America needs ‘Amnesty’ NOW!


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I use the preferred anti-immigrant term “amnesty” mainly in the spirit of defiance, but what I’m referring to is the commonsense moderate proposal, embraced by Reagan, attempted a few years back by a bipartisan coalition including Bush and McCain, and scheduled to come around the bend again any time now – that we quickly grant citizenship to vast numbers of immigrants who are in this country legally or illegally, on the condition that they pay a reasonable fine, learn passable English, and go through the other processes prospective citizens need to go through – only STREAMLINED AND EXPEDITED.

There are multiple reasons I’ve long supported an updated, liberalized immigration policy. There’s the simple wisdom of having all your policies, including immigration, flexible enough to fit current economic realities. There’s the post-9/11 need to keep better track of who’s inside our borders and not wasting resources on folks who aren’t really dangerous. There’s the humanitarian aspect of making the lives of a lot of good, hard-working people easier and better, and treating them with dignity. And most viscerally for THIS blogger, I’ll derive lots of enjoyment from watching the heads of white (and black) racists explode when they realize they have to share this country, as equals, with millions more brown people with accents. But none of this would have been excuse enough for me to compose the new post you’re reading.

No, what precipitates this particular post is a new Robert Reich article that makes the somewhat obvious point that, as we Baby Boomers start to retire in greater and greater numbers, and look forward to enjoying the Social Security and Medicare that are rightfully ours, we are going to need a lot of new young, healthy, hard-working taxpayers to keep the systems afloat, especially through these difficult economic times. Hey – I know just the folks! Or should I say, el pueblo?

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About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.