Perspectives: Is illegal immigration really destroying America?

OPINION – We’ve all heard some variation of how the “illegal aliens are destroying America.”

It’s an overly simplistic answer as to how a once-great nation such as the U.S. could be headed for the trash heap of history. It’s also a testament to how easily the American public can be misdirected to focus its wrath on those who have nothing to do with implementing the actual policies that are destroying our nation.

We hear calls for building impregnable walls, armed troops on the borders, national ID cards and more administrative checkpoints. The clamor for loosening the chains on government power in order to impose a forceful solution is the perfect example of what Montesquieu referred to as a “tyranny that is self-administered by its victims.” But would it actually solve America’s problems?

Let’s suppose for a moment that we could wave a magic wand and effectively deport every person who is in this country without official government permission.

Another wave of the wand would make our borders airtight thereby stanching the flow of illegals into the U.S.

Now, take a deep breath and consider exactly what about our nation’s situation will have fundamentally changed?

Is our nation still drowning in public and private debt?

Is out-of-control taxation and government spending on entitlement programs at home and the projection of imperial power abroad still continuing unabated?

Is American society still continuing its descent into a cultural cesspool of false education ideas, immorality and the worship of material things?

Does the expansion of government at every level continue to intrude further into our personal lives even as our liberties diminish in the name of security?

Be honest.

Are the cries for stronger crackdowns on illegal immigration addressing the greatest problems facing our nation or simply addressing one symptom of a much larger problem?

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root.”

While illegal immigration and its attendant problems are a real concern, they are hardly the roots of the what’s destroying America.

The real tragedy is that so many Americans have allowed themselves to be duped into being defined by who or what they are against rather than by the principles for which they stand.

It’s easy to be against something and easier still to be against someone.  All we need is a grudge and a convenient target against which to direct our outrage.

To actually stand for something, rather, is a much loftier goal.

Standing for something requires one to clearly understand both the problem at hand and the principles at stake.

Such distinctions are too often lost in the swell of emotion that is the hallmark of the angry mob.

Blogger and author Connor Boyack, puts it like this: “It is unproductive and pointless to debate an issue without analyzing the underlying principle. Practicality, logistics, feasibility, popularity, and all other secondary interests should be set aside until all parties understand the core of the issue.

Whether the discussion is about illegal immigrants, Muslims, home schoolers, polygamists or any other group, we cannot lose sight of the fact observed by Will Grigg when he noted that even our supposed enemies are created in God’s image.

With this principle as our baseline, we can begin to examine solutions that don’t require us to reduce others to a caricature that, at best, downplays their humanity and, at worst, diminishes them to mere insects to be stomped on.

So what is the solution regarding illegal immigrants?

Prosecute individuals whose actual behavior has criminal ramifications. Whether that person is an American citizen or an illegal alien, they should be held to the law so long as there is an actual evil act involved. This means that there is a clear victim rather than simply a breach of some administrative rule.

For those who are truly interested in correcting America’s problems, Dr. Shanon Brooks of Monticello College asks a question that is worth considering: “Do we have a reputation of community service and sacrifice or are we seen as the ‘angry radical’ that can only point a finger and identify the flaws of others?”

There are many good people who see the problems that must be addressed, but they remain uncertain as to how they can best do something that will have impact.

Standing and shouting with the angry mob may be cathartic, but those who invest the necessary time and effort to quietly gain understanding and then to apply it through meaningful service to others will provide solutions that have positive, lasting impact.

We sometimes forget that it only takes one person leading out correctly to inspire positive action in others.

Our efforts would be far better spent in becoming that person.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright 2012 St. George News.

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9 Comments

  • hacim obmed July 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Mr Hyde is truly a vicious shill. Obviously there are elements of society that benefit from illegal immigration just as there were elements that befitted from slavery. We all know who they are, the homeowner who wants a cheap roofing job, or lawn care. The hotel business that needs cheap maids and janitors. The construction company that needs demo men, or cut rate carpenters or stone and tile layers. The poultry processor who needs workers to butcher and pack chicken. Obviously one of the really big sectors to benefit are the farming interests that want cheap harvesters and cowboys and milkers. These unscrupulous business interests make a lot of profit by paying the illegal workers in cash and avoiding the need to pay minimum wage, or taxes of any kind. Go to any construction site these days and ask the foreman to show you the wad of bills he carries around to pay his crew at the end of the day. We all know its happening and we all tolerate it because the people being hurt are the working poor. The people who used to fill all those hot sweaty jobs and who used to command a decent wage back in the 60’ds and 70’s before we opened the borders and back before NAFTA. Business loves the idea of flooding the labor market with cheap south american labor because an oversupply of anything means a lower price and that means a higher profit for them. The rest of society id forced to deal with the unemployment ans the broken families and also has to pay the cost of educating the immigrant children and paying for their social services. for masses of immigrants.

    • Ernest October 21, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Wow I love your response I feel like its TRUE and people of america dont see what’d happening before there eyes

  • Joel Wischkaemper July 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Bryan Hyde know nothing about the Social Contract, or even the legal contract between the elected representatives and the government they wish to join. When we do elect our representatives Mr. Hyde, we want them to enforce the law. Further, it is the people who decide the direction of this country in the immigration sector’s… not thugs from business and thugs from political influence groups. We the people own this country: not the Agricultural Sector, the lobby groups on K Street. And Mr. Hyde, we the people are not running this country today and this issue of immigration captured that fact with very good clarity.

  • zacii July 19, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Excellent piece, Bryan.

    Too bad the 2 previous posters missed the point.

  • panda July 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Illegal immigrants would not come here if they couldn’t get jobs. In most cases illegal immigants are poor and uneducated and just want a better life for their families so they migrate to where they can get the best jobs. Based on Maslov’s Hierarchy of needs they aren’t even in a place in their lives that they can effectively process all of the long term consequences of coming here illegally. Before they can do that they need food and shelter.
    Whereas, their U.S. employers are often educated businessmen who make a concious choice to break the law out of greed and selfishness. The best way to stop illegal immigration is make it impossible to get a job here. I don’t agree with the majority of the Arizona immigration law, but the part they got right was penalizing employers caught employing illegals. Caught employing an illegal pay a fine and lose your business license. Illegals left Arizona in droves when this when into effect. Instead we give the U.S. employers a pass if they will turn over all the illegals they have consciously hired.
    We can spend billions of dollars to secure the border and they will still find a way to come if they can get jobs. All employers should have to use E-verify to check potential employees that they wish to higher. The fines should be high enough to destroy an employer who flagrantly breaks this law time after time. Illegal immigrants will leave on their own if they can’t get work. At least they know how to work – unlike some of the adults that grew up as welfare brats and milk our country dry. Or the politicians who make tons of money for sitting on their butts spending more money than our country has and not producing results that solve any of our nations problems.

  • wigglwagon July 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The author starts out with the lofty goal of actually standing for something. He says, “Standing for something requires one to clearly understand both the problem at hand and the principles at stake.”

    Then he begins offering solutions that totally ignore the victims of the illegal aliens. This makes me believe that he has absolutely no understanding of the problem at hand or the principles at stake. The immediate problem at hand is that US immigration laws were instituted to protect the people of America. He views immigration law as just being “some administrative rule.” He has no concept of how many citizen and legal resident families have been forced into unemployment and poverty by the illegal aliens underbidding them for jobs.

    Two of the most basic principles at stake are the law of supply and demand and the rule of law. He wants to help the exploitive employers use illegal aliens to drive down wages and destroy benefits by over inflating the supply of labor. If this group of criminal workers is successful in keeping their jobs, the rule of law will mean absolutely nothing to the next group waiting to cross the border.

  • Dsull July 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    People being willing to work for less than you happens every day. If I want to hire someone to do manual labor, there are few people willing to take that job at the rate of pay that keeps prices in check Most people will not work a shovel for 9 dollars an hour in the summer heat. Those jobs are there, but most people I know without a job are holding out for the “Management” position or $15-$20 hr position that currently is not available, or feasible.

    Many people in this area will not pay the higher cost of labor for their work. I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I am barely able to break even currently, and people in this area will nickle and dime you to death. Pay a higher invoice and I can afford to pay people more. That’s how the system works. I bid a job at the cost of fuel for my equipment, and $15 and hour for my labor, and it’s “Too much”. Doesn’t pay for wear and tear, no money for other labor, just enough to pay the bills. You can’t have it both ways. Pay more and wages will increase.

    Also, I have found that most of those who are working now are legal, ICE has checked many contractors in the area, a few multiple times, and have found minimal to no violations, (in the construction sector.) Maybe some of you are more racist and figure just because they are brown and can’t speak clean English they are illegal. My old employer has helped many here gain their citizenship.

    I am all for shipping out those who are causing problems, breaking laws, and leaching the system, but to say they are stealing jobs is like blaming the Scottish for hording all the haggis. Most of us don’t want it and the few that do are able to get it..

  • Ronnie July 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I can’t believe the wimp factor in your comment’s. Cedar City just caught pot growers in our National Parks.
    I shop at a Winco in Midvale utah and the Cashiers comment to me that this store is the Food-stamp capital of Utah with 90% of the shoppers being Latino. Wake up folks. This is the take over our Moronic Politicians and rich business owners created back when Reagan diregulated business’s and allowed amnesty for Latino’s in the 80’s which simply opened the flood-gates for Millions more to anchor themselves to the American Social Services free for all. Work in Vegas. Or any Nevada community and you’ll see subsidized housing, anchor baby welfare food stamps, tax credits for Anchor baby’
    s etc…. read my friend. Please read and study the truth and check out Mexifornia….. that’s two doors down from Utah. We are paving the road now……

  • Dsull July 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Wimp factor? Throwing out incidents that have no factual basis to bear them up is about as weak as it gets. Pot is grown by whites as much as Latinos. I know more whites on food stamps than Latinos, which is backed up by the latest statistics (http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/social_insurance_human_services/food_programs.html). your painting with a broad brush is the problem with being able to solve the real problems.
    The simple fact is that in Utah we actually have raids, business’s get checked to make sure they are in compliance, and you have to provide accurate documentation to get a drivers license in this state sets us apart from California. I know of 4 companies in the last 6 months that were inspected, 80% of their employee’s are Latino, and they only found 1 problem, that was resolved. This is ICE showing up on the job site and getting information from everyone on the site. Then going through the Business’s records.
    I do read, from many publications besides that of whatever political group I focus on. (which is none of them at this point). I also experience it first hand. 2 of our roofers fell behind schedule because they had to complete their audit while they were working on a few of our homes.
    I’m against those who milk the system, but to bunch everyone into “Illegal” status really pisses me off. I’m 100% behind requiring documentation, and we comply 100% with the law, we require the use of E-verify, and make sure that the work environment is safe. The fact is the Latino’s who work for our subs work 100% harder than anyone of non-Latino decent. At $15 dollars an hour most people would never spread stucco, or hang drywall. The jobs are there. Problem is most of the local population is lazy.
    People like you are why it’s hard to have a calm and decent discussion about what can be done to remove the free-loader from our systems, Latino, white, or otherwise.
    Here is something to read about that falls right in line with your attitude. http://www.soc.duke.edu/~jmoody77/205a/ecp/Fox_ajs_welfareattitudes.pdf

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