Townhall Meetup April 2006
The April gathering of the Townhall discussion group from grub, suds, and political discourse was once again well attended. The main topic for this month was immigration reform.
The group began with the usual round of intros as there were several new faces in attendance, as well as Sue Jeffers, who is making a run for MN Governor. I believe she is running as a Libertarian, and is considered a fiscal conservative.
Jeffers made several clear points on what she believes are problems within Minnesota and her platform, with a focus on fiscal responsibility ("closing the checkbook"), school choice, and eminent domain reform. All important issues in Minnesota, especially when you consider the out-of-control budget this state has had over the last ten years (and it ain't getting better anytime soon!).
She has a good message, and is working hard to get it out. Power to her!
The main topic of the evening was immigration reform and border security. The upshot for the evening is that whatever course you take in regards to illegal aliens currently residing in the United States, we have to first secure our borders. One that is accomplished, the question of what to do about illegals can be addressed.
The Townhall group, although mostly conservatives, has a fairly vocal libertarian segment, and, I am guessing, most of the group qualifies as "small L" libertarians. Including myself.
One of the staunchest Libertarians in the group is advocating border security, especially after 9/11. This is only logical, especially when the Feds, while testing border security at checkpoints, managed to bring in a small amount of cesium, in violation to the law.
What to do with the 12+ million illegals currently in the United States is the big question mark, and makes for an interesting debate.
Current proposed legislation in Congress is taking many forms, and what that final form will be is currently unknown, however, for many of us, any plan that puts illegal aliens on the path to U.S. citizenship is the wrong plan.
Here's my take, for what it is worth. Secure and enforce the borders (both North and South); choose one: deport the illegals or allow them to stay providing they meet certain criteria (like, they have employment, verify all back taxes are up to date, pass health inspections, and do not have a criminal record in either the U.S. or their country of origin); if they are allowed to stay, it should be noted with the INS that they originally entered this country illegally; if allowed to stay, they should be placed on a path to obtaining permanent residency, BUT NOT CITIZENSHIP. The path to citizenship should be permanently barred to those who came here illegally. If allowed to stay, those who choose to return to their country of origin (not deported), may pursue a path of re-entering the U.S. following our immigration laws and then be allowed to pursue the path of citizenship. Basically, allowing illegals to stay should not be used as a short cut to citizenship. We should also look at loosening up immigration policy, allowing more people to enter legally. Let's face it, I would rather have 5 million people come into the U.S. legally under revised (and "looser") immigration laws, than have 1 million come here legally and another 4 million ILLEGALLY, of whom we know nothing about (like, do they have a criminal record, or some deadly disease? Affiliated with al-Qaeda?).
That's my two cents worth.
As for securing the borders, think about it: if a couple of Federal agents can BS their way across bringing in radioactive material, how hard is it for terrorists to bring in material that can be used in making an atomic bomb? The risk of such an attack, and the devastation it would cause on the United States makes the price of leaving our borders in the unsecured state they are in now too high. We need to lock em down, and enforce them. Of course, I have no doubt the raving moonbats on the left will try and shoot this down, claiming it is unworkable or too expensive; but then, it will have an adverse impact on their supply of illicit drugs as well.
Which is more costly to America: locking down our borders, or leaving them so porous that terrorists are able to sneak in the materials they need to nuke New York City.
One last thing, Larry was asking for the sites I had mentioned on nuclear energy. Here they are:
The Nuclear Energy Institute
FAQ About Nuclear Energy, maintained my John McCarty, Professor Emeritus at Standford University. This is an excellent site that covers a variety of topics, not just nuclear energy. Give it a check.