Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Immigration enforcement should start with the News & Record

Doug Clark, an editorial writer with the local News & Record, tends to take a tough stand when it comes to immigration issues. Yesterday (and in earlier posts), he applauded the decision to close the doors of community colleges to undocumented residents.

The policy is ineffective (do you really think that any immigrants are going to be deterred from entering or staying in the country because they can't get into community college?) and self-defeating (we lose any positive economic and non-economic externalities from members--even temporary members--of our community being better educated). But that's immaterial to people who feel that we should give no quarter to illegal immigrants.

Since Doug holds strong--and I hope sincere--beliefs in this matter, I've asked him why his campaign against illegals can't start with the News & Record itself. Right now, the News & Record delivers papers to homes across the Triad with no checks at all on the residency status of the occupants. The paper contains want ads (and Dilbert cartoons) that are intended to facilitate employment. As you're reading this, immigrants could be scanning those ads and either applying for those good jobs themselves or telling their compadres across the border to get their resumes in order.

So a simple proposition for Doug and the News & Record is to require proof of either citizenship (birth certificate, passport, etc.) or legal residency (visa, green card) for all new home subscribers. Inconveniences to be sure, but minor ones to people with nothing to hide. This small step will give the News & Record the moral authority to advocate for even tougher policies.

Silly and ineffective, you say? Exactly.

Topic for next week: Should News & Record paper carriers be required to alert authorities to households suspected of harboring undocumented residents?