Immigration and of course the controls we place upon the process are issues that are with good reason important issues in Talossa. Immigration is a debate that’s been had time and time again in Talossa, and it is in no danger of going away any time soon. We have even more reason to expect the debate to continue in light of immigration scandals over the last year; first with the ESB Affair, as it is so called, and again with the Da Simeon Case.
I have no desire to repeat in any great depth the intricacies of both cases, so suffice to say, if you haven’t already heard of these cases, that immigration occurred when it should not have. In the former’s case, 17 imaginary people successfully immigrated and thus skewed electoral results substantially. The latter, being somewhat less serious, in my opinion, concerned the immigration of two individuals (brother and sister) who lied about their age in order to gain citizenship in our fine nation. Specifically then, the question we should be asking ourselves is whether it should be harder to become a citizen of Talossa than it is today or indeed whether it should stay broadly the same. The forgotten perspective in this is whether we should consider making it easier for folks to migrate to Talossa, but I fail to see the benefit of doing so when our immigration process to me seems reasonable and fair as it is.
Would a stricter immigration process eradicate the problems we’ve faced so far? That depends entirely on what a ‘stricter immigration process’ is exactly; if it means demanding proof of identification upon initially applying for citizenship I dare say it would. Just as compulsory military service in some countries would increase the number of people serving in the armed forces, just as compulsory voting increases voter turnout, and just as compulsory euthanasia of right-handed children would result in more left-handed citizens this does not mean it is a normatively desirable course of action.
Of course, I recognise that my last example there was something of a straw man, but hopefully you’ll see what I’m getting at. If you identify a problem, and you measure the worth of a solution by the results it produces every time without fail, then you could end up supporting rather worrying policies. Unlike the rather hyperbolic third example, voter turnout is certainly something I think most of us would agree with in the sense that voter turnout is a good we should also look to promote. Reducing immigration fraud is one such good too, I should think, but does it merit our state demanding proof of ID as though all are suspect as a consequence of the wrong doing of but a few? Doing so sets a dangerous precedent in our nation, which has for quite some time now based a number of interactions on the concept of trust.
I grant that trust is a very bad way of formulating policy, but it is nevertheless a principle on which we base our society. I grant also that I’ve not found it easy to trust that a number of new citizens weren’t also the creations of a vengeful ex-citizen, or something. Having been leader of a party infiltrated by a fake-citizen, it’s caused me to feel conflicted on the issue of trust in this respect. It’s been made even more difficult for me given my role in government as Deputy Immigration Minister since I will have to share responsibility for any problems that might arise in the immigration process whilst I am in office. And yet in order to reach this degree of trust that we’ve not granted citizenship to any ineligible prospectives, was the government required to elicit any invasive information-hoarding procedures? No, is the short answer. Observation is key to determining whether someone is who they say they are, and vigilance is a virtue that should be encouraged when dealing with these applications. It’s all too easy to forget that in order to solve the immigration problems our country has faced most recently we didn’t need to grant the state any additional powers or start enforcing any stricter controls on migration. No, immigration fraud was discovered and dealt with under the present system, and that’s why I remain resolutely behind our current system when it comes to being weary of prospectives and the newly-naturalised. It’s a good system; it’s fair, reasonable and liberal, and I for one am proud of it. B


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