The "mexicans stealing american jobs and not paying taxes" is exactly why we should give them amnesty. Theres no plausible way for us to remove them, giving them a chance to become documented and thusly tax-paying solves almost every problem of illegal immigration. All of a sudden they're paying taxes, all of a sudden the argument that they're taking our money disappears.
Since that last entry was more about lies and deception, with a focus towards Bush policies in general and very little about Border Security in specific, I'll break this off into a seperate post. Not so much to single Matt out in particular, as much as this is one of the day's hot-button topics and he consicely summed up the view supporting the current plan of action.
The way that I see it, it's more than simply "Mexicans steal jobs". Most of our drugs come across the US-Mexican border from places like Columbia. Besides drugs, other things could easily be slipped across too...a crate full of white powder could be cocaine just as easily as it could be anthrax. If an entire family of Mexicans could slip past, who's to say an equal number of terrorists couldn't do the same (though Canada's open border would be the smarter place to pull that sort of stunt off). And for their own sakes, hundreds and hundreds of people die wandering through the desert, many of them women and children. Or cause huge wrecks when they try to race across in trucks, injuring themselves, Border Patrol officers, as well as American and Mexican tourists alike. The economy of the border states is perhaps the biggest and most noticeable reason, but there are plenty others.
Blanket amnesty will not solve the problem. It only reinforces the idea that hey, come on over here and everything's all right. It'll only attract more folks as time goes on, aliens knowing that either they won't get deported, will be accepted as citizens, or simply have to wait till the next round of amnesty to become retroactively legalized. When we announce that anyone we find here becomes legal, more folks will rush across the border to make it in before the door closes. Or, if there's no deadline or cut-off point for the amnesty, folks will continuously cross over without any fears. And the ones already here will send for their families, doubling or tripling the already staggering numbers...
Thinking things through further than simply their taxation, the vast majority of these illegals work minimum wage jobs and live in poverty. What little percentage of their minimum wage salaries the US Government gets back as tax revenue wouldn't match the much larger amount of money they'd be requesting as newly legalized Americans, such as health care and food stamps and public schooling and what have you. Not only does it not solve the problem, but it's doubtful that it'd even patch the current symptoms.
In my eyes, the first thing we need to do is secure the border. Doesn't matter what we do otherwise if folks can still easily sneak back in. We can have the most overly-aggressive campaign to deport anyone and everyone with zero tolerance, but it's futile if we turn our backs on the borders and let folks cross the line at will.
Secondly, we need to crack down on illegal hiring practices. People will constantly come over here as there's great incentive for them to do so. Employers will hire illegal workers by the truckload because they can get them to do jobs most folks won't touch and only pay them a buck an hour. Nothing will stop unless the government does something to make it not worth the company's while to hire anyone without a green card. At the top end we can bust Enron execs and Martha Stewart...we should enforce the lower end of the spectrum as well.
Thirdly, if we're truly in need of unskilled, low-wage laborers than we could set up some form of guest worker program. I don't know what the particulars would be, but any system where we can legally keep track of folks, have them pay their share of taxes, make them obey the laws, and so forth is at least some form of accountability. Much better than unknown illegals running around, be they anything from a drain on the economy to possible terrorsits coming here by way of Mexico. (Alternatively, we could try to fill some of this need from other sources, like prison chain gangs or kids who want jobs after school but aren't really qualified to do anything, but that's not the main concern.)
Fourthly, if the reason so many people choose to enter the country illegaly is because of how difficult the process is, perhaps we should simplify the legal requirements. Make it easier to enter the country legally, such that more people would be willing to put up with the hassle. Combined with the earlier suggestions, such as making it hard to sneak across and hard to get a job once here illegally, hopefully we'd funnel more people in the right way. It's not that we're racist against Hispanics...we simply want people to follow the rules and enter legally. Instead of kicking out everyone with tanned skin, might as well help them out by making it as easy as possible for them to live the American Dream, all the while making them have driver's licenses and social security cards and pay taxes and everything else that natural-born citizens are expected to do. I believe amnesty isn't the way to go as it's simply not fair to all those currently here legally. I've heard stories from friends of various nationalities about how hard it was for them to get legal citizenship. We shouldn't make the good, law-abiding ones go through that while the illegal ones sneak over and we simply look the other way, rewarding them by letting them cut to the front of the line.
And lastly, about Mexico in particular? That country has two huge coastlines, tons of tourist attractions, lots of natural resources...not saying all of the illegals crossing over the US-Mexico border are illegals, but there is a rather large disparity between our standard of living and theirs. We gotta try harder to help them get on their own feet, and then so many of their citizens wouldn't have any reason to slip over here and leech off of us.
That's just my opinion, and your mileage may vary. It's either that, open the border entirely and quit pretending to enforce it, or take over Mexico and make it the unofficial 52nd state kind of like Puerto Rico. But feel free to keep the fish either way.