Sunday, May 21, 2006

Thoughts on Immigration

Cerca de quince pies, escala de dieciocho pies.

That's "fifteen foot fence, eighteen foot ladder"

And that is why building a damn wall won't work. But that's only the tip of why we in this country will NEVER solve our immigration problem.

The problem is, Mexicans (and other immigrants) want to be able to feed their children. Send them to school. Give them a better life than they had. See, despite the brown skin and that scary language, Mexicans pretty much want what we want.

Our President wants to implement a Foreign Worker plan. Since after all that worked so well in France, and other European countries. Sure, come here, do our menial labor for a pitance, then, see ya! Have a nice life in your poor and oppressed country of origin. That works out so well for his pals at Haliburton. They get cheap labor and tax breaks for hiring minorities, they get the cushy no bid contracts to build a useless fence. Funny thing is though, the President forgot there are two ocean borders to guard, and that pesky northern border, where the only person who was caught crossing illegally for terrorist purposes entered. In his need to scare the hell out of us, he conveniently skips over the fact that those terrorists involved in 9-11 were here legally.

No one discussing this has ever taken more than a single minded approach, not that I've heard. They say ship em all home. How many do we ship home, again and again, because they just come back? They think that we can nudge them over the border and they'll just stay? They say give amnesty to those that are here, and that'll be it. Like no more will come?

Aside from the fact that this is only an issue right now because the Republicans want to scare middle America before the 2006 elections, the main problem with immigration is that it's complicated. No one wants to address why it is that people come here. Why Americans don't take those jobs that immigrants take. Why the corporations and the government itself don't really want immigration addressed. Why Vincente Fox encourages his people to emigrate to the US. Why Guatemalans and Colombians and other Central American countries emigrate to MEXICO, and then in turn to the US.

Any policy that truly addresses immigration must start in Mexico. The US must put pressure on Mexico to change things there, so that the proud people who love their country can stay there. Fox with the help of NAFTA has virtually eliminated the middle class in Mexico, leaving only a very rich class and a very poor nearly slave class. Sound familiar? That's what BushCo is aiming for here.

How about penalizing employers that hire illegals? Not nominal, snicker behind the back fines, but serious, heavy levies for employers? If there are no jobs to be had, they'd stop coming, no? But that would hurt Bush's dear corporate America, and that would be baaaaad for the country, wouldn't it?

If National security was really a concern, the other three borders would be considered. For all the complaining about the coyotes bringing people through the desert, far more people are here illegally through overstaying a visa. Port security is a joke. And really, if you were a terrorist who wanted to blow up the US, would YOU come in illegally? Or would you quietly train one of those eager young martyr wannabes and get them into the US legally, under the radar? Labelling this problem as "National Security" is yet another lie given to cover up racism and classism.

Illegal immigration is a problem; it stresses our health and human services programs and our schools, affects wages and housing issues. But honestly, there are so many far more critical issues facing our country right now; how can this be seen as anything more than a red herring? If it truly needs to be fixed NOW, this INSTANT, fine. Fix it. Make a truly comprehensive plan that takes into account the global economy and sociopolitical issues, and Fix It. Other than that, stop pulling our chain.

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