In Response to Buffett, Gates, and Adelson
To Mr. SHELDON G. ADELSON, Mr. WARREN E. BUFFETT, and Mr. BILL GATES,
As billionaires, I would imagine your view of immigration reform is much different than the view of a guy like me who is obviously much farther down the economic ladder. I want to be clear that I in no way begrudge your wealth and in fact celebrate your success.
I agree with all of you that we citizens are paying 535 individuals to take care of the legislative needs of the country and we are getting shortchanged; Americans deserve better than this.
This is where I think we will be parting ideological ways.
I don’t find it surprising that you believe you three billionaires could find enough common ground to draft an immigration reform bill, but I could do the same thing with my golf foursome. Yes, you’re right, it’s easier to build a consensus between three people even when “you don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement.”
The 535 House members are different than 3 billionaires. All of these individuals are surrounded by a cadre of people who are constantly telling them how smart they are, telling them what awesome people they are, how important they are, and tending to their every need. It’s a lot harder to build consensus when you’re in a room full of brats.
Might I suggest you see how much consensus can be built in a daycare?
As you fellows say, “most Americans believe that our country has a clear and present interest in enacting immigration legislation that is both humane to immigrants living here and a contribution to the well-being of our citizens.”
I know very few “Americans” with "a clear and present interest in enacting immigration legislation.” The people I know are wondering why they don’t have a job any more. They wonder why their kids have to move back home after college. They wonder why the cost of everything (like many of your products) is rising.
They are also wondering why non-citizens are getting preferential treatment over citizens.
As far as being “humane to immigrants,” they go to American schools, live freely, work freely, and fill our hospitals, emergency rooms, and jails, complements of the American taxpayer.
I only see them being treated inhumanely by the incredibly violent criminal element that rapes, robs, murders, or extorts them as they try to get here and those who prey on them after they do get here.
You guys “believe it borders on insanity to train intelligent and motivated people in our universities — often subsidizing their education — and then to deport them when they graduate.”
I would agree, but I also believe it borders on insanity not to set a higher priority on hiring the sons and daughters moving back in with their parents. Maybe it would make sense to spend some time motivating American students to train in the areas that fit your needs instead of useless degrees such as women’s studies, theater, or fashion design.
I’m sure you are very busy billionaires, but Americans are pretty sharp. My 6-year old has already mastered his Kindle and is pretty solid at moving around the web on a laptop (using Windows). So I’m sure that they too could achieve a “graduate degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States.”
How many of the 11 to 20 million illegal aliens in the country currently do you think are capable of earning advanced degrees from accredited universities?
You may believe that after you get your immigration reform, “for the future, the United States should take all steps to ensure that every prospective immigrant follows all rules and that people breaking these rules, including any facilitators, are severely punished. No one wants a replay of the present mess.”
Why can’t we do that now?
I’m sure that in “billionaire land” politicians make great promises and try hard to keep the ones they make to you, but here in non-billionaire land they break them regularly. We’ve been through this “amnesty” thing before where the same promises were made and we’re right back where we were before. To be blunt, they lied.
I’d also like to point out that the immigrants you continue to speak for are educated and in other cases have investment capital which is far removed from the millions of poor, uneducated, and in some cases criminal illegal aliens who will also enjoy your reform/amnesty.
Again, I certainly do not begrudge your wealth and privilege, but you are insulated. You don’t have to live with this every day.
I appreciate your optimism and would love it if, as you say, “Signs of a more productive attitude in Washington — which passage of a well-designed immigration bill would provide — might well lift spirits and thereby stimulate the economy."
Or it might not. It might further wreck the middle class by lowering wages and taking jobs away from people who were born here. It might add more burdens to an already overburdened health care system, social security system, Medicare and Medicaid system, and our social safety net. How are we going to pay for all of this?
Did any of you achieve your wealth on “lifted spirits?”
The 535 members of the US Congress, as well as the rest of the Washington machine, do not in any way have the credibility to force such a cultural disaster on the people of this nation.
You are right; “It’s time for 535 of America’s citizens to remember what they owe to the 318 million who employ them.” Yes, 318 million Americans… not three American billionaires.