It is pretty clear to us here in Flemington that we have an illegal immigration situation. The main problems we face are the overcrowding and over use of our infrastructure and water. Boro council monitors the situation and this fall passed the stacking ordinance to begin to address this strain on our limited resources due to this continuing influx. I witnessed the discussion on the stacking ordinance among the stakeholders here, Boro council, Police Chief Becker to name a few. I felt it was an intelligent and fruitful discussion. Flemington has begun to face the reality of illegal immigration and the problems that accompany it, intelligently and with a fair amount of compassion too.
So I was particularly put off by the take on it Bishop E. Roy Riley expressed in the Courier News this Sunday. He describes another heartrending tale and then he casts the problem as a brutal American response to poor folks who just want a better life and how can Americans just not understand this. Unfortunately there is no absence of heartrending tales that come with immigration. I will cut him a bit of a slack in that he refers to a situation that involves raids and detention. I cannot say this is my solution either but poor responses do not erase immigration problems anymore than bad medical care means there is no illness.
“Costly immigration policy destroys families” Courier News, ‘Opinion”, Sunday, February 3, 2008
Google ‘Immigration Gumballs’ and get a lesson here on the effects and common sense perspectives on immigration. After you view this piece on YouTube, consider this---about 15 years ago I waited for the school bus on the corner of West Road and N. Main with my two daughters. In those days, fewer than 5 students at any given time got on and off the school bus at this stop. Today at times I may see 25+ high school students get off the school bus and they appear to be mostly Hispanic. Second, having children that age, I am around the twenty-something/early thirty-something crowd now and then. These newlyweds, double income/no children young American citizens, are paying their own way. They can barely afford a house and to start a family. Meanwhile illegal immigrants are taking advantage of America’s entitlement programs such as free education and medical care in emergency rooms that cannot refuse them, living in places that those paying their way and for these entitlement programs as well cannot afford. This hardly seems like fair or sound policy.
The gumball mathematician makes a good point. The best way to solve the immigration problem is for America to help people of poor nations live better in their own countries. America can bolster ventures like the Grameen Bank (Google it), for instance. The strategy works. It preserves dignity and fosters self-reliance without threatening the solvency of other nations.
On the down side this approach does not address our immediate immigration problems. It is a tough issue. That’s for sure.
To learn where your candidates stand on immigration see…
New York Times Election Guide 2008
On another note...What about those Giants!!!! It ain't over 'til it's over...right, folks?