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The Fulford File| Illegal Immigration: The Trafalgar Square Solution
As a very young person, aged about 6, I saw the Disney movie of Mary Poppins, which showed the famous pigeons in Trafalgar Square, with a song called “Feed The Birds” by Julie Andrews, about an old woman who sold birdseed.
As an only slightly older person, I actually visited London and fed them myself. I bought a cup of birdseed, and pigeons came and roosted on me and ate out of my hand. Like this:
There may be a photograph of me somewhere, age 9, wearing these pigeons, but I can’t find it. This one, from the Museum of London of an anonymous tourist, gives the general idea. Recently, I did a Google map search for Nelson's Column, which brings up the picture you see below ....and all the pigeons are gone.
As a 9-year-old, I never thought about the negative externalities of 35, 000 pigeons in a public square. But they were there, obviously. Wikipedia’s article on Trafalgar Square says
“The desirability of the birds' presence was contentious: their droppings disfigured stonework, and the flock, estimated at its peak to be 35,000, was considered a health hazard.”
You may be wondering how he did this.
- Build a fence around the square?
- Send an anti-pigeon Gestapo around to their nests?
- Engage in pigeon profiling?
Here's what he did:
HE STOPPED FEEDING THEM!!!
“In 2005, the sale of bird seed in the square was stopped and other measures introduced to discourage the pigeons, including the use of trained birds of prey. Groups of supporters continued to feed the birds, but in 2003 the then-Mayor, Ken Livingstone, enacted bylaws to ban the feeding of pigeons in the square. ”
A pre-Livingstone picture of the square shows a pigeon food seller--he and his colleagues were the reason the pigeons were there. When Livingstone banned the sale of pigeon food, all the little pigeons got on their pigeon bicycles and flew away. (With a little encouragement from the trained birds of prey.)
Why am I telling you all this? Because the analogy with illegal immigration is, as Livingstone might say, bloody obvious.
Illegal immigrants are coming here because America is feeding them--stop feeding them and they won't come.
George Will had this really stupid idea that it would it would be impossible to deport the illegals who are living in America:
“They would fill 200,000 buses in a caravan stretching bumper-to-bumper from San Diego to Alaska-where, by the way, 26,000 Latinos live. And there are no plausible incentives to get the 11 million to board the buses."[Guard the Borders—And Face Facts, Too, By George F. Will, March 30, 2006]
The reason this is stupid: the illegals all came north on buses, and paid their own bus fares. They just didn't all come on the same day. They don't all have to leave on the same day, either. And they came because of “plausible incentives”—like the pigeons in Trafalgar Square. They can be encouraged to leave the same way.
Here are five ways to stop feeding the illegal immigrants:
- Employers are attracting illegal immigrants by offering them illegal jobs and paying illegal wages. E-Verify and workplace enforcement can keep them from doing that—see E-Verify Is Working. That's Why It's Threatened In Courts And Congress and The Needs Of America's Farmers.
- Government at all levels is attracting illegal immigrants with social programs, many of which do not require citizenship to benefit from—see Whatever Happened To Deporting Immigrants As a Public Charge?
- City governments attracting illegal immigrants with “sanctuary” policies that promise to shelter the illegals from the Federal—this can be stopped both locally, by voting out the politicians responsible, and by Federal prosecution…once America has a federal government that believes in immigration enforcement.
- Schools are attracting illegal immigrants by educating their illegal children—they’re not just educating the US-born children of illegals, they’re educating young people who are illegal themselves. In spite of the Supreme Court, this can be stopped by legislation—see Plyler vs. Doe: The Solution
- The current “citizen child” misinterpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment is attracting illegal immigrants like a huge magnet—if a parent can arrange to have his child born in America, that child gets citizenship for life, and government benefits. But this too can be changed by legislation—see Weigh Anchor! Enforce the Citizenship Clause.
As with the pigeons, it’s not a matter of chasing people out, it’s a matter of STOPPING FEEDING THEM.
(And that’s true too a substantial extent for legal immigrants too.)