Friday, May 28, 2010

One More Thing About Immigration. . .

Yes, its another immigration post, but there's something that's been bothering me for awhile.  Immigration reform opponents oppose the law because it will "reward bad behavior."  Its almost as if immigrating to the country is the result of a moral failing, and thus, in the minds of immigration opponents, the crime of undocumented immigration must be punished. I've even heard some say that we shouldn't reward criminals.

Of course, immigrating to a country in violation of the country's laws is not inherently wrong.  There is no 11th Commandment of "Thou shalt not cross into the United States without a proper visa."  Not surprisingly, there's nothing in Leviticus, the Koran, or any other religious document about America's immigration regulations.  Illegal immigration, particularly illegal immigration to provide economic benefit to one's family is not morally wrong, and the people who do it have not offended God.

The best analogy I can think of is speeding.  Environmental concerns aside, driving in excess of the speed limit is not a moral hazard, and its not treated as such.  Should the government go to great lengths to ticket all speeders?  Of course not.  At the same time, speed limits are important for the health and welfare of the country.  But there's nothing morally wrong with speeding.

We have immigration procedures in this country for mostly good reasons as well.  But people who violate those laws are doing aren't morally bankrupt, they're (for the most part) just hungry. 

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