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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What To Do About Illegal Immigration


Over the past few months the issue of illegal immigration has become one of the most discussed topics in America. This is absolutely the most wonderful topic any student or teacher could possibly raise. Why? Discussions about illegal immigration quite naturally lead to the most significant areas of United States and world interest any teacher might desire to raise.

Talking about illegal migration naturally leads to how the United States was built; by immigrants, of course. The subject of how important it is to know a foreign language easily follows along this train of thought. Every teacher can convert a discussion of immigration into a study of geography in the time it takes to unfold a map. Illegal immigration brings social issues like discrimination, poverty, and urban living simmering to a boil. Public transportation, voting, the U.S. Constitution, family studies, and international relations fester in the wound that illegal immigration opens up before us.

Journalists, the teachers of the adult population, can follow illegal immigration to the subjects of taxes, employment, economic growth, politics, and social justice.

Law enforcement officials, the teachers of the wayward in our society, can easily see that illegal immigration raises issues of border security, document forgery, identity theft, drug smuggling, and just who should enforce what laws.

Politicians may not like it but illegal immigration certainly does create an expanded workforce, economic growth, and, at some point in the future, a larger electorate. More voters to vote for somebody seeking office somewhere, someday.

To even begin to solve the problem of illegal immigration we have to fix the way we police our borders, the way we admit new citizens, the way we identify a citizen when we hire them, the way we decide who gets to vote, the systems of public transportation, the minimum wage we require employers to pay, and even what languages we teach in our schools.

Whew! What a list! To think, not one of these topics can be ignored without serious consequences for every person in this country.

What a grand topic for national discourse we have all chosen to raise. Ironically, it might take more than two hundred years to finish this national discussion! What could be more important than a conversation that takes just as long to finish as it took to get where we are today?

Teachers, here are a few discussion points:

What does every U.S. college freshman and every resident in a Mexican border town have in common? They both know exactly how to obtain illegal drugs and fake identities.

What group makes up more than 40% of construction and agricultural laborers? Immigrants

One third of all U.S. urban residents know how to speak what foreign language?
Spanish

In ten years what will be the largest ethnic group in the United States? Hispanic

Where did 99% of the ancestors of all U.S. citizens come from? Foreign nations

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