Swickard: Our special kind of stupid

© 2013 Michael Swickard, Ph.D. I was listening to an Immigration “Expert” on a radio program who was giving the audience his take on what the Immigration Reform legislation in Congress will do if passed. A question occurred to me so I called into the show, “Could you tell me what the Congress got wrong in the Immigration Bill of 1986 that the Congress today wants to reform?”
     The “Expert” paused and then blurted, “No, I know nothing about the law they are trying to reform.”
I said the next day on my talk radio program that it takes a special kind of stupid to reform a bill that no one has read with a bill that none of the legislators will read because it has too many pages. Yep, a special kind of stupid has taken over our country.
     So everyone is arguing about the Immigration reform bill of 2013 without anyone actually reading it. Much like ObamaCare, which also was not read because it had too many pages, this legislation will have to be passed to see what is really in it and what it all means. That is a very bad way to do government.
     Of the people in our country, some are legal and some do not have legal status. In 1986 a stab was made at dealing with immigration because at least three million people were in the United States illegally. So they were given Amnesty and the 1986 act made it illegal to hire people without legal status. Further the act mandated intensification of the Border Patrol so that no new people could come into our country illegally.
     So now we have a reform of that legislation to mandate making sure people can no longer come into our country illegally and to give amnesty. Wait, how is that reforming the 1986 bill? There is exactly no reform, that is what the 1986 legislation mandates. So is the problem that we did not have the right law or that we did not enforce the law?
     The issue before the Congress is to decide if the failing of the Immigration Act of 1986 that people today want to reform is a failure of law or enforcement. If the failure was enforcement then passing new laws will have no effect on the problem.
     I like people from other countries. Americans need them in our country. We also need to uphold our laws.Can we do both? Read full column