I don't know of any nation in the world that allows illegal aliens to enter their country. Having traveled to many countries around the world, I can tell you categorically that the US has the most lax immigration laws in the world. The US is one of only a few countries (maybe the only country, not sure) where an illegal alien can give birth to a child in the US and the child automatically becomes a full US citizen. What a deal!!
US immigration laws seem pretty strict from the outside.
A regular EU citizen who wants to work in the US must pass trough a real hell:
-immigration lawyers ($$$)
-4 or 5 years before you get a green card
Pretty strict to me.
As a tourist even (I'll be on the East Coast the next month) you CAN'T even wonder how many things I had to do, starting from ESTA, going trough a new July 2010 TSA law and a special stamp to put on my passport, and ending with giving my data to the airline company so that the immigration can't confuse my name with the name of some terrorist. :oops:
You even have fences and patrols on the US-Mex border.
However the problem is always the same: would anybody but an underpayed mexican/puertorican/whatever (in the same way north-africans and romanians here) pick tomatoes under the sun or do some kind of dirty work for a few bucks only?
If the answer is "NO", then we have illegal immigration.
It's all a matter of hypocricy, no law could avoid this. Fences are useless, there will ever be somebody
(a rich somebody
, in most cases) who will need underpayed manwork.
Let's talk about the restaurants. How many illegals work in NYC restaurants 24/7? Why don't US patrols kick their a****? Why do US let them use a different fake IDs a month without doing anything? (if I can recall, in the US the employer cannot investigate on the worker and check if his documents are fake. If the worker says: "Hi, I'm Manuel Gonzales, here are my documents" and the next month after his fake IDs are discovered, he can go in the same restaurant and say "Hi, I'm Miguel Cardozo, here are my documents"). The answer is simple: underpayed illegals are useful, are functional to the western model of economy, otherwise how in the world could you pay a fraction of what you would pay a legal citizen and receive the same amount of work?
No law could do anything (after all, the whole US is a country made by immigrants, isn't it? :) People from Ireland and from Italy were allowed to enter because nobody but them wanted do some kind of work) :)
As for the children question, I know that it's pretty common. Here you may expel the father, but not the newborn baby (it's just a newborn after all), who can be given to a family in fosterage, and he gathers the citizenship. After all, if he grows up in a "normal" family, he'll be a fully integrated citizen, will speak our language, will do anything other people do.
I agree with you, the drug problem isn't related to immigration. Most of them are just searching for a better future (in most cases with wrong expectations. See how the Lybian leader Gheddafi brings the immigrants expelled from Italy in the lybian desert and let them die after unpredictable pains. The electric chair would be a better torture for them, seriously).
Drug involves money laundring, powerful men who negotiate with the south american cartels and let the drug directly arrive in Spain and Florida.
See the EU case: once the drug has arrived in Spain from Colombia, Mexico or Venezuela, all the local mafias handle it. In most cases they use fishermen boats to transport the drug trough the Mediterranean sea, or garbage trucks to transport it on the streets. Immigrants are, at the best, used as drug pushers in the worst areas (because in most cases the drug pushers are local ppl who belong to some criminal organization). In the worst case, they are used as beta testers
so they can test new mixtures of crack or other drugs.
In the US, there is a big difference between legal immigration (which is now controlled fairly tightly, especially after 9/11 terrorist attacks) and illegal immigration which is not controlled or enforced.
It is true that some businesses benefit from illegal immigration, but I don't think you see very much of the kind of abuse you claim in the US. They are still subject to the same worker rights laws concerning minimum wage, hours, etc as US citizens or those with legal work permits. Illegal aliens can raise these employment issues with labor authorities without fear of being deported or arrested because they are illegals. Also, most Americans are not against legal immigration (or for people legally entering the US with work permits) from Mexico or most other places, it is illegal immigration that is the problem.
The state of Arizona recently passed a law that says:
1) All non-citizens must carry their immigration documents with them (visa, work permits, passports, etc).
2) A police officer who has reason to believe that someone is an illegal alien has the right to ask them for identification and turn them over to immigration authorities if necessary. Previously, Arizona police were prohibited from asking anyone about their legal status and were prohibited from enforcing immigration laws
(or even calling immigration officials) for anyone they came into contact with.
It is still the case in all other US states that the only officials allowed to ask about or enforce immigration laws are US federal immigration officials. No other state or federal agency or police is allowed to raise the issue when in contact with an illegal alien.
After the state of Arizona passed the above laws, the US Federal government (Obama) has threatened a lawsuit against Arizona, many on the left up in arms, and many have called for a boycott of Arizona for business or tourism.
Regarding the fence between Mexico and the US, it is new, and only covers small sections of the border. Not likely to be expanded under Obama.
So in summary, I would still say that the US "probably" has the most lax illegal immigration laws because everywhere but Arizona, the police and other authorities are prohibited from enforcing immigration laws unless they are specifically US federal immigration authorities (which you normally only see at airports). No foreigners are required carry with them their immigration papers (passport, visa, work permit, etc).
And to repeat, the vast majority of Americans are not against people coming to the US to work legally, nor are they against legal immigration from Mexico or most other places.