I participated in the 6:30 Point of View roundtable tonight with Chris Berg, Cindy Gomez-Schemp of the People’s Press Project, and John Trandem who is the Chairman of District 45 for the NDGOP.
Our topics were illegal immigration and the possibility of a full-time Legislature.
On the first topic, I tend to think that three steps would fix most of our illegal immigration problems.
First, enforce existing immigration laws to their fullest extent. If the powers that be don’t like the law, then let them push to change the law through the democratic process. Much of our current crisis at the border is the result of an absolute vacuum when it comes to immigration enforcement. We have laws, but we don’t stand behind the laws, and that gives those who would come here illegally the idea that if they bully their way through they’ll get to stay. They should be disabused of this notion.
Second, make it much easier to legally immigrate. As I noted in the segment, I don’t think this country has anything to fear from immigration. Outside of some pretty basic screening for crime/terrorism and disease, I say we let anybody who wants to come to America come to America.
Third, end the war on drugs. Most of the illegal crossings of our border with Mexico is driven by the drug trade. It’s either drug muling, or people fleeing Mexico’s corrupt narcostate. The American war on drugs is the foundation upon which Mexico’s drug lords have built their empire. Removing that foundation would do a lot of good both in Mexico and in America.
As to the issue of a full-time Legislature, it amazes me when people suggest that our state hasn’t been spending enough. Despite a worker shortage, and personal incomes that have grown faster than any state in the nation for most of the last decade, our Human Services budget increased by a record amount this biennium. Lawmakers have been throwing money at issues like infrastructure and education. Our general fund budget increased by more than 62 percent for the current biennium.
I get the feeling that a lot of people who talk about these issues, and who demand more spending (like Gomez-Schemp tonight), have no idea just how much we’ve already increased spending.
Of course, if you’re the sort of person who thinks every problem has a government solution, then of course your only answer to problems is going to be spend more.