Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Wajahat Ali at Goatmilk interviewed Republican (former?) Presidential candidate Ron Paul. Here is what Paul had to say on immigration:
ALI: Let’s talk about illegal immigration - it is a reality that cannot be ignored. It seems a security fence and denying those undocumented people without any benefits is draconian. Many, liberals and conservatives, say the 2006 Bush plan was the most moderate and best plan, imperfect sure, that dealt with the illegal immigration problem pragmatically. Many say the resistance to it in Congress was purely race hysteria and panic. Undocumented workers are a backbone of this nation’s hidden labor force - you know in Texas, like I know in California, our state’s respective economies would collapse without them. What’s a practical and enlightened policy taking all that into consideration when it comes to illegal immigration?
PAUL: Well, I think it should be looked at economically and through personal liberties. Economically, I think if you subsidize something, you’re going to get more of it. So, if you promise people who break the law an easy road to citizenship, they’re going to do it. So, people will get in front of the line by sneaking over the border, because they do get earlier citizenship and amnesty. Also, I think rewarding people with free medical care and free education just further compounds the problem, because that means you just impoverish the people who, in this country, are trying to work, because they end up with inflation and loss of jobs and a weak economy because this contributes to the deficit. Now, if you had a free and prosperous economy, these programs would be very, very generous. People would come and work. They know they’re not coming here for automatic citizenship or bringing their families for free medical care. They’d come and work and I think we would be very generous. I think there would be a great need. I don’t think some Americans would be looking for a scapegoat like they are today.
I think the welfare state is part of the problem, because it encourages some people not to work and that’s another incentive for people to come over. Also, trade policies help destroy the economies in the Third World nations, Mexico and Central America. Because we subsidize some of our crops that could be better raised in Mexico, and we put their farmers out of business. So, trade policy is another economic issue that makes it a bigger burden on the immigrant countries.
I cannot say that I miss Ron Paul as a candidate!