It is an appropriate role of government to know who is entering the country and to know what they do while here. The review of documentation at the borders is a reasonable and necessary procedure. It is naive to assume there is no need to perform these checks and that everyone will act honestly for the common good.

The 12 million to 20 million people residing in our country illegally (a working paper by Mohammad Fazel-Zarandi, postdoctoral associate at the Yale School of Management, and co-authored by two Yale professors, estimates that there are 22.8 million illegal immigrants in the United States) is an indication that everyone who enters the United States might not be doing so in compliance with the law. That logic seems to escape some folks.

If there is no validation of credentials, and if there is no denial of access or deportation, then there is no enforcement mechanism for immigration laws. Without enforcement, we have de facto open borders. Responding emotionally to checking people’s papers and deporting people who are in violation of the law is contrary to maintaining a rational society.

There is too much romanticism and cant regarding immigration. Immigration is simply another public policy that should be constructed and administered for the common good of the nation’s citizens.

The mess we find ourselves in is because the laws have not been enforced and we’ve allowed the problem to become almost unmanageable. The first step to fixing a problem is to stop making it worse. If your bathtub is overflowing, first, shut off the water.

Christopher Reimer

treasurer, Mainers for Responsible Immigration


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