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Friday, May 25, 2007

Bring The Americans Home

Mr. Surly pointed out to The Kid yesterday that we seem to have a long running thread going on in the comment section to this post about the insanity of New Jersey’s Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS.) DYFS, which hits the mind’s eye as some sort of anagram for “DYSFunctional,” has a poor, and occasionally disastrous, record when it comes to maintaining its charges and this particular post seems to come up regularly on a Google search for “DYFS” and “help.” Like clockwork, every few months someone leaves a comment, even though the original post was in 2005! (Last one was a few weeks ago.)

The problem with DYFS, as with all state family services bureaucracies, is that it has a bias towards family unification. Now family unification is not necessarily a bad thing, but what the bureaucracy has to understand is that it is not ipso facto a good thing either. Going the extra mile to put children back into the hands of crazed nut-cases (of which many families are comprised – look at Mr. Surly’s!) is most assuredly not a good thing. It’s destructive.

Kid Various understands this bias to be an ancient one. It’s why traditional cultures fight so fiercely against interference in what is referred to as, in typical UN-speak, personal status law. Laws dealing with marriage, spousal rights, raising of children, etc. You can regularize and modernize most Third World legal systems when it comes to criminal activity, contract law, torts and all that, but the thorniest rose in the bush is always personal status law.

Even in the western Enlightenment cultures, we still have remnants of these ancient tribal biases; spousal privilege against testimony, the right to kill your children through medical neglect if you are a Christian Scientist and the bias towards family unification at all costs by state bureaucracies.

Which brings us to why Kid Various supports the current draft immigration bill that currently has everyone’s panties in a wad.

What did he say?

Lost you? Stay with The Kid. His segue skills are dazzling to behold.

The immigration bill as it stands right now is a monster with many components; z-visas for illegals already in the country, touchbacks, fines, amnesty for taxes and social security payments, new employer penalties, tamper-proof ID, the wall, etc.

Some of these are agreeable to The Kid, some are not. Before we go any further, Kid Various has to mention that he has always been pretty much of an “open borders” type of guy. He’s all in favor of free movement of labor and capital. Immigrants have been the life blood of our culture and our national narrative, and for those who say we’re full and can’t take any more – Kid V. says: Take a drive out West sometime. We got plenty of room.

However, in the post September 11th world, it’s patently obvious that we can’t have open borders. We just can’t have millions of people entering the U.S. without us knowing who they are and if they are a danger. So we must take severe steps to secure our borders. It’s a security issue. (The Kid does not understand the opposition to this. What’s the big deal about building a fence? 370 miles? 854 miles? Why not 2000 miles? We’re able to invade and occupy 2 countries a world away but we can’t put up a chain-link and barbed wire double fence for 2000 miles? Come on!)

Similarly, we have about 12 million illegals already in the country. Any hope that we are going to round them all up and deport them is a fantasy. This we do not have the capacity to do. Yes, it’s unfair to those people who are trying to emigrate legally. Yes, it sends the wrong signal. But sometimes, the law just has to reflect the reality on the ground. This is not always a bad thing. In the 1840’s, laws were put into place to recognize and regularize squatters’ claims to land in the states west of the Appalachians. Basically, the squatters did not own those lands, they were held by eastern land owners who were often granted huge chunks by royal charter (before the Revolution) or bought up afterwards.

It was unfair to the landlords, but the laws recognizing the claims of the squatters simply reflected a ground truth that could not be changed by that point. Besides, it also recognized that the squatters were *improving* land that was just lying fallow because the eastern owners weren’t doing anything with it.

But for all the hoo-hah over all these various components to the immigration bill, the most important provision has hardly been discussed in the media frenzy. That provision being that it scraps the family unification bias in current immigration law.

And you thought The Kid wasn’t going anywhere with this.

Charles Krauthammer talks about this in his column today. In the competition for the world’s talent pool, the United States has handicapped itself with a competitive disadvantage.

Today, preference for legal immigration is given not to the best and the brightest waiting on long lists everywhere on Earth to get into America, but to family members of those already here. Given that America has the pick of the world's energetic and entrepreneurial, this is a stunning competitive advantage, stunningly squandered.

The current reform would establish a point system for legal immigrants in which brains and enterprise count. This is a significant advance.

If you want to emigrate to the United States to become part of this society, to make the most of the freedom and opportunity afforded by America, it is basically impossible for you to do so. You can try entering a “diversity lottery” which randomly chooses, by lot, a limited number of applicants from each nation in the world. But your chances of getting into the U.S. by that means is similar to, well, winning the lottery.

However, if you want to get your brother over here to help you with the honor killing of your daughter, that’s no problem! Just get him on the next plane over from Lahore.

This has been the process since the immigration reforms of the 1960’s and the insane priorities have greatly contributed to the Third-Worldization of America. The immigration bill would get rid of family preference in favor of a point system, where candidates are ranked according education, wealth, and knowledge of English and knowledge of American culture. Yes, family in the country can add points to their benefit, but it would no longer be the overriding factor.

In fact, we want people who are willing to leave their families behind. It’s a self selection process. People who are willing to travel to America without the tribal/clan support system are more likely to be the independent, self motivated types who are suffocated by their traditional cultures and instinctively understand the power of individual liberty.

There are literally millions of these people across the globe. They believe in liberty and freedom. They believe in hard work. They believe that if they apply themselves, nothing is beyond their reach. They are Americans. Because America is not defined by a landmass, or who your father was, or what profession you were born into. America is a set of ideas. And if you buy into those ideas, you’re an American. Even if you don’t have the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a man from Iraq. He is smart, genial and understands what it means to be free and what it means to be enslaved. He’s an entrepreneur, having built with some friends a construction company that has made him a good deal of money. But he’s also concurrently worked with the CPA, the military and American organizations for pitiful sums and at great risk to help stand up a decent government for his country. He is an American without the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a woman from Moldova (the former Soviet Union.) All her life she has been an outsider in her own land being of mixed Russian/Romanian heritage. She’s brilliant. She has a Master’s degree from a prestigious university in the United States. She’s survived cancer. She’s takes great pride in her work and puts everything into it. She’s worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, helping those people recover from their former despotisms. She is appalled by the actions of that section of the American population who sees the United States as the greatest threat to the world – a population who has never for one day had to live under a real tyranny. She is an American without the paperwork.

Kid Various knows a man from France. He is a young go-getter. He is appalled by what is happening in his country. He can’t understand how people in France can possibly think that they can continue to penalize businesses with punitive taxation and regulation to support an entire class of layabouts. He has seen his country flooded with immigrants who refuse to assimilate and demand that the natives adjust to *their* culture. He has taken his family out of France to start his own business. He is an American without the paperwork.

All over the world, there are Americans who simply lack the paperwork. There are Americans out there who it would be our honor to welcome across the border. There are Americans who desperately want to come here and contribute to and keep the American experiment going into the 21st century.

As long as the draft of the immigration bill contains the point system engine rather than the family unification bias (and we know that this is not a given,) Kid Various will support it warts and all.

It’s time to bring those Americans home.


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