October 27, 2006

Why hasn't a Republican come up with this?

While watching the news yesterday, a story on the crisis in Iraq was run back to back with a poll asking people what ought to be done about what some feel is the crisis of illegal immigration.

This suggested an idea to me which would be a perfect idea for a Republican to propose, as it makes sense at first glance, but a little more thought would show that it's probably unconstitutional and raises all sorts of civil rights questions.

First of all, the situation in Iraq.

It seems to me that one reason it's been such a failure and we continue to lose the effort in a big way is due to the White House and Rumsfeld and their little gang of neo-con ideologues (who've long ago flown the coop), in almost total ignorance of the history and reality on the ground there, decided that they could invade Iraq and topple Sadaam and it would almost turn into a Democracy on it's own. It's as if they thought they were playing a game of Stratego.

All they'd have to do is send a bunch of young right wingers in to establish a country in their image, more concerned with how to establish a flat tax system in Iraq than how to stop looting or secure the government, which they indeed actually did.

So now it seems we're stuck with two equally dangerous and unpleasant choices.

Either make a concerted and time certain effort to withdraw U.S. troops from the country, and just stand back and watch the fun as Iraq dissolves into a satellite state of Iran, etc.

Or send in several hundred thousand more troops, the troop level which was called for to begin with, or even the troop level used in the first Gulf war (half a million) and throw everything we have into stablizing the country and establishing a stable government. Since our military is stretched to the breaking point, this might even require a draft.

So, in light of the second option, or the likelihood that we'll be there for decades at least, and the fact that there's millions of illegal immigrants in the country which can't be deported due to their sheer numbers,(you can see this coming) then why not institute a program where, in exchange for military service, illegals can gain citizenship?

It should be noted that apparently many non-citizen immegrants have and do serve in the military, serving a country that doesn't even offer them the benefits of citizenship.

Of course, this raises problems of forced service, a unacceptible requirement for citizenship, and likely dozens of other valid concerns which would make it impossible or not desirable.

But it would serve to aclimate illegals, teach them marketable skills, (though knowing how to efficiently kill other human beings has limited appeal in the job market) and even provide schooling and prepare them for citizenship.

But given that it's so obvious and a quick, band-aid solution which would appeal to those who don't make it a habit to worry about such things as immigrants rights, I'm surprised some Republican hasn't been trying to use it as an issue.


At 10/27/2006 10:07 AM, Blogger Dave Barrett said...

There was a column in the Washington Post 5 days on this very subject


I don't see any problem with allowing illegal immigrants to enter the military in exchange for immedate legality and an expedited path to citizenship as long as it is voluntary and would not lead to a search for the illegal relatives of the enlistee. The expedited path to citizenship is a deal that the military has been offered to legal immigrants for over 100 years.

Perhaps this is another thing that the politicians are waiting until after the election to implement.

At 10/27/2006 12:24 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for that info Dave.

100 yrs eh? I'm always the last to know. ha!

Why it never seems to be part of the discussion of immigrant problems is curious.

I knew that non-citizens served in the military, but I had never heard that they got on a fast-track to citizenship in return.


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