Monday, January 18, 2010

What Part Of Illegal Don't You Understand?

Reason is one of my favorite websites. They write sober, well-crafted articles about subjects I care about. They take up causes like shining a light on corruption in the forensics business or the violence prevalent in no-knock police raids.

However, Reason and I aren't in lockstep on one issue: illegal immigration. More specifically, the level of access illegal immigrants should have to taxpayer-funded services.

The author argues that denying illegal immigrants access to the proposed insurance pool to purchase discounted healthcare is akin to policing the federal highway system to make sure no illegals are using it. They would, the argument goes, be paying for the coverage with their own money; no taxpater assistance would be forthcoming.

The problem I have with that argument is that illegal immigrants should not be in this country. You can start calling them "undocumented immigrants" (as Reason does), but that doesn't absolve them of their crime.

Legal immigration is a great thing for the country when it's done right. We don't do it right. The process is long; it can take decades for a person to jump through all the hoops on the path to legal immigration. Speeding up the process and tightening restrictions on immigration (by easing the process for highly skilled workers, for example) would help.

The argument about healthcare and illegal immigrants shouldn't revolve around whether or not to cover them. More important is increasing the number of skilled legal immigrants and deporting the illegal ones.

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