Attractive Nuisance

23 07 2007

Attractive Nuisance.

This is what the United States of America has become. Simplified for the general (non-attorney) reader, “Attractive Nuisance” is any inherently hazardous object or condition of property which can be expected to attract children to investigate or play. The property owner has the responsibility to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury to children who might be attracted to the hazardous objects or conditions. 

Replace “children” with “the rest of the planet” in that definition, and you’ll see where I’m goinng with this.

Everybody on the planet wants to come here, for good reason. Even “poor” people in this country have a higher standard of living than the wealthy of many other countries. Better still (from the prospective immigrant’s point of view), hard work and self-discipline are materially and socially rewarded in America. In less than a generation, an immigrant who applies himself can become a citizen. Any child of legal immigrants born on US territory automatically becomes a citizen. I don’t think any other country on Earth requires so little of prospective citizens.

This has long been one of America’s greatest strengths. This country attracts the best and brightest from all over the world. Every single immigrant group (voluntary or otherwise) has added their cultural and intellectual uniqueness to America, and each succeeding wave of immigrants has made our country better. Despite the bigotry and stupidity of earlier immigrants, this arrangement has always been a fair trade: America gets the benefits of new people, new customs, and new ideas. The immigrants get a fair chance to succeed by their own efforts. Everybody wins.

Unfortunately, a bunch of old white guys are trying to upset the applecart. They look around and say, “I say! The wogs seem to be coming over in ever-increasing numbers! We can’t possibly deal with these grubby foreigners and their heathen ways! We’ll have to get rid of the lot of ‘em.” Then they look aside for eavesdroppers before adding, sotto voce, “We’ll keep a few of ‘em for menial tasks, as long as they don’t get uppity.”

The fact that the Irish, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, etc, forefathers of these old white guys were subjected to the same pig-headed, ignorant bigotry when THEY hit our shores is completely lost on these hypocrites. The efforts of a bunch of hypocritical old white men to re-write the contract between America and would-be immigrants is what makes up the “nuisance” bit. The win-win scenario is in danger of being replaced by cold calculation: What can the would-be immigrant do to benefit American industry/commerce? Instead of welcoming immigrants with open arms, we are collectively telling them that they’ll be permitted to come here- IF they can provide some benefit for US.

Before I get a bunch of nasty-grams, I should probably add this caveat- I am speaking only about legal immigrants. “Legal” being defined as “meeting or exceeding the requirements for entry as codified by the US Customs and Immigration Service” (or whatever they’re calling themselves these days). Anyone not fitting this definition should be treated as an illegal immigrant: arrested, fingerprinted, DNA-profiled, and deported.

Since everyone else seems to be running off at the mouth (or the keyboard) on how to fix the so-called “immigration problem”, I’m going to toss in my brace of small copper coins. 


Step 1- Increase the size and budget of Customs and Immigration. The additional personnel/funding would be used to find businesses (or individuals) which hire illegal immigrants and to perform ID/background checks on all prospective immigrants.

Step 2- Pass legislation mandating draconian penalties for any business found guilty of knowingly employing illegal immigrants. Something on the order of $1 million per illegal worker per day that worker is present at the business AND mandatory Federal prison time for the CEO/President/HMFIC/whatever upon conviction.

Step 3- All prospective immigrants will be required to provide name, last legal residence, country of origin, fingerprints, and DNA samples. Everyone who complies is given a Temporary Entry Permit coded to this information. Any Temporary Entry Permit holder who gives false information or fails to report a valid address to INS weekly will be summarily deported and barred from ever re-entering the US. Any immigrant discovered to have been convicted in any other country of any act which would be a felony in the US will be deported after a hearing by the INS, where the immigrant may appeal the deportation. Any immigrant with a Temporary Entry Permit convicted of committing a felony in the US will be deported at the end of their criminal appeals.

Step 4- Pass legislation giving access to immigrant information to all US Law Enforcement agencies.

 Step 5- After passing the background/ID confirmation by INS, immigrants shall be granted the appropriate Visa (student, work, permanent resident, etc). Conviction of any felony in the US will result in deportation. All legal immigrants will be issued an Identification card which they must present on demand to any law enforcement personnel. Misuse of Immigrant ID will result in automatic deportation. All legal immigrants with Immigrant Identification will be permitted to work, apply for driver’s licenses, etc. Working legal immigrants will pay income and Social Security taxes just like citizens. If they decide to become citizens later, immigrants would have access to tax refunds, Social Security benefits, etc. If they choose not to become citizens, they’re still paying into the Treasury.

Step 6- Any legal immigrant living and working in the US for five consecutive years will be granted citizenship on request- provided the immigrant:

A-    Has no criminal charges against him/her

B-     Qualifies for legal residence in the city/state where he/she resides

C-     Meets the general citizenship requirements defined by the INS

D    Has had a valid, verifiable address in the US (no PO boxes) for at least one year

E-     Has held a job (proven by tax records, Social Security records, etc) for at least one year and has had no periods of unemployment longer than 6 months.

Immigrants who join the US military (any branch) and serve honorably for four years will be granted citizenship if requested after being honorably discharged.

Step 7- Open immigration. Bring ‘em all.

This program should accomplish a couple of things. First, it would solve several problems with the current immigration system. Second, political hacks of every description will probably hate this plan, which is (or ought to be) a good thing in itself. Third, it would cut down on the sheer numbers of people profiting from the global slave trade (anyone who doesn’t believe there is such a thing hasn’t been paying attention). 

Lastly, this plan would also streamline the Gordian Knot of bureaucracy which is strangling the immigration process today. My boss married a woman from China 15 years ago. They have been living in the US for twelve of those years. But they still have to jump through hoop after bureaucratic hoop every year while she applies for citizenship. Given the slok they’ve had to put up with, it’s no wonder so many people are entering the country illegally. My 7-Step Immigration Plan ought to put a stop to that sort of nonsense.

Then maybe we’ll stop being an attractive nuisance.

Current status: Curmudgeonly

Current Music: War Paint by Rush