Thursday, May 10, 2007

Theories on Illegal Immigration

Gadabout has noticed that the national discussion on illegal immigration waxes and wanes depending on whether or not there is a big story carried by the major networks. Such was the case with Bill O’Reilly and the City of Virginia Beach after an unfortunate accident that left two young women dead after an alcohol related traffic accident caused by an illegal. Most of you are familiar with the case since it was elevated to the highest levels of visibility in our nightly television landscape. The event was tragic and it has served as fuel for both sides of the debate. For those vehemently opposed to the influx of migration of foreigners from the south, it demonstrates how out of hand the situation is and that tough action must be taken to stop the problem. Action, they say, is needed in the form of tougher laws, fences, increased resources and genuine enforcement. Those on the other side of the fence have framed the argument as an alcohol control issue. However you look at it, there might be a problem here. We have all heard this before, but what confounds the discussion these days is the nasty little fact that we have a war going on, and bad guys can enter the USA via that rather lengthy southern boarder.

Gadabout believes that this country does not posses the national resolve to stop illegal immigration since we have done little under very demanding circumstances. If after 9-11 and a continued war on terrorism could not broadly influence change, then it simply is not going to happen. Theories of “Disjointed Incrementalism” and “Punctuated Equilibrium” would support my position. Punctuated Equilibrium suggests that changes of significant magnitude only occur after a dynamic event. In the case of illegal immigration, 9-11 and a war could not produce significant change (other than rhetoric). During stable periods of time, Disjointed Incrementalism would support very small increments of change at lower levels of policy making. Supporting this position was the apparent failure of the recent May Day demonstrations. Even the illegal aliens, and those who support them, found little motivation to demonstrate. Why should they be motivated when there is little threat to their daily lives, security and safety?

Because we have generally moved past dynamic change periods related to the war on terror, and are shifting towards a relatively stable period of calm, it appears that little will be accomplished on immigration. Unless another tragedy (in the magnitude of 9-11) takes place in the very near future, public policy on this issue will most likely stall and our attention will be diverted and displaced towards domestic areas related to winding down the war and transforming the economy. Let’s keep a keen eye on this!

A final thought—if we become fortunate enough to have a rather large number of hard working, hard charging and ethical emigrants cross the boarder and BECOME BONIFED CITIZENS, won’t they pay taxes and help solve the Social Security mess? Gadabout is here for you!


Elizabeth said...

I say let's keep them out.. go back to your own country... we need to build a large invisible electric fence around our neighboring borders.... that should do the trick and keep everyone happy.... !

Gadabout Jack said...

Dear Elizabeth,
Good words from a Chicago chick!