Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently made the following comments about illegal immigration:
“Someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because (of) their families — the dad who loved their children was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table.”
Bush continued — using better grammar this time: “Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime, that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.”
With these obtuse comments not only has this Bush princeling jeopardized his presidential aspirations with the Republican Party, but also, and more important, he has demonstrated a deficiency of reasoning on the immigration issue. His troubling lack of understanding of the full ramifications of the issue reflects a detached perception of reality not uncommon among America’s well-sheltered plutocrats.
Why do people get riled up about an ongoing invasion by millions of foreigners who just want to provide for their families?
The toll that decades of unbridled illegal immigration has exacted on the nation is real and significant. Law enforcement, public education, welfare programs, hospitals and health-care clinics have all been negatively affected by it. In various sectors of the economy, illegal immigration has driven down wage levels and pushed U.S. citizens out of jobs.
There are sound reasons for regulating immigration — not least of which is public health. The recent outbreak and spread of tuberculosis among high school students in Santa Maria has been traced to unscreened Mexican immigrants.
Illegal immigration on the scale that has plagued the United States makes a mockery of the rule of law and of the very idea of fairness. Folks who want to emigrate to America legally are required to satisfy requirements for admission that the illegal immigrants evade.
Bush’s argument is based on emotion, which is often the enemy of reason. If an act of love excuses illegal immigration, then why not pardon anyone who commits a crime to provide for someone they love? Are stealing, robbery and fraud all defensible if the proceeds of these crimes go to support one’s needy family?
Bush is also shortsighted on the legalities of this issue. Yes, technically, the initial trespass into this country is a misdemeanor not a felony, but re-entering the United States after having been deported is a felony, as is falsely presenting oneself as a U.S. citizen. How many illegal immigrants are guilty of either or both of these felonies?
However, the most egregiously dangerous consequence of massive illegal immigration is the Third-World rate of population growth the United States has incurred since 1970, when the nation’s fertility rate prudently settled at replacement level.
Whether convinced of human-caused climate change or not, the inescapable reality is that there are finite resources and limited capacity on planet earth. There is an ecological balance that is critical to sustaining life as we know it — anywhere on this planet. There are natural limits to how many of any one species can be sustained before living conditions become miserable and eventually lead to extinctions. More population means more environmental degradation and more shortages of essential resources. The United States is not exempt from these realities.
How many economic refugees is the United States expected to take in? What are the consequences of any nation accommodating unlimited, unregulated immigration? That nation eventually becomes over-populated, resource stripped, and no better than the broken nations from which the immigrants sought to escape. The United States can no longer take in the world’s huddled masses without incurring severe detrimental consequences.
America’s as well as the planet’s fitness for human habitation declines as human population increases with the exponential abandon it has since 1950 when the earth’s human population was 2.5 billion. It is now 7 billion and counting.
“The dad who loved their children was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table.”
Fathering children without having the means to support them is not an act of love; it is a stupidly selfish act that the United States encourages when it effectively allows countries like Mexico to push its population problem onto America.
If those nations that breed beyond their capacity to reasonably sustain their populations are allowed to continue their unsustainable behavior by passing the problem on to other nations, all the forgiving kindness in the world will not alleviate the inevitable disastrous consequences for every nation on earth — including the United States.
People who have children that they cannot support are irresponsible — folks like Jeb Bush who forgive illegal immigration enable this irresponsible behavior by essentially accommodating it. Their big-hearted generosity is a momentary kindness the eventual repercussions of which are far from compassionate.
What riles up people about illegal immigration should be pretty obvious to anyone who really examines it.