very artificiality makes them stand out. But who expects people who use rhetoric like that above to be, you know, informed or anything?

Do You Know The Way to San Jose?

The unofficial Mardi Gras in San Jose in 2007 was marked by vandalism and rioting. According to NBC Channel 11:

Partiers said that most of the trouble came from the under-21 crowd.

"They can't go into clubs and they can't drink," one reveler said. "So what else is there to do but go around and vandalize and tip over cars and stuff?"

O-kay. I'm mature enough to drink, and I'm going to prove it by breaking windows and tipping over cars because I don't get my way. Did I miss any of the subtle nuances of the logic here?

There's lots of alcohol freely available in Russia. Norilsk, a mining town above the Arctic Circle, probably needs workers. They'd really find out what "nothing to do" is all about during those couple of months the sun doesn't rise.

Piper, Kansas

This story is nationally known. A teacher explained to her class what plagiarism was, gave the students a form to have signed by their parents, then flunked a bunch of kids who lifted assignments off the Internet. The parents, who had already signed forms that outlined her policy, protested to the school board, who overruled the teacher. The teacher then quit in disgust.

What do you do with a whole group? Slavery in Darfur works for me. We swap the parents and the school board members to free up a lot of people now held in slavery. Or we just sell them in the slave market and use the money to reward that teacher.

Very few phenomena baffle me more than school board members who cave in to pressure from idiot parents. How utterly lacking in a life do you have to be to be afraid of being voted off a school board?

Prince George’s County, Maryland

Prince George’s County, Maryland decided to crack down on parents who failed to get their children vaccinated. This shocking example of nanny-state bullying has been duly hyped on various libertarian and anti-vaccination sites.

So, I can expose myself and my kids to the (miniscule) risks of vaccination, then we create a disease free society and you and your kids enjoy the benefits without that nasty needle. Or, horror of horrors, having somebody tell you what to do.

There are all sorts of dark corners of the world we could send these people where they will never, ever have to face a needle. The not having somebody tell you what to do part, not so much. I'm sure the folks we bring here to replace them would eagerly line up at dawn to get their kids immunized.

Dropouts

A Mexican farm worker in the documentary Crossing Arizona said he was working to raise money to send his kids to school because "without an education, you're nothing." Then we have the mind-set that made the following song a hit:

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took

Or worse yet:

We don't need no education.
We don't need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher leave the kids alone.

Hey kids! Take those Third World skills and put them to work in a Third World country! The kid above took some French, so a former French colony looks good. True, he doesn't know much, but it'll come back. Chad, Mauritania, Niger, Central African Republic, Malagasy, Burkina Faso. Or maybe Cambodia or Laos. Wanna bet I'd have a line wrapping around the block with applicants from those countries looking to slave away six hours a day learning all that boring stuff in our schools? Next time someone skips school, we bring that Mexican farm worker's kids in to take their place.

How Low Can You Go?

From an AFP story dated January 25, 2008:

Shelters across the country have seen sharp upticks in the number of people giving up their pets in recent months because they have been forced out of their homes.

And -- more tragically -- neighbors, police and foreclosure agents are finding increasing numbers of pets left to fend for themselves in abandoned homes.

"We're finding too many animals who have starved to death," said Stephanie Shain, director of outreach for the Human Society of the United States.

While some people dump their pets on the street, others go so far as to lock the animal in a closet where their cries for help are harder to hear, she said.

It can take weeks for an animal to starve to death and desperate scratch and bite marks are usually found on doors and windows.

Some things may not cause gross harm to society but nevertheless mark people as so utterly depraved that society is justified in pulling the "flush" lever. I really don't care how strapped these people may be, actions like this show they deserve to be homeless. You can't take the time to drive the animal to a shelter? Tack a "Free to good home" note on a bulletin board? Dump these people in the poorest shantytown in the world and give their homes to some homeless person.

I also know from my time in the military that there are people who abandon pets - not just leave them at a shelter or adopt them out, but just leave them - when they rotate to a new post. I don't care how many hoo-ah tabs these people have or whether they have so many Medals of Honor they have to have them continued on the next soldier. People like that deserve a dishonorable discharge and revocation of their awards, followed by a life sentence disarming mines.

Harness the Wind

William Kankwamba, a teenager in Malawi, kept sneaking into school because his parents couldn't afford the $80 per year tuition. When he was finally kicked out for good, he hung out at the local library where he encountered a book on energy and learned about windmills. So he scrounged through the rubbish, improvised tools, including a soldering iron made from a piece of wire heated in a fire, built a windmill, and lit his home. Others were so inspired that they helped bring electricity to his village and send him to the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg. His story is told in the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

Where do we start here? With the kids who consider school beneath their dignity and drop out? More appropriately, the NIMBY's. Our power grid is in serious need of nationwide overhaul but any attempt to do it will be mired in litigation forever by people who don't want ugly power lines, are afraid of ELF radiation (Extremely Low Frequency), want to preserve their property values, and so on. Only two per cent of the population in Malawi has electricity. The NIMBY's ought to be happy over there. There will be no ugly transmission lines and no ELF. I bet I could get the whole country of Malawi to volunteer to live under our power lines.


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Created 27 February, 2006;  Last Update 02 June, 2010

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