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Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.
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Thursday, April 29, 2010
There are three basic reason to want immigration reform, if you're already an American Citizen: (1) Racism, Xenophobia and Religious Bigotry. (2) Concerns about jobs. Someone may also say, "and resources" but I'll explain why that's nonsense. (3) Concerns about security.
I shouldn't have to explain the bigotry angle, especially in light of my last two posts. And it's not just Mexicans either. How about those Muslims? I've actually heard people say we shouldn't give them student visas! In the words of Gorobei Katayama, "Are you kidding me?" How else do you expect the Middle East to progress and modernize and (dare we say it?) WESTERNIZE if they're young people are not given an opportunity to see first hand what the West and Modern Life has to offer? But bigotry is not a motivation most people are willing to admit to. So let;s give them the benefit of the doubt for now and I'll show you why this IS in fact the primary motivation.
The second reason is JOBS, and more specifically WAGES. Now this is the one area where elements of the Left actually get on board. Unions and Labor advocates would rather see these jobs pay higher, and go to American labor. But the Left's opposition to immigration reform is relatively modest compared to the full-on rant-like fear mongering of the Right. Which is funny, because it seems that this is about the only argument the Right EVER makes in favor of American Labor. Remember: Thea re the people who hate union, fight minimum age increase, outsource jobs to china, put profit ahead of safety (Massey, I'm looking at YOU!) It seems the only time they give a shit about American Labor is when a Mexican comes looking for an opportunity to work hard, send his kids to school and make a better life for his family. Seeing as how every WHITE person's family did that at one point, I'd say this is, at best, despicably hypocritical and at worst... well... see reason number one.
As for them 'draining our resources'? Look: This cheap labor? It IS a resource. It's a resource that every single one of us benefits from. Sure... we could force the farm owner to pay market wages for American Labor. They'd pay several; times as much and it would certainly cut into their profits, even as it made the bulk of our produce skyrocket in price! Would more Americans be employed? Maybe. And that can be good. But does it really HELP if everything costs more and the industry that feeds us is no longer profitable? Those people put food on your table. You think you do, because you PAY for it? Cry me a river. Without them there wouldn't be enough food to BUY. At least until those good ol' market forces kicked in and drive the price high enough to justify the production and increase the supply. And THEN you'd be complaining about how much it cost! So rather than bitching about your kid sitting next a Mexican in the classroom (see reason #1) maybe you should try THANKING those people who busted their asses, getting paid shit, with no benefits, for helping YOU make a better life for YOURSELF.
Now the final reason might be the most principled one. In a post 9/11 world (doesn't it seem like every Right-Wing argument starts out that way?) we can't risk having a loosey-goosey border because a terrorist could sneak in and steal our cheese. Now... I can get behind that REASONING... But as most of you have figured out by now, I have kin of an upside-down way of looking at things and I draw a completely different conclusion from it. I say, "Let them [pretty much] ALL in." Here's why:
Consider what you need for security, especially knowing that we're talking about people who can just WALK here. You need to know WHO they are, WHERE they are and you need the ability to do a BACKGROUND CHECK to look for... Terrorists, yes, but also Drug Dealers, Fugitives, Bandidtos, etc... (Yeah, I'm kidding about the Bandidtos.) And in order to GET this information, you need people to be WILLING to give it. And if you keep telling people, "No, you can't come in" and "If we find you we'll you to jail or back to Mexico" then they have no reason to comply. Especially since it's so hard to keep track of them anyway! So thank about the result of having a system that tries to keep people out (IOW: Panders to reason #1): In doing so, you INCREASE the opportunity for a terrorist to sneak in and hide amongst the millions of undocumented folks.
So what would I do? Simple. I let anyone in who passed a simple background check, provided they registered and kept us informed of their address. I'd let them work, they'd pay taxes (as almost all do anyway) and Id let them make a life for themselves. They can't vote, until they're citizens, but that's their choice. As long as they obey the law? I'd leave them be.
Who would I keep out? Only convicted criminals, wonted men, people of the FBI's terror list, etc... Now, you might think that THESE people wouldn't bother to register. Well, yeah, they probably wouldn't. But if you have someone here, who's NOT in your database, who you CAN'T confirm the status off, they'd pretty much STAND OUT, at least as compared to now, where they're one of MILLIONS. And under a system that GIVES THEM what they want, rather than tries to DENY THEM, I 9and most people) would have a lot less sympathy for those who break the rules. And hey: If every legitimate migrant worker is registered, you can bet far more confidently that the one dude that ISN'T really does have something to hide. In any case, it would make the authorities jobs a LOT easier, if for no other reason than they have about 0.1% of their current caseload,, and THAT would make us more secure.
As for the background check? Shoot. They're not applying for security clearance. It don;t take more than a few days to (1) confirm their identity, (2) Check for warrants and (3) Check for convictions. Clean sheet? Come on in. But we can only do those checks if people are WILLING to cooperate. And there's no reason to expect them to if we make them wait for YEARS, and always tell them NO, and threaten to jail or deport them. Not when then can just walk around.
If you really want to know the difference between reason 1 and reason 3, just ask yourself : Are we trying to keep out Muslim Terrorists or Migrant Farmhands. It an both nearly impossible and completely unnecessary to TRULY secure our southern border and let NO ONE in. Just ain't going to happen, and I don;t know why you'd want to. Your taxes would go up to pay for it, and your grocery bill would go up because of it. We only need to know WHO and WHERE people are. And anyone who;'s NOT a terrorist or a drug-dealer will gladly tell you that, if you're helping them get what they want.
If anyone wants to argue these points, please review your argument against reason #1 before doing so. ;)