The CS Monitor recently covered the issue of the attempts to make illegal immigration a felony. [Felony threat rouses immigrants,
April 12, 2006] Now, what they missed is that the present proposals are strong on punishing the immigrants themselves—but rather lax on punishing employers
, investors, property owners that profit from illegal immigration.
Personally, I think that it is rather irrelevant to solving the immigration problem whether illegal presence in the US is a felony, misdemeanor or civil offense. Few illegal immigrants make much money from the process of illegal immigration-the one asset they typically wind up with(if they are lucky) is a Green Card
or Citizenship (which is probably worth about $100,000 in today`s market
What is relevant is how we treat those that really make money off this process-and those that cater to them. Employing an illegal alien, renting to an illegal alien, investing in a business that profits from illegal immigration should be deal with on a basis that make them highly unprofitable. Now, that alone might not solve the problem-but the tendency of Mexico to export its poor rather than uplift them
can be dealt with:
The US could make it clear that without better education and health expenditures and containment of private fortunes
in Mexico, NAFTA will be nullified. For $60 Billion/year all extreme poverty in North America could be eliminated. The excesses of the wealthy in the US and Mexico can be contained. Illegal immigration can be reversed—and it doesn`t have to mean deprivation for the poor in Mexico-or even the illegal immigrants in the US.