I recently read about some very extremist opinions and actions being taken about illegal immigration happening on the southern U.S. border. (It's never the northern border, I wonder why that is...) I realized I've not expressed my very polarized switch on the immigration debate, so I figured now is as good a time as any.
I used to be all about building up the border. I remember joking with a friend in high school about setting up sniper towers along the border, and while I don't think I actually would have said to kill anyone, I wouldn't have been against the intimidation of warning shots.
How do we Americans regard the lives of others with so little empathy? If a 6 year old boy being led by his 12 year old sister knocked on our door, the vast majority of us would get them a meal, a bed, and call social services to make sure they're well cared for and get a good start on life. How does our thinking change so drastically when we find out their parents are down in Columbia? Think about how dire their situation must be for their parents to consider sending their children by themselves to America, praying that our hearts aren't icy enough to turn them down.
We're not going to go broke feeding, clothing, and educating children, yet that's at the top of the opposition's mind. It amazes me how America can go fight foreign wars without thinking about the costs of paying for them, but when it comes to caring for and educating children, we ask why they should be OUR problem.
While I don't think a decent person would require a "what's in it for us" perspective to get motivated, I'll include it anyway. Don't forget the baby boomers are starting to retire. Don't forget younger generations are having less kids, AND waiting longer to have them. Don't forget that the baby boomers will be the longest lived generation yet, requiring services, and will be drawing from social security that whole time. We NEED an influx of young, educated, taxpayers.
So my position is to let them in. Give them a path to citizenship, feed them, clothe them, house them, educate them, put the American sticker on them for whatever it's worth, and stop viewing them as so different from ourselves. From space, national borders are not apparent, and any differences we perceive in ourselves from the people below a particular latitude are entirely human constructs.