Monday, October 22, 2007

A few thoughts on the immigration debate

I've been wanting to weigh in on the issue of illegal immigration, seeing as how it's supposed to be this major issue in the upcoming presidential election.

First, I want to show you a few little tidbits:

Here are some t-shirt designs from a Cafe Press site called "Track 'Em Down":

Invasion? That's a little strong, no? Note that the only border being reddened/secured is the one between the US and Mexico.

Really? I heard a couple speaking French in the mall yesterday, right here in Amurka! Probably "illegals"!

This one really makes me laugh. I've never heard of any illegal immigrants even giving a shit about the flag, much less being "offended" by it; mostly, the ones I've met are concerned with feeding themselves and their families, finding shelter, and just trying to survive.

Some poll results have revealed some interesting viewpoints:
Nineteen percent of blacks said they thought all illegal immigrants should be removed from the country; 35 percent of whites said that. . . .
The races differed more on whether state and local police should turn over illegal immigrants they encounter, even if the immigrants have broken no state or local laws. In such cases, 45 percent of blacks and 61 percent of whites said they believe police should turn over illegal immigrants.
Asked whether people who cannot read or write English should be allowed to vote, 54 percent of blacks said they should, versus 43 percent of whites.

Wow. Who's for bringing back the Jim Crow laws?

Finally, here's some "information" from a web site called Free Republic which purports to tell the whole truth about "illegals":

HALF TRUTH: illegals eventually become assimilated Americans.

TRUTH: Many do. But Most third world illegals come to the U.S. for personal economic reasons. Most do not come to cherish our democratic system. Many so called "immigration rights" groups "fan the fire" with their rhetoric which encourages immigrants to preserve their culture and language at tax payers expense. Among some of these groups, the word "assimilation" is considered xenophobic. When ultimately illegal immigrants and/or their children do become voting citizens, many vote in blocks (Mexican-American, El Salvadoran-American, Guatemalan-American, etc.), not for the good of America, but for personal economic gain usually at the expense of another group.

I don't even know many Americans who would say they "cherish our democratic system." What does that even mean? Do we even have a "democratic system" anymore, when the rigged Supreme Court is deciding election outcomes and Diebold voting machines are changing Kerry votes to Bush votes? And god forbid you should try to retain your own identity and culture. Strange, I don't see anyone trying to get the Amish around here to come into the 21st century. And who knew there was such a conspiracy brewing among these radical immigrant groups? Not just voting, but voting en masse! Against "the good of America"! The web site had no documentation of just how they found out these "facts," but I'm sure they "just know." Of course, there are also plenty of people (including me) who "just know" that radical right republicans often vote in blocs, "not for the good of America, but for personal economic gain" and definitely at the expense of most Americans who don't support the Iraq war, the theocracy, and the ridiculous spending and social policies of this administration. No one seems to mind this, however.

I sometimes worry about the ever-growing population in this country, no matter where the growth is coming from. I think that people who come here should probably do it legally and try to become citizens, unless they're planning to go back to their home countries. However, the obvious fact is that these anti-immigration zealots aren't so much against illegal immigrants in general as they are against illegal immigrants from Mexico.

Why doesn’t anyone seem to be freaking out about our porous Canadian borders? That story came and went in one news cycle. And what about Europeans who come here illegally? Somehow, these immigrants don’t merit the scorn that those from Mexico do. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the Western European/Arian features many of these Canadians and Europeans have. And I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Mexicans are viewed by many people I’ve met as dirty; uneducated; and worthy only of housekeeping, ditch-digging, and farm work.

What I wish is that these people for "building the wall" and "booting 'em out" would just admit that they're racist, that they hate Mexicans and hispanics in general. Admit that they don't want my dark-skinned, dark-eyed, dark-haired, Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters here (unless of course they need a housekeeper). Admit that anyone from Western Europe or Canada or Russia can come here, and they can bring their blonde hair, blue eyes, and sexily-accented English right along with them. Admit that while they love those Tostitos chips and Pace picante sauce and Taco Bell, they really DON'T want those greasy, sombrero-wearing kids in public schools and on any kind of public assistance--because all Mexicans and by extension all hispanics are pretty much lazy, sleeping-under-a-cactus losers who just want to sponge off the precious American way of life, right?

I have some questions for these anti-immigration, “track ’em down” zealots:
Why is it that people knowingly and willingly hire illegal immigrants to care for their children and homes, their gardens, their farm crops, and their gardens, yet those same employers will vote for tougher immigration laws? If these Americans don’t believe these immigrants should be here illegally, why do they so often hire them, thus enabling them to stay?

Most importantly, why are these people wasting time and energy, distracting this nation from the truly important issues we face--the Middle East situation, our out-of-control military spending, the spoiling of our environment, our continued reliance on oil, our dangerously theocratic government?

UPDATE--I just had to add this little gem of an article. Highlight: some NH idiot saying aloud at a McInsane town hall meeting: "I don't know how we're going to export 11 million people, but maybe if we made them all talk English, we might get somewhere." YEAH--GREAT IDEA! Man, I just love it when these bigots show their ignorance.


FranIAm said...

My dear and beautiful Delia. Or should I simply say, mi querida, mi amiga! Brilliant post. Impassioned. Truthful. Rich.

There is so much to say about this, I ask your forgiveness for what will be a long comment.

All one needs to do is to open any history book about Germany between WWI and WWII. Prices out of control. National confusion and shame. Social chaos. Political plundering. Weak leadership.

WWHD? What Hitler did do was to use evil prejudice to unite Germany and to set his dark plans into place.

Sound a little scary and familiar? Of course it does. People think I am crazy, and perhaps I am, but I have been talking about this for years. Well, at least since around 2000.

One way of gathering steam for people's anger and discontent so they can focus on the despot's evil plans is to unite them around a common enemy. If their national image is soiled in any way, one way to do that is to create an "enemy" worth uniting against.

In Germany it was the Jews. We see where that went.

In this country we say "illegals" but so many ignoramous idiot asshats mean "Mexican". And "Mexican" translates into any Hispanic person. Of course most of the idiots who follow this line of evil thought call them "Spanish" people.

When I stop to ask people why they do that, they say "because they only speak Spanish." Hmmm... we speak English, are we English?!? OK, got that cleared up.

When I lived in LA I used to say that everyone wanted a cheap maid and gardener but no one wanted them to actually live here.

All immigrants of every type come to work and do the jobs that no one else will do. And people are always happy to pay some bastard .25 less or $1 or $3 less an hour to do what someone else wants more for. And to exploit those afraid to attract attention by exposing injustice.

Imagine if we were clear. And respectful. Oh never mind.

So real hatred and prejudice against "Mexicans" translates into "illegals". Here in NYC we are (and it doesn't phase me one bit) awash in illegal African and Chinese immigrants. The second largest illegal immigrant group in this country is "Asians". Like what the F*ck does that mean?

I have confronted the prejudiced ones who say "oh, but the Asians are smart. They take care of themselves. The 'Spanish' drain our system.

Now having read your blog and comments I know a little bit about your own background. I don't think your family came here to drain the system, did they?

It is just evil in operation and it gets me going to no end. To circle back to my Germany comparison, we can see that this common enemy theory gives us a way to externalize our own inadequacies and self hatred and project it onto others. That's healthy.

So the cycle goes on and on and on. It disgusts me.

And you are so right to call out that no one seems to notice that great swath of border to the north.

In fact, in my upstate NY home newspaper this week, there was an article about with dollar to dollar parity, the Canadians are flooding over the border to buy cars, home electronics and liquor, all of which are cheaper here. They are not perceived as "taking our jobs and draining our systems."

Have you ever seen the tv show "28 days"? It is the guy who did "Supersize Me". If you did not let me know and I will fill you in on my favorite episode of it. It is about a Cuban-American MinuteMan who has to go live with a poor illegal family in East LA for a month.

Anyway I have rambled on far too long, but I have a lot of passion for this topic.

Please note the prime spot I have this blog on at the blogroll. Everyone should be here.


Great job.

dguzman said...

I've actually met people who think people from Mexico speak "Mexican." I though my mother was going to kill someone when I told her that one.

Your point "When I lived in LA I used to say that everyone wanted a cheap maid and gardener but no one wanted them to actually live here" is so true--sums it up perfectly.

That "drain on the system" crap really kills me. Most illegal immigrants HIDE, man; they don't go crying for free medical/dental care for fear of being deported.

Thanks for blogrollin' me and my little bloggy; it's a nice place to vent my non-birding thoughts.

... Man, your WWHD comparison is ringing in my head--VERY scary. But then, pretty much everything about the present and future of this country scares me right now.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Color me damned glad that you are posting on this blog again. I adore this piece. Well written and very well reasoned.

dguzman said...

Thanks, Dr. Monkey!

Sorghum Crow said...

The whole NH thing is strange.

I work in NH and live in VT. I have friends just a few years older than me who grew up in Francophone towns in NH. Everything was in French including public education.

dguzman said...

I always thought NH was a little weird -- "Live free or die" is a rather intense state motto, you know? Apparently "live french or die" is also valid, but "live free but near some mexicans" is NOT kosher there.