Thursday, June 19, 2008

US vacillates on illegal immigrants, EU moves ahead

While the United States continues to vacillate over immigration reforms and how to deal with the 11 million illegal migrants in the country -- no thanks to Lou Dobbs' legion whose king dismisses even the most modest changes as "amnesty" -- the European Union is moving full steam ahead to standardize policies regarding illegal immigrants across 25 of the 27 countries. (Opting out for now are the UK and Ireland, I suspect in part because of the implications it would have on their separate Common Travel Area.)

I am obviously concerned about permitting detentions for up to 18 months, although states may elect to have a lesser period than that. (However, the wide variety of holding periods -- ranging from 32 days in France to an indefinite period in 6 of the Schengen nations -- led to a great deal of uncertainty.) As well, those ordered deported could face exclusions from Europe for up to five years.

I am also concerned part of the pushback is coming from the presence of so-called "illegals" from Romania in Italy even though, far as I know, they have every right to have residence in any EU state like any other EU citizen even though Romania won't join Schengen until 2011 at the earliest. The violence being committed against the minority community there is, for what it's worth, totally unacceptable.

But I do find it interesting that, for all its diversity and all its bureaucracy -- a relatively large group of prosperous and sovereign nations such as the EU can actually all agree on something so important; while one country, the US, continues in quagmire. Unbelievable.

And it is also amazing to consider that the same people who oppose reforms, those who view Ronald Reagan as the greatest person who ever lived (until George W Bush, of course) forget that in 1979, a year before his second and ultimately successful run for President, Ronnie actually supported open and customs-free borders with Canada and Mexico; anticipating in a way the Schengen arrangement that presently exists in much of Europe (and which, while very successful has somewhat exacerbated the "problem" with migrants who find their way to the states with the most generous social programs).

Hopefully, the next President will find a way to unite people around the issue and come up with common sense immigration reforms -- no matter what Lou Dobbs or any other heartless person like him thinks. If it also leads to a partial loosening of border controls for the vast majority of law-abiding citizens and trade in the NAFTA area, so much the better.

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Borges said...

Actually it's not as clear cut concerning Romanians in Italy (or any of the newly joined states, even the ones in 2004). Most countries imposed certain restrictions on the freedom of movement of workers for several years, and although Italy removed these barriers, there are still certain regulations regarding Bulgarians and Romanians. So while in the future it will be true that the Romanians will be legal to work in Italy (or anywhere else in the EEA)

zeezil said... se puede!!!

Lou Dobbs is absolutely correct...NO AMNESTY to illegal aliens!!!

Let's secure our borders by building the fence so we have an effective and controlled immigration system at the same time as we enforce our currently existing immigration laws. During this interval we encourage illegals to depart (attrition through enforcement). Once our borders are secured and we have a grip on a functional system of immigration, we move against those illegals that have refused to leave. We should never ever grant amnesty.

We tried 'comprehensive immigration reform' in 1986. We gave amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens in exchange for the government promising to secure the borders, conduct workplace enforcement and enforce immigration law. It didn't work because the government lied and did nothing other than process the amnesty paperwork. Due to that folly, we now have 20 Million or more illegal aliens here demanding amnesty.

Don't you think it is far beyond time that we engage in Comprehensive Immigration ENFORCEMENT rather than Comprehensive Immigration Reform Amnesty?