A few thoughts on immigration.

I’m just going to use tonight’s post to jot down some ideas on foreigners. I mean this not only to refer to people coming into our country, but when we’re foreigners in other places. I remember hearing a semi-regular customer at the convenience store once speak about how he and his friends were no longer allowed in Canada. I don’t know what they did, but this sounds immensely stupid. Could you really not keep yourself from doing whatever activity you were doing while in another country? I would think that if somebody really couldn’t resist doing that activity, they could wait until they get back home. At least here, even if you get punished, you won’t get exiled. You have less likelihood to get caught; when coming back home from Canada people have to go through customs. They have to actually check in with the government. If you were being watched but not caught, you’re practically turning yourself in.

The border between the U.S. and Canada is widely unguarded. I don’t know how high illegal immigrants crossing that border is, but I can’t imagine it’s too many. Neither country looks worth the hassle compared to the other. It isn’t like, say, our border with Mexico. There we get people illegally crossing the border all the time. I have to have some sympathy for these people. Things must be really bad in their own country if they want to come here.

I remember watching that documentary series with Stephen Fry when he traveled across the States. When he was in one of the border states he rode along with the police as they caught some people trying to cross. With all of the talk about immigration from Mexico I expected a lot of security and high walls and barbed wire all over the place. Instead, in the case of what they showed in the documentary, there’s a shallow river with no obstacles on the banks. It looks quite easy to cross. Being an urban area there’s always cops on patrol, so I imagine it does keep the activity down quite a bit. At best we’re weeding out those who couldn’t make it past the authorities. Of course the only people we want to come into our country are those that can easily sneak around the police.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that there’s a lot of bad treatment towards illegal immigrants. A lot of times they shouldn’t even be illegal in the first place. I also know that the complaint about them taking jobs away from Americans is bullshit. They’re taking jobs that Americans didn’t want in the first place. I’ve read proposed laws to deal with the situation of illegal immigrants. Instead of dealing with the real issue of making people who want to become citizens, our government is trying to impose punishment that far outweighs the crime.

I live on the other side of the country, though, so I don’t have first-hand knowledge of this. I hesitate to go any further with this issue without enough research. I live near the Canadian border, where we don’t have to deal with illegal immigrants. Living in a coastal town with a large retail area, I have to deal with tourists. Can’t we start penalizing the more aggravating subset of that crowd?

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