A net-home for those in Maine who believe that Richardson ought to be the next president of the United States. So, why Richardson? Read this posting, "Why Maine Needs Bill Richardson" Just a disclaimer... This site is designed and maintained by a volunteer. For the official info on Richardson and to join his campaign, see his official site

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Richardson speaks out on immigration reform

Richardson gave a great speech on illegal immigration today. You can read the text here. As usual for Richardson, it is a comprehensive, thoughtful approach.

First things first -- no fence. What a phenomenal waste of money! Here in Maine, we have an extensive border too. And we wouldn't dream of a fence. A fence (read wall) running the hundreds of miles of border will not deter anyone who feels they must be here. It will cost a ton of money. And the symbolism of a wall "flies in the face of America as a symbol of freedom."

No wall doesn't mean a policy of open borders. We need to improve our border security. Governor Richardson thinks we ought to double the number of border patrol agents. More agents would be more effective -- and cost a fraction of the monster fence.

We also need to acknowledge that illegal immigrants are helping our society run -- and pay taxes while they are doing so. We rely on immigrant labor to get things done. Even here in Maine, many of the blueberry rakers are migrant, immigrant workers. Richardson thinks that the economy wouldn't rely on immigrant labor as much if the minimum wage were raised. But it would still require more immigrant laborers than are currently permitted. So, he proposes extending the number of worker visas. Again, every summer, businesses in Maine complain that the quota of worker visas has already been met before our season really begins.

Richardson also proposes that there be a clear, streamlined path to citizenship. This is not an amnesty program, but a citizenship program. He also points out the real situations of families where the parents may be here illegally, but the children are US citizens. For these families, we need to have a path to citizenship.

Finally, and I think most importantly, Richardson reminds us that people wouldn't be coming here if the situation weren't so dire elsewhere. If 1/2 of Mexicans weren't living in poverty, if 1/5 weren't living in extreme poverty; then living in the shadows here wouldn't be nearly as attractive. We need a leader who will talk with our neighbors, with other leaders, and find real, thoughtful solutions to the problems that exist. We do not need simplistic finger pointing. We need Richardson.


Anonymous said...

You obviously do not have the millions of illegal immigrants in Maine that we have in Texas. These illegals do not have car insurance or any type of financial responsibility in the event a car accident. They do not pay any net taxes, as they will typically claim far more deductions on their W-4 withholding forms than they actually have. They end up paying no income tax and drain the social service agencies. This is in no way cheap labor when you factor in all the costs associated with them. Plus illegal immigrants now make up over 25% of the criminal population.

Bentley said...

Maine probably doesn't have the number as Texas (Maine doesn't have millions of people.) However, NM does have a similar percentage of illegal immigrants as TX and Governor Richardson has worked to do something about it. He had declared a border emergency in his state. And he has a plan to stop illegal immigration (or did you not read the post?). Part of his path to citizenship plan requires payment of all back taxes and some sort of fine. It also includes a background check for other criminal activity.